Urban practitioners and policymakers, researchers and representatives from European institutions of research and innovation discussed how to foster urban transitions by enhancing impacts at the conference “Engaging for impact: the next step in urban transition” in Brussels on May 29-30.
Around 200 participants took part in the two-day event hosted by JPI Urban Europe on how to achieve urban transitions by enhancing the impacts of urban research and innovation investments, scaling up solutions and broadening stakeholder engagement. Furthermore, the latest research results from Urban Europe projects and the Urban Europe long-term strategy were reflected against international urban policies and strategies. On May 31st the JPI Urban Europe Projects Meeting was held back-to-back with the conference.
The first day of the conference in the Committee of the Regions took the outset from UN Urban Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Urban Agenda for Europe – ‘the Amsterdam pact’ to understand how cities can implement the goals and what the role of research and innovation can be. The long-term strategy of JPI Urban Europe is also reflected against international urban policies and strategies.
Using the UN Urban Agenda Global Sustainable Development Goals and the EU Urban Agenda as a starting point, urban challenges and the role of research and innovation in transitioning European cities were discussed. Among the speakers were Tobias Kettner from UN-Habitat, Olivier Baudulet from the European Commission DG Regional and Urban Policy and Li Tie, chief economist at the China Center for Urban Development (CCUD).
The mayors Kristina Zakrisson from Kiruna and Paul Depla from Breda reflected on their current challenges as cities. In additions three JPI Urban Europe funded projects took part in a researchers’ panel: Katharina Gugerell, Yvonne Franz and Federico Savini commented and discussed from the their point of view. In the afternoon four breakout sessions followed on the themes Innovative approaches, Effective urban governance, Impact on societal change and Sound strategic urban planning.
Cities Day in La Tricoterie
The second day, the Cities Day, took place in La Tricoterie in the south of Brussels and was dedicated to a stakeholder seminar and a brokerage event for the upcoming call on Joint Innovation Actions. The aim of this day was to learn more about how public authorities can act as transformation agents, catalysing change by cooperating with researchers, business and social innovators. In the morning five parallel sessions focused on different parts of these aspects with a concluding part before lunch.
The brokerage event with the title What is your city’s trickiest challenge? is part of the new JPI Urban Europe call Making Cities Work and offers a new innovative format in creating a call with pitches being made and the participants being able to vote which of them they thought most relevant. Nine representatives made pitches relating to challenges needed to be solved in Umeå, Trondheim, Schaerbeek, Vienna, Arendal, Tampere, Stockholm, Oslo and Brussels. The results from the voting will have direct effect on the call with the three most popular pitches being selected and further elaborated into call topics.
> Documentation JPI Urban Europe conference
Pictures taken by Michael Chia (copyright). www.michaelchia.eu