The Climate Group calls on cities and companies to partner on SMART 2020 cities and regions initiative

15 June 2010

The theme of the 2010 World Expo – ‘Better City, Better Life’ – was explored by thought-leaders at a ‘Partnership for Urban Innovation’ conference jointly organised by The Climate Group, Cisco and Metropolis last week in Shanghai.

Opening the conference, Wim Elfrink, Executive Vice President and CGO of Cisco, reflected on how far Cisco’s own research and development initiative in this space – Connected Urban Development (CUD) – had come since its conception 4 years ago.

John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, is his keynote address, talked of the vital importance of Public-Private Partnerships in achieving these goals. “Public-Private Partnerships are hard to do, but they are the future in many ways.”

“Cisco is going to move from being the plumber of network services to being a government partner.”

Chambers formally handed over leadership of the CUD initiative to The Climate Group. Accepting the baton, Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, used the World Wide Web as an example of the revolutionary change possible in 20 years. Quoting Gore Vidal, he said “history now comes with a fast forward button. We have seen an incredible rate of growth and urbanisation.”

The Climate Group will build on Cisco’s leadership and take CUD forward under its SMART 2020 framework – where Standardisation, Monitoring and Accountability enable transparency in energy use, allowing us to rethink where we are wasting energy and creating a market tranformation for products and services that enable efficiency. Hoping to double what Cisco have already achieved under the CUD, The Climate Group aims to launch at least 10 new projects in 10 new cities in the next 3 years. Howard invited expressions of interest for partners on these projects.

Following on, Josep Roig, Secretary General of Metropolis, representing the interests of more than 100 global cities, said, “We are proud that we are starting our partnership with The Climate Group.”

Vincent Lo, Chairman and CEO of Shui On Group, Sean Chiao, Executive Vice President, China of AECOM, and Professor Jiang Wu, Vice President of Tongji University, shared examples of best practice in urban innovation in China and addressed the question, does China’s rapid economic development equal better city, better life? Chiao said, “The future of urban innovation is a holistic approach.”

After lunch, break-out sessions discussed key themes around urban design, sustainability, urban mobility, economic growth and the social life of cities.  Key points taken away were that financing is crucial, alongside enabling policy frameworks, and that new partnerships will have a key role to play in ensuring that we don’t miss the opportunity for a smart, clean future in urban environments.

Social innovation became the focus for the final plenary discussion on how we can best shape our global cities of the future.

Tom Murcott, Executive VP, CMO, Gale International discussed how they have approached building new cities in China, such as Songdo.

Geoff Mulgan, Director of the Young Foundation, described how any city, new or old, must “serve the people”.

“We need to design in the enabling infrastructure and circuits to make a city visible to itself”, he went on.

“In ecology we talk about decoupling growth from energy. In society we must recouple growth with happiness. People want cities they can enjoy, not just endure. And they will be the cities of the 21st century.”

Read the full press release.

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon