Dear UBC colleagues,
We are approaching Christmas and it will soon be time to rest and look back. Behind we have an interesting and successful year of 2016. From our side, this year can be described as very active, including many new initiatives, proposals, new colleagues and cooperation contacts.
The year started with new projects focusing on integrated urban development, storm water management, wastewater and resource efficiency. In these projects, with new topics and new city partners, together with our cities, we are testing new ways of improving our practices to thereby become more sustainable as well as economically efficient and attractive for our inhabitants. Other projects focusing on urban mobility engaged our Baltic Sea Region cities with other cities in Europe.
The year has also been fruitful for dialogues on solving challenges in cities, such as civil protection and resilience to climate change related risks and disasters. These concepts are new for us and are steering up our sustainability coordinators with risk management authorities in cities. This concept is still under development as are also concepts on Circular Economy, Energy and Resource Efficiency as well as Transformation Action Programmes.
During 2016 we were involved in two productive Commission meetings, one in Słupsk – Ustka, Poland and the second in Jelgava, Latvia. The first meeting brought together experts in safe and sustainable culture events and resulted in online Guidebook for arrangement of big events in cities. The second meeting focused on how to harmonize urban planning with NATURA 2000 and storm water management. In both meetings we met many new UBC cities and their experts.
Next year, 2017 will be interesting too. We will focus on Climate Change and Urban Mobility activities as well as participate in launching of the Baltic Smart Water Hub. Our next UBC Commission meeting will be on 16 – 18 May in Jyväskylä, Finland, focusing on concrete Circular Economy actions in cities. This meeting is a golden opportunity for You to become involved in development projects and exchange expertise with Smart UBC cities. See You in Jyväskylä!
Finally, I would like to wish You All a Merry Christmas and a Successful New Year 2017!
Björn Grönholm and the SCC Team