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Green and smart economic recovery: What do the cities in the IUC-LAC community have to teach?

The IUC-LAC Open Dialogues between European and Latin American cities had a week dedicated to economic recovery, addressing the green economy (23 June) and the smart economy (25 June), which brought together decision makers, technicians and key actors. “Undoubtedly a perfect example of how to take advantage of your participation in the IUC, not only to exchange experiences and position yourself nationally and internationally, but to open markets for your companies,” said Sandra Marín, coordinator of city-city cooperation at IUC- LAC.

The first webinar, dedicated to the green economy, questioned the economic model of the planet, which is currently based on consumption, great use of natural resources, supported by fossil fuels and generating high levels of CO2 emissions. Speakers agreed that the pandemic could be an opportunity to accelerate measures to enable cities to develop the green economy, although there are structural problems that will have to be overcome.

On the occasion, a case study on circular economy was also presented, which is based on the principles of reduction, reuse, recovery and recycling of materials and energy. Marin Zegers, an expert on the subject, presented the experience of the Dutch city of Utrecht. Soon after, the guests gave examples of initiatives that can contribute to the transition from the current economic model, making cities more sustainable and resilient. Watch the webinar on Green Economic Recovery.

The second webinar, on smart economic recovery, brought reflection on the implications of the pandemic in accelerating the digital transition and how digital and smart innovations can be a response to the economic crisis, in addition to improving the quality of life in cities, bringing more transparency and reducing bureaucracy.

With the emergence of COVID-19 and the establishment of lockdowns, digital infrastructure has played a fundamental role in the functioning of the urban economy and in the population’s access to essential goods and services. The case study for the session was Startup Lisboa, an incubator and accelerator for technology-based startups, presented by Miguel Fontes, the company’s CEO. In recent years Lisbon has become one of the most dynamic innovation ecosystems in Europe.

At the end, the speakers were able to give examples of innovation and digitalization that are taking place in cities and shared their expectations about how SMART Economy can help to respond to economic challenges and promote citizen participation. Watch the webinar on Smart Economic Recovery.

Sign up for the next sessions of the IUC-LAC Dialogues, which deal with Climate Resilience:

July 7 – Rethinking public services and natural resources

July 9 – Actions and solutions for the climate

The IUC-LAC Dialogues sessions have simultaneous translation into English, Portuguese and Spanish.

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