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Local authorities urged to join EU process for improving quality of life in cities at Bonn event

3 May 2018

The Italian municipalities of Bologna and Genoa called for local authorities attending Open European Day 2018 in Bonn (Germany) today to join them in contributing to the EU Urban Agenda

The municipality of Bologna (Italy), Genoa (Italy) and the European Investment Bank last week called for the local governments that met at the Open European Day event in Bonn to contribute to the European Urban Agenda by participating in the EU Partnerships on Adaptation and one on Land Use Planning  and Nature-Based Solutions.  

Giovanni Fini, City of Bologna, said: “The main aim of the partnership is to contribute to the forthcoming European policies on urban development. This is a truly challenging activity and it will only succeed if we can involve as many other European cities and local authorities as possible.”

“The Urban Agenda is an inclusive participatory instrument, that put on the same round table local authorities, Member States, Directorates General of the EU, EU programmes, networks and stakeholders, all together in a multilevel co-operative approach to discuss and co-work for the future policies through delivery of an Action Plan,” said Stefania Manca, Genoa Municipality and coordinator of the Climate Adaptation Partnership Urban Agenda. “The message is that all of us are equal. On the field of climate adaptation, our main focus is on Climate Resilience, vulnerability assessment and risk management. We are at the Open European Day to spread the work of the partnership, to help us involve more cities in the process of the public consultation of the Plan foreseen after June 2018.”

The Open European Day was first held in 2013 and is known among municipal climate practitioners as the place to meet other local governments and swap methods and opportunities for implementing climate change adaptation and urban resilience measures.

155 local government representatives, climate change adaptation experts and local and national government representatives have joined the climate adaptation conference in Bonn to meet other city representatives for peer-based discussions.

Reinhard Limbach, Deputy Mayor of the city of Bonn, hosts of the event, said: “To be prepared for future incidents, we must create suitable technical infrastructure and work on an innovative, nature-based strategy… I find it so important to come together and to make use of the elaborated European system, to benefit from the exchange with our direct neighbours.”

As the event, organized by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the European Environment Agency, has grown over five editions, European institutions are seeing the value in joining the conversation with local governments.

“What regional organizations do, the country does, or even the European Union does, matters for cities,” said Birgit Georgi, Strong Cities in a Changing Climate. “They build a framework in which the cities connect, and so we started to invite more and more also these levels, like from the European Commission or national governments or regional governments and other supporters, because as cities cannot move alone forward to be more resilient, national governments, you cannot without these cities. We have to work together in a multi-level approach.”

The 5th edition was supported by the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and Ramboll and co-organised by the European-funded Smart Mature Resilience project, RESIN – Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures and PLACARD. The event is held annually.

For more information on the Partnership, please click here.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 653569.