URBAN Forum 2012
URBAN Forum “Paving the way for smart, sustainable and inclusive cities” took place today in Brussels. The URBAN Intergroup was represented by its President, Jan Olbrycht.
The main subject of the discussion was the development of European cities in the innovative cohesion policy after 2013 with the reference to the Commission’s legislative proposals from October last year. Jan Olbrycht gave an introductory speech to one of the three thematic panels: Europe 2020 and the challenge of coordinating thematic investments in cities and promoting integrated urban development. “Members of the Intergroup are looking into the urban aspects of the new regulations’ proposals with great attention. As the President of the URBAN Intergroup and the EP rapporteur for the ERDF regulation, I can assure you that the MEPs will put all the effort to make the regulations simpler and their provisions more flexible.” – said Jan Olbrycht. He declared moreover that the integrated actions for sustainable urban development should concern the functional urban areas – not only the city itself, but also its rural surroundings or the whole agglomeration. “The concentration of EU funds is needed, but Europe’s cities and towns must be able to decide about their priorities in relation to the regional situation and needs.” – Jan Olbrycht commented referring to the proposed thematic concentration.
The Forum was organised by the European Commission with the aim to start a direct dialogue with the representatives of Europe’s cities and towns on how to achieve the goals of the EU 2020 Strategy with a more dynamic approach to development of urban areas.
Study Visit to ESCA Tower – 16.02.2012 in Strasbourg
Members of the Intergroup participated in a study visit to ESCA Tower organised in the cooperation with BOUYGUES Construction. The aim of the visit was to see a reference retrofitting construction site, being in accord with the low energy standards promoted by the EU politics of reducing energy consumption and with its fight to curb climate change.
The visit of the 10 storey and 9000 sqm office tower built in the early 1970’s started with the short presentation concerning the materials used to reconstruct the building and the reconstruction itself. During the tour of the building, the MEPs could observe all designs, techniques and materials solutions applied for the retrofitting and had the possibility to discuss about the project with the representatives of the team in charge.
The project of the BOUYGUES Construction is considered as a model for its double French certification HQE® and the label “BBC Rénovation”. The building’s energy consumption is planned to decrease by 64% from 218 kWh ep/m².year to 79 kWh ep/m².year.