As part of the Cooperation between Cities of the EU’s International Urban Cooperation Program (IUC), the delegation of the Colombian cities of Ibagué and Piedras visited the city of Graz (Austria) to meet with their team from September 24th to 29th . The objective of the meeting was to continue deepening the lines of cooperation that were outlined in the visit of the Austrian delegation to the Colombian cities last April, and to reach agreements on Sustainable Urban Development, in areas such as the improvement of rivers, the generation of new spaces for co-working and entrepreneurship, mobility, health and smart cities.
The visit began with the traditional meeting between delegations in the city hall of Graz, where the history and main strengths of the Austrian city were presented to its Colombian counterpart. It continued with the presentation of sustainable mobility projects in Graz that make possible the use of bicycles and electric cars, and a system of shared cars for public use. In the company Holding Graz, the projects that allow the purification of waters and the improvement and restoration of the rivers of the city for recreational use were presented to the Colombian representatives. In it, the different technological systems that make it possible were made known, such as a system for pumping water sources.
They also presented several models of shared spaces for companies (co-working) and the projects that are currently being developed in them. In terms of innovation, the local Smart Cities project was presented, one of the European benchmarks in the field. This is developed in two important areas of the city, where it promotes an important urban, cultural and educational renewal based on technological components that promote energy efficiency and resources.
The agenda included a visit to the AKH hospital, where the new technologies in surgery and medical equipment were presented, and the cadastral system of Graz, in which both delegations talked about their possible applications in the cadastral system in both countries.
The Mayor of Ibagué, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo Martínez, was grateful to the organizers of the meeting and assured that this «was immensely productive» and that he wished «to continue with a cooperation with Graz that is of vital importance for both Ibague and Piedras».
The delegation of the South American country assured that the meeting will serve to work on improving the management of the waters of their cities, especially the use of aquifers for pumping of drinking water, and, in mobility and public health, in the exchange of knowledge, so that cities can design a tram and build a mother-child hospital with the latest technology, respectively.
In addition, Graz will help Ibague to implement a cadastral system pilot plan and the smart city experience.