More than 250 experts in urban regeneration and smart cities, gathered in Valladolid for By&ForCitizens Conference

21 september 2018
The Minister of Economy and Finance of the Government of Castilla y León, Pilar del Olmo, has opened this morning the conference By & For Citizens, the conference on urban regeneration and smart, sustainable and resilient cities to climate change, which takes place in September 20 and 21 in Valladolid. She has been accompanied at the opening ceremony by the Councilor for Finance, Public Function and Economic Promotion of Valladolid City Council, Antonio Gato; Policy Officer of the Directorate General for Energy in European Commission, Georg Houben; the Research Programme Officer of the European Commission, Sofie Vandewoestijne; and the General Director of CARTIF Technology Centre, José R. Perán. After the institutional inauguration, Miguel Ángel García Fuentes, Director of the conference and CARTIF researcher, presented the contents of the conference.

This international reference event, held at the Miguel Delibes Cultural Center, is organized by the Instituto para la Competitividad Empresarial (ICE) of Castilla y León and the CARTIF Technology Centre, and is also is carried out in collaboration with the City Council of Valladolid.

The event will gather local and national authorities, representatives from the European Commission and INEA, project coordinators and experts involved in smart city projects co-funded by Horizon 2020 and FP7 programmes of the EC. They will have the opportunity to share their experience and knowledge, discuss the challenges of the urban transformation and come up with innovative solutions.

Cities belong to their citizens; comprising an economic, social and cultural asset for which all are responsible of taking care of in order to assure the future of the following generations. Considering this premise, cities are the most important growth pole of the European Union, while more than two thirds of the European population lives in urban areas and this share continues to grow. Due to their high density, cities offer a huge potential for improving sustainability towards a carbon-neutral new concept of life. Nowadays, one of the most important challenges for Europe is the enhancement of the capability to adapt European cities to smart, sustainable and resilient societies while improving quality of life and stimulating growth by attracting talent and investments.

BY&FORCITIZENS conference on “Smart Regeneration of Cities and Regions” will provide a forum to gain comprehensive insights into the opportunities and challenges conferred by further development of Smart Cities and Communities initiatives across Europe.

The overall aim is to review and better understand the steps that city leaders, delegates, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders around Europe take to transform their cities into great and attractive places in which to live and work, creating strong local ecosystems. The format will be participatory and there will be keynote lectures, presentations, round tables and study tours.
The conference is organised in different blocks. In terms of the technical programme, 60 first level speakers will discuss about the role of the citizen in the cities of the future, the concept of circular economy in urban environments, the most advanced technological solutions in energy efficiency, electric mobility and communication and information technologies (ICTs) and the introduction of nature based solutions in cities.

The common thread of the conference is the experience of R2Cities, CITyFiED, REMOURBAN, mySMARTLife and Urban GreenUp projects, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by CARTIF. The researcher teams of these projects have achieved to turn Valladolid and more than 40 European cities into more liveable places. Conference’s attendees will have the opportunity to share the experience of these projects and many others initiatives and examples of leading European cities in the transition towards more sustainable, efficient and competitive Europe.

Other of the activities of the conference, in this case promoted by the ICE, is the holding of bilateral meetings where international companies and entities seek partners and agreements for the technological and commercial transfer. ICE through the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), a network with presence in more than 60 countries, offers service to encourage the participation of Castilla y León in international R&D&I projects.

The keynote speeches and debates will be complained with technical visits to de demonstrators of the projects that CARTIF is carrying out in Valladolid, a pioneer city in this type of urban regeneration activities and, together with Valencia, the Spanish city with the most innovation projects financed by the European Commission. The first visit will be the rehabilitated district of Torrelago, in Laguna de Duero (Valladolid), composed of 31 buildings, which means more than 143.000 square meter of living space. The attendants will also visit the neighbourhood of Fasa-Delicias (Valladolid), where the REMOURBAN project has managed to reduce the CO2 emissions by 950 tons per year to around 400 families, and the Cuatro de Marzo (Valladolid), where more than 300 houses have been rehabilitated.

Another visit, organised by the City Council of Valladolid, will be to the pantograph of line 7 of urban buses of Valladolid, that provide the electricity necessary to recharge the batteries with which the buses can travel in electric mode in the downtown area of the city. Technicians of the REMOURBAN project will present the actions of sustainable mobility for the transport of citizens, services and logistics. Finally, the University of Valladolid has organised the visit to the Lucía Buildings, a zero-energy building.

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