November 2013


Follow EUROCITIES 2013 Ghent liveImage description

EUROCITIES 2013 Ghent, our annual conference, begins next week on 27-30 November. We will explore ways of harnessing the potential of ‘smart citizens’ to build smarter, more sustainable and inclusive cities. Dan Hill from communications research centre Fabrica will deliver a keynote speech on smart citizens, while regional policy commissioner Johannes Hahn will address our plenary and meet politicians. The conference will feature the annual EUROCITIES awards ceremony, as well as speednetworking sessions and interactive workshops. If you can’t join us in Ghent, you’ll be able to follow some of the sessions online.

Making sense for cities Image description

As the EU urban agenda takes shape, our secretary general Paul Bevan considers how this might look. The call for an urban agenda has existed for some time, recognising that an integrated, joined up way of addressing urban challenges promises better results. We are looking forward to feeding into the process when we meet regional policy commissioner Johannes Hahn for political discussions at our annual conference next week. We hope to see a practical, coherent and coordinated approach to EU policy making that makes sense for cities.

EUROCITIES statement on cyber security Image description

We recently published our statement in response to the European Commission’s proposal for a directive on cyber security and a cyber security strategy. In our statement, we welcome the call to develop member state cyber security strategies but feel that the proposal needs further clarification on security requirements and reporting obligations.

CASCADE: energy sustainability in cities Image description

Our CASCADE project on local energy leadership hosted two study visits to share ideas on improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewables in cities. The visits, to Mannheim and Eindhoven, allowed CASCADE experts to see firsthand what the cities are already doing to make this happen. Mannheim explained how it is maximising energy efficiency in buildings, and the visit included tours of energy efficient buildings and districts. Eindhoven presented its strategy to increase the uptake of solar panels on residential buildings and organised a visit of the Meerhoven bio energy plant.

ImpleMentoring in Athens Image description

Mentors from Amsterdam and Helsinki visited Athens as part of our ImpleMentoring project on migrant integration. Athens is keen to improve migrant participation despite a difficult political backdrop. The visit focused on the densely populated Kypseli district, where experts identified opportunities to restore dialogue and improve communication with the migrant community. Following discussions with local politicians, volunteers, social workers and residents, the mentoring group compiled an action plan based on its findings. This will lead to a roadmap that the city will implement in Kypseli, and if successful, across other districts in Athens.

The PROGRESS legacy Image description

Our partnership with the European Commission’s DG employment and social inclusion helps reduce social exclusion in cities by strengthening the role of cities in EU policy making and developing the capacity of our network. The funding we receive through PROGRESS has allowed us to carry out mutual learning activities between cities, keep cities up to date with EU policy developments and bring city officials to Brussels engage in political debates. We asked members of our social affairs forum what difference this funding made to their work and compiled their answers into a leaflet on the PROGRESS legacy.

Cities in action: l’Ile de Nantes Image description

Between 2010 and 2030 Nantes is transforming l’Ile de Nantes, the site of its former shipyards, into a place of leisure, business and living. The development is made up of two phases, the first of which has already been completed. It included building new links with the river and attracting cultural entrepreneurs to work in former industrial buildings. The next phase will see residential and business areas develop, as well as the creation of sustainable transport infrastructure. The project was featured in a recent ‘cities in action’ case study and at our exhibition on 8 October 2013.


Other News

CASCADE toolkit now online

You can find the new CASCADE toolkit on the project website. It provides information on using the four CASCADE peer-to-peer learning methods.

Role of cities in fighting climate change: Warsaw example

A recent Covenant of Mayors video case study details Warsaw’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, including replacing its outdated lighting system and retrofitting public buildings.

Open data guidebook

Our working group on open data recently published a guidebook for cities wishing to make their data publicly accessible.

CASCADE: shaping a sustainable transport future

Two CASCADE study visits on sustainable urban mobility took place in October 2013.

Sustainable transport in Zagreb and Ljubljana

Experts visited Zagreb and Ljubljana in October to find out more about the cities’ CIVITAS ELAN measures for sustainable transport.

Meeting rooms in Brussels?

EUROCITIES offers fully-equipped meeting rooms in the heart of the EU quarter. We offer rooms with a capacity of up to 75 people, with catering services, internet, projection and interpretation facilities also available.
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URBAN Voice is published by EUROCITIES Brussels office. © EUROCITIES 2013.

Publisher: Paul Bevan 
Editor: Rose Montgomery 
Design: Maurice Bock