3 May 2017

Presentation of UNESCO Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development – event in Brussels on May 2nd

Last Tuesday URBAN Intergroup in cooperation with MEP Bogdan Wenta and UNESCO organised a presentation of UNESCO publication Culture: Urban Future. This is the first Global Report to explore the role of Culture for Sustainable Urban Development.


This report, which has been launched at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito (Ecuador) in October 2016, provides a policy framework to support national and local governments in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the New Urban Agenda.


Drawing on a global survey implemented with nine regional partners and insights from scholars, NGOs and urban thinkers, the report offers a global overview of urban heritage safeguarding, conservation and management, as well as the promotion of cultural and creative industries, highlighting their role as resources for sustainable urban development. The publication concludes with the Atlas which includes 22 sub-regional maps situating the cities belonging to UNESCO networks around the world.


Bogdan Wenta, member of the URBAN Intergroup, opened the event by underlying  that the 2030 Agenda and the new Sustainable Development Goals recognize the transformative role of culture in many areas like education, sustainable cities, environment, gender equality or health and food safety. More than half of this 17 goals are culture-related, also because they include the issues of cultural heritage and cultural diversity. “Also in the new European Consensus on Development that will be very strongly interlinked with the SDGs, we are putting an emphasis on the protection and promotion of culture”- said Wenta.



18 April 2017

Smart cities – meeting in Strasbourg on April 6th

The last meeting of the URBAN Intergroup was dedicated to the presentation of smart cities in Europe by Eddy Hartog, Head of Unit Smart Mobility and Living from DG CONNECT, European Commission.


“A smart city is a city seeking to address public issues via ICT-based solutions on the basis of a multi-stakeholder, municipality-based partnership.” This concept of smart city was  recalled by Mr Hartog at the beginning of the meeting. Moreover, different EU pillars on smart cities such as the Urban Agenda for the EU and the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Smart Cities and Communities were mentioned. Among the different EU sources for funding smart cities’ solutions are the European Regional Development Fund and Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


Participants of the meeting got a clear view how different DGs of the European Commission deal with different initiatives in smart cities. Furthermore, part of the discussion focused on urban platforms as architectural solutions aimed to integrated different technological aspects of smart cities. It has been stressed that unfortunately there is a lack of compatibility between different platforms in different cities. The issues of open standards and connectivity were discussed as well in this context.


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