- News: Urban Europe initiative
JPI Urban Europe is a joint programming initiative. Through JPI Urban Europe, member countries can generate European solutions by means of coordinated research. The aim is to create attractive, sustainable and economically viable urban areas, in which European citizens, communities and their surroundings can thrive. JPI Urban Europe aims to coordinate research and make better use of Europe’s public funds in order to:(1) Transform urban areas to centres of innovation and technology
(2) Realise eco-friendly and intelligent intra- and interurban transport and logistic systems
(3) Ensure social cohesion and integration
(3) Reduce the ecological footprint and enhance climate neutrality
More information here.
- ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures Call is open!In the ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures Call (ENSUF) cities and civil society in Europe can address urgent and long-term challenges by co-creating ideas and project. This is JPI Urban Europe’s fourth Call and it is supported by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme.For the call text and other information click here.
- UCLG: Barcelona Resilience Week (14-18 March 2016. Barcelona, Spain)Building on the success of the Barcelona Resilience Experience in February 2015 that drew over 170 participants and more than 20 cities, the BCN Urban Resilience Partnership, UN-HABITAT’s City Resilience Profiling Programme and the City of Barcelona are launching Barcelona Resilience Week, a global platform for discussion and learning between leading cities and companies working to build more resilient communities all over the world.Barcelona Resilience Week aims at giving voices to and connecting cities, while providing the opportunity to learn about ground-breaking resilience topics, to present, share and exchange experiences and best practices, and to gain practical knowledge. Moreover, this year’s event will provide more spaces for interaction, that could offer attendees the chance to create new contacts, develop partnerships and foster networking opportunities between cities, companies with extensive experience in implementing resilience projects and experts coming from international institutions.
More information here.
- Digitaleurope /
“Digital in Practice workshop on Bright Lights, Big City: smart cities with human touch” (22 March 2016, 08:30 – 10:00, Brussels)‘In June 2011 the European Parliament highlighted the concerns expressed by sections of the civil society and by a growing number of SMEs that shopping malls mushrooming in the middle of nowhere, combined with the accelerating shut down of neighbouring shops and markets will soon turn inner cities into ghost towns. This sorry state of affairs has deteriorated since, confronting many cities with economic slump, social unrest or migration and rising crime.It didn’t have to happen that way though. Indeed retail trade is anchored in Europe’s traditions. For centuries on end, it worked as a powerhouse feeding the prosperity of cities bustling with life across Europe. As recently as 2010, the twin retail and wholesale sectors generated a combined turnover of €8,300 billion i.e. 7 times that of the ICT industry, with a resulting value added in excess of 11% of the EU’s GDP, which compares favourably to the 5.6% share of the finance industry. Retail also used to create a great deal of jobs: 33 million in 2010, 77% full-time, 2/3 female and with a spin towards the youth (17% of employed 17-24 year-olds).
The enduring economic crisis and consumers’ new habits have wrought havoc throughout the trade. All hope is not lost though as the digital transformation of most industries and the implementation of an ambitious Urban Agenda are poised to breathe new life into inner cities. This is the purpose of the DiPP debate on 22 March, featuring this panel of distinguished experts.
Further information here.
- SMART PEOPLE /
Dutch EU Presidency: European higher education: ready for the futureHow are we preparing students in Europe for a labour market in flux? And for active participation in an ever-diversifying society? And, how is higher education applying the latest technology? In short: what are we doing to ensure that European higher education is ready for the future? These challenges will be discussed at the EU presidency conference ‘The Future of Higher Education’, being organised by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in Amsterdam on 9 March.Education for the future
The labour market is dynamic. Some jobs are vanishing, others are changing and new jobs are being created. Now more than ever, it is important that higher education and the business community join forces. That is the best way to ensure that the knowledge and skills students acquire are optimally attuned to developments in the labour market.
Society has changed perceptibly in recent years. Debates on the differences between people, religion and politics are the order of the day. Students need certain skills if they are to become committed citizens who can work and live alongside people from different backgrounds.
It is the task of European higher education to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need for a dynamic labour market and a diverse society. These skills include creativity and critical thinking, and the ability to reflect and form an independent opinion.
European education also needs to keep up with technology. Specifically, it needs to keep sharing knowledge as effectively as possible, for example using databases and online communication. Most students are familiar with the very latest technology; higher education mustn’t fall behind.
Opportunities and action to be taken
At the conference, representatives of European higher education institutions and the business community will discuss the opportunities available and the action needed to prepare European higher education for the future. The conference outcomes will contribute to the review of the European Commission’s modernisation agenda for higher education.
On 7 and 8 March, before the conference starts, representatives of all member states, the European Commission and organisations such as EURASHE, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, Education International and BusinessEurope will be meeting in the Bologna Follow-Up Group. The Bologna process is dedicated to fostering a more comparable, compatible and coherent system for European higher education.
Further information here.