Dear UBC colleagues,
When writing this, we are at the same time following the COP24 meeting in Katowice Poland. Discussions on the use of fossil fuels are heating and traffic is a hot topic in many countries. For our cities, this is an important question in building and shaping our cities for the next 30 – 40 years. When the IPCC report from this autumn increased the concern for our common future a lot, it is important to strongly believe in our potential of making an efficient and sustainable change. Let us never fall into fatalistic thinking!
The year 2018 has been successful for the work of our UBC Sustainable Cities Commission. The activity has been hectic but result-oriented. Our projects have produced a lot of tools, methods, reports and events for supporting the development work in our cities. I sincerely hope that You will study and use these products that have been built and tested by experts in our cities.
The year 2019 will be an active year when it comes to events. At the end of January, the IWAMA project will have its final conference in Turku, in 5 – 7 February we are starting a new project focusing in on combining urban smart climate planning with Civil Protection in Hamburg. In 21 – 22 March, we will be present discussing actions for reducing eutrophication of the Baltic Sea in St Petersburg. In 9 – 10 April, several of our projects will be presenting results in the INTERREG Baltic Sea Region Programme Conference in Lubeck. In May, we will organise our Joint UBC Sustainable Cities Commission and Planning City Commission meeting in Jurmala. In 4 – 6 June, we will meet up in Gdansk for the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region Summit and later in autumn, we will all meet in the UBC General Conference 15 – 18 October in Kaunas. Also, there will be a vast number of project meetings.
The focus in 2019 will be much on looking into the future EU Policies and funding possibilities, as we need to cooperate and act smart to find solutions for many of our development processes in our cities. Acting together is Smart!
Finally, I would like to thank everyone for your valuable input and dedication during this year in projects and events and in the cooperation and making our Baltic Sea Region better! I Wish You All a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Successful New Year 2019!
Björn Grönholm Head of Secretariat Union of the Baltic Cities - Sustainable Cities Commission