This interactive online plenary took a closer look at the environment policy-related lead theme of the EU Green Week: zero pollution – and how Smart Cities and Communities in Europe can help achieve it. The EU Action Plan toward a Zero Pollution Ambition as a key action of the European Green Deal aims at a toxic-free environment across the EU, entailing many measures, which need to fall into place. Here, there is a natural link between city targets - 100% climate-neutral, 100 % circular and 100 % liveable - reinforcing each other. In the post-COVID 19 recovery scenario, this would also embrace rebuilding a more sustainable EU economy, creating job opportunities, and reducing social inequalities. Smart Cities & Communities are in a strong position to play their full part in achieving the ambitious goals of both the Green Deal and the above-mentioned actions.
Peter Sweatman, Chief Executive, Climate Strategy & Partners (private sector view), stated that technical and project development assistance is a great way to spend the recovery fund. Furthermore, he introduced the EEFIG’s work and the help they can offer to cities de-risking energy efficiency solutions by using their database DEEP.
Talitha Koek, Manager Corporate Communication and CSR (GVB) outlined the smart mobility concept of the city of Amsterdam from the view of the public transport operator focusing on e-mobility (e-buses & ferries), Smart IT and energy efficiency projects. Talitha stressed that one of the lessons learnt has the aspect of co-creation with the EIB to start from one's objectives and goals and get expert advice (GVB received EENA funding in the form of technical assistance).
Jan Aerts, project engineer, presented the success of the ELENA project “LEUVEN - Lower Energy” using a great network of public and private partners. The main points to learn from are the need for a master plan, the participatory approach as well as working with companies throughout all stages of the project.
Grégory Merly, Managing Director, European Startup Prize for Mobility, stated that platforms should be used to find out about startups in the field of mobility and to connect with investors. He also requested investors to take part in the platform and foster direct engagement with the startup sector.