Bridging the Green and Digital Agendas in Cities to Drive more Ambitious and Inclusive Transitions

In preparation for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, Barcelona City Council and CIDOB, in collaboration with the British Embassy in Spain (in capacity as COP26 Presidency) and Glasgow City Council (as the COP26 host city), and in partnership with C40 Cities and Eurocities, organise a two-day workshop to explore how cities can act as laboratories for integrating and accelerating the environmental and digital transitions in coherent policy frameworks, and in ways that are truly sustainable and just.

PERFORMED ACTIVITY
6 October 2021 - 18:30h to 7 October 2021
LOCATION: Online workshop streamed on CIDOB’s Youtube channel
ORGANIZED BY: CIDOB, Barcelona City Council, Glasgow City Council and the British Embassy in Spain, in partnership with C40Cities and Eurocities

COLLABORATORS (4):

Objective

With economies around the world entering a post-lockdown restart, the acute climate and biodiversity crises demand the laying of the foundations for a sustainable recovery. Digital innovation promises to be a great enabler and accelerator in this process. However, a truly sustainable recovery will depend on properly integrating the digital and green transitions in ways that foster equity and inclusiveness, as well as the physical and emotional well-being of communities. In a century in which global warming and pandemics will be increasingly entangled, the twin green and digital transitions need to support both the health of the planet and its people. 

City lessons with the twin green and digital transitions are vital for securing a more sustainable and resilient future. As climate leaders and hubs of the digital economy, cities are at the forefront of efforts to better connect the two agendas in a sustainable and just manner. From developing urban data centres that support energy-efficient services to low-carbon intelligent mobility solutions and the scale-up of the circular economy, cities are acting to formulate integrated solutions that bridge environmental and technological challenges. 

Cities are also beginning to address the risks the green and digital transformations present to one another. While digital technology can effectively support climate mitigation and the dematerialisation of the economy, rising demand for cloud computing and energy-intensive devices by ever larger urban populations has a substantial environmental footprint in itself. In turn, as the world gets hotter and cities become more prone to flooding, internet connectivity and data centres will be among the first casualties. Already felt in regions troubled by climate disasters, these risks will soon become a reality for most cities.  

But a sustainable green recovery that is joined up with the digital transformation does not only require macro-level technological and infrastructural innovations. Without public buy-in the much-needed shift towards a low-carbon economy will not happen. As the closest level of government to the people, cities are well positioned to engage citizens and relevant stakeholders in assessing the needs and concerns of their communities, and in supporting them to adapt to technological change and the reconfiguration of entire industries and employment sectors. City-scale participatory processes that place equity and inclusion at the centre and seek to maximise the benefits and minimise the disadvantages for local communities, will be vital if no one is to be left behind in the transitions. 

An “Urban Green and Digital Just Transition Action Plan” for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)  

As countries prepare to move towards a low-carbon economy, bridging the climate, digital and urban agendas will be key to raising the ambition of the COP26. To this end, Barcelona City Council and CIDOB, in collaboration with the British Embassy in Spain (in capacity as COP26 Presidency) and Glasgow City Council (as the COP26 host city), and in partnership with C40 Cities and Eurocities, organise a two-day preparatory workshop to explore how cities can act as laboratories for integrating and accelerating environmental and digital agendas in coherent policy frameworks, and in ways that are truly sustainable and just. 

Based on the workshop results, an Urban Green and Digital Just Transitions Action Plan–a set of guiding principles for a people-centred twin transition–will be formulated. The Action Plan will be launched at an event at Glasgow City Council during the COP26.  

