Why we have to Focus on Cities for a Sustainable Future…

The group welcomed a guest this morning to speak about the sustainable growth of cities.

Alanus shares his plans for the future of cities

Alanus shares his plans for the future of cities

Alanus von Radecki, a manager within Fraunhofer Society ( a research organisation), generously donated his time this morning to share with the group a project his company is currently working on.

The project is focused on cities, which are widely accepted to be hubs for growth and immigration in the near future. For example, urban areas in China are set to see an influx equivalent to the population of America within the next twenty years. An infrastructure must be developed to support them, so the market is there to implement sustainable thinking within this ‘growth.’ The links between urbanisation, wealth and unsustainable actions must be broken.

To achieve a sustainable city, the following devices must be in place;

  • Creativity
  • High Density
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Research & Development
  • Economic Activity

Fraunhofer believed that, although cities are full of experts on all elements needed for a sustainable future e.g. planners, industry, municipalities, NGOs, they are often not communicating with one another. The goal was to create a network for them to talk and get the most from their combined knowledge.

To achieve this, Alanus explained that his company had enlisted 10 cities, 18 industry partners, and 12 Fraunhofer institutes, all of whom will focus and work together to combine the best practices seen around the world e.g. Hong Kongs ‘Octopus Card,’ which allows easy and quick payment for transort, shopping etc. using a combined system. These ideas will, in the end, form a template from which to work.

Alanus noted that it was promising to see such large, industry partners becoming involved with the project e.g. Siemens, IBM, Bosch. He hoped this was a sign of their realisation that the ‘status quo’ would not be a sustainable option for the future.

The task of organising so many members was also discussed today. It was noticed that, at the start of the project, the researchers seemed to be focusing on their own goals e.g. if they came from an energy background, they wanted to pursue progress in the energy field. This reflected the bigger problem at hand, a lack of communication and chances to swap ideas between the members. By investing more time in the project, these opportunities for dialogue were created.

The group was very interested in this topic, with questions covering why only Western cities were considered for examples of best practice, what makes the successful initiatives successful, and where the community aspect was in the coming together of industry, cities and researchers. Debates and discussions ensued, and everyone commented on what a worthwhile project it was, and what a suitable topic it was to be brought to the table.

The second half of the day was dedicated to a review of the week. A summary was generated of;

The group reviews..

IMG_2516

and reviews some more.

Tools of Cooperation management
Success factors of Cooperation management
Tasks of a Cooperation manager
Realised competencies of a Cooperation manager

And the group was given a chance to review their own competencies. Did they match up to being a good cooperation manager?

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