Green Cities Fit for Life

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European Green Capital Secretariat attend ICLEI Global Town Hall® @ Metropolitan Solutions 2014

23rd April 2014

This month the European Green Capital Award Secretariat attended The Metropolitan Solutions Annual International Trade Show at the largest tradeshow arena in the world in Hannover, Germany.  The aim of the tradeshow is to bring together city and business representatives to discuss innovative urban infrastructure solutions.

The European Green Capital stand was located next to ICLEI’s Global Town Hall, which meant the team had an excellent location and was able to attend some particularly interesting plenaries. During the event, the ICLEI Global Town Hall provided a platform to discuss and share knowledge and information. This session was particularly relevant for experts who were given the opportunity to map out their vision of the path to “Green Urban Economy”, by devising concrete, feasible and effective projects that will address the big challenges of the future.

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During the five day event, plenary sessions featured exchanges between city and business representatives, notably discussing low-carbon, resilient and eco-efficient solutions for urban areas.  The general topics discussed at the Global Town Hall 2014 were Urban Eco-Mobility, Low Carbon Cities and Smart Cities.

One of sessions which the European Green Capital team attended was entitled: Berlin: Smart City which was presented by Florian Lennart from the Innovation Centre for Mobility and Societal Change in the London School of Economics and Political Science, Berlin, Germany. During this session, Ms. Lennart spoke about how Berlin is working on integrating renewable energy within the city and mobility. “You need to understand cities from the bottom up to be able to develop them smartly,” said Ms. Lennart. As the city with the highest density of car sharing, Berlin plans to further invest in the usage of electric cars. It also plans to improve its Tegel Airport as an innovation site, as part of the broader purpose of moving towards a smart city model.

The European Green Capital Award team also tweeted live from the event using the hashtag #HM14. This enabled them to interact and engage with speakers at the event and also with people not in attendance who were following the proceedings online. 

Alexandra van Huffelen, Vice Mayor for Sustainable Development, Inner City and Public Spaces, City of Rotterdam, Netherlands discusses Rotterdam’s climate adaptation master plan.

The European Green Capital Award Secretariat also attended the City-Business Dialogue Session where Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik delivered the keynote address – Government-business collaboration for urban sustainability.

The European Green Capital Award Secretariat listened to Commissioner Potočnik at the ICLEI Global Town Hall, Metropolitan Solutions in Hannover, Germany.

The European Green Capital Award Secretariat listened to Commissioner Potočnik at the ICLEI Global Town Hall, Metropolitan Solutions in Hannover, Germany.

The European Green Capital award aims to recognise and reward efforts at local level to improve the environment and the economy, as well as the quality of life of urban growing populations. The objective is also to motive urban centres to inspire one another to share best practices, within the context of a friendly competition. The award is based on a city’s performance in relation to 12 indicators. These include air quality, sustainable land use, waste management and water consumption.