>> Related publication: Ambitious and inclusive transitions in cities: bridging green and digital agendas

>> All sessions will be held online and streamed on CIDOB’s YouTube Channel

>> English-Spanish simultaneous translation will be provided during all sessions:

[SPANISH] Bridging the Green and Digital Agendas in Cities · 6 October

[ENGLISH] Bridging the Green and Digital Agendas in Cities · 6 October

 

[ENGLISH] Bridging the Green and Digital Agendas in Cities · 7 October

[SPANISH] Bridging the Green and Digital Agendas in Cities · 7 October

Video

Bridging the Green and Digital Agendas in Cities to Drive more Ambitious and Inclusive Transitions PERFORMED ACTIVITY

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

INTEGRATED AND INCLUSIVE URBAN GOVERNANCE FOR A JUST TRANSITION

Moderator        Hannah Abdullah, Senior Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB   

      

18:30–18:35     Opening Remarks

Pol Morillas, Director, CIDOB

 

18:35–19:15     Keynotes

Hugh Elliott, British Ambassador to Spain

Angus Millar, Councillor & Chair of the Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Committee, Glasgow City Council 

Jeanne Holm, Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles

Laia Bonet, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona

 

19:15–19:30     First reactions

Edgar Pieterse, Director, African Centre for Cities

Tony Pipa, Senior Fellow, Centre for Sustainable Development, Global Economy and Development Program, The Brookings Institution

 

19:30–20:00     Discussion                                                                  

Thursday, 7 October 2021

SESSION 1:Intelligent and energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure

Moderator        Agustí Fernández de Losada, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

 

09:00–09:30     Keynotes

Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, Head of Climate Unit, Director of the Carbon Neutral Helsinki Program, City of Helsinki

Miquel Rodríguez Planas, Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, Barcelona City Council

 

 

09:30–10:00     First reactions

Johanna Lehne, Senior Policy Advisor, E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism)

Roland Hunziker, Director, Sustainable Buildings and Cities, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD

Victoria Burrows, Director of Advancing Net Zero, World Green Building Council

10.00–10.30     Discussion 

 

SESSION 2: Mainstreaming inclusive digital mobility solutions

 

Moderator        Guillem Ramírez Chico, Policy Advisor to the Deputy Mayor for the 2030 Agenda, Digital Transition & International Relations, Barcelona City Council

 

11:00–11:30     Keynotes

Natalia Ciciarello, Paris Mobility, City of Paris

Vanessa Harrison, Principal Policy Officer for Transport, Greater London Authority

N M Dhoke, Director for Rolling Stock, Operations and Maintenance, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited

 

 

11:30–12:00     First reactions

Daniel Serra, Director, EIT Urban Mobility Innovation Hub South

Thomas Deloison, Director for Mobility, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD

Maruxa Cardama, Secretray General, SLOCAT

12.00–12.30     Discussion 

 

SESSION 3: Enabling the circular city through digital technologies

Moderator       Keiran Bowtell, Climate Change and Energy Attaché, British Embassy Madrid

 

13:00–13:30     Keynotes

Keynotes

Aado Altmets, Head of Smart City Projects Competence Centre, Tallinn City Council

Francisco José Moura de Castro, Special Advisor for Sustainability, São Paulo City Council

Gavin Slater,Head of Sustainability,Glasgow City Council(TBC) 

 

13:30–14:00     First reactions

Elizabeth Kelly, Senior Programme Manager, Thriving Cities Initiative, C40 Cities

Oriana Romano, Head of Unit, Water Governance and Circular Economy, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Cities and Regions, OECD

Markus Bjerre, Special Advisor, Circular Innovation City Challenge, Danish Business Authority

14.00– 14.30    Discussion

  

AFTERNOON SESSION – URBAN DATA CENTRES AND URBAN DATA PLATFORMS FOR THE GREEN TRANSITION

Moderator        Federica Bordelot, Policy Advisor for Digital Policy and Smart Cities, Eurocities

 

16:00–16:30     Keynotes

Jiří Hoskovec, Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Prague

Felip Guzman, ICT High Councillor, Bogota Mayors Office

Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Pittsburgh

 

16:30–17:00     First reactions

Ursula Eicker, Professor for Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering & Canada Excellence Research Chair in Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Communities and Cities, Concordia University

Patricio Reyes, Senior Researcher, Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Naomi Morishita-Steffen, CEO, Mo-St Transformative Futures

17.00–17.30     Discussion