14 new entities have signed up to join the “follower city” network created by the EU-funded project POWER
The International Conference “Giving POWER to your city”, organised by the POWER consortium took place in Pisa on the 12th April 2019 and was a huge success.
The meeting saw representatives of the so-called “follower city” network gather in the city of the leaning tower from numerous different countries: United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Hungary, and Romania. About fifty representatives of municipalities and water basin management companies met for a full day of studies on experiences and strategies for citizen involvement for the conscious management of water resources. The issue of water is going to fit into the broader issue of climate change, of topical relevance. If, on the one hand, the answers must necessarily be political, on the other hand, to trigger real change, it is essential to create awareness and stimulate participation on the part of the citizens.
The following instruments that can be used by the municipalities were presented and discussed: the Digital Social Platform, developed by the POWER project and available to all the network cities as an advanced tool to encourage interaction with citizens and increase their participation, the City Blueprint Framework, the Water Governance Analysis, and the ConCensus political mechanism.
The four project pilot cities illustrated their experiences with respect to their four specific problems: reduction of water consumption – Milton Keynes (UK); water quality – Sabadell (Catalonia, Spain); flood risk – Leicester (UK); water conservation – Jerusalem (Israel).
The afternoon debate on the objectives of the network of follower cities was very well attended, and ample space was given to sharing the different experiences of the cities and discussing the advantages and opportunities of joining the “Follower City” network, including insights from representatives of the two local land reclamation and drainage authorities (Consorzio Bonifica Basso Valdarno and ANBI Tuscany).
At the end of the day, the declaration of interest in the POWER project was signed by 14 new entities.
The project consortium includes 12 partners – 4 research institutions dealing with environmental, social and governance issues, 2 innovative SMEs, 2 European non-profit organizations and the 4 pilot cities. The POWER Project is supported, from its inception in 2015, by 50 cities belonging to the EIP Water – City Blueprint Action Group and Netwerc H2O, which many European and non-European municipalities have joined.
What follows is a short photo-story of the most important moments of the day
Opening talk by Prof. Giuliano Manara, CUBIT
Introduction by Filipppo Bedini, Assessor of the Municipality of Pisa
POWER’s project coordinator Dr. Ljiljana Marjanