Sustainable innovation and integration

by | Oct 13, 2009 | Events

This month the Globe Forum conference takes place in Gdańsk. The Globe Forum is one of the world`s leading events devoted to innovation and sustainability. The Gdańsk government invited me to lead the theme session: “Integration and innovation – a long term prospect for sustainable metropolitan development”. Currently I am preparing for the meeting on 28 October  which leads to many new insights and opinions. Time to share.

Many cities and metropolitan areas are facing challenges related to revitalization of the former rural and post industrial areas. By means of innovative investments they try to improve their environment. Probably we can all point at innovations we have some doubts about. Was it worth the investment? Did we all profit from it?

While preparing for the Forum I learned how to define “sustainable”. At first I thought this would be mainly related to ecological aspects, but the Globe Forum  by sustainable means that  innovations can be considered sustainable meaning that they add something on many aspects:  Social, Economic, Environmental and Cultural. They need to fit to the bigger picture, the cities/metropolitan Master Plan.

Cardiff Bay 1980's - Cardiff Bay today

Cardiff Bay 1980's - Cardiff Bay today

Some cities that have been nominated for this year’s Globe Award show in a nice way how this can work in practice. Cardiff, the winner, demonstrates practices of a sustainable city with highly creative services and innovation. It is clearly shown that sustainable development and economical development go hand in hand in Cardiff. Just have a look at the picture. The transformation of the city is almost a miracle.

The smart city project in Amsterdam demonstrates that participation and collaboration between stakeholders from different sectors of society is a major key to drive the sustainability process of the future. The project at Western Harbour in Malmö truly shows that sustainability within a holistic approach can add new values to the brand of a City and create dramatic attractiveness!

During the panel session we will try to learn based on these and other good and bad examples. We hope to find out what makes an innovation within the city, or even metropolitan area, successful. I am really looking forward to it.

I am curious about your opinion and examples. Feel free to share them below, or to discuss them on Twitter: @PetersOpinion.

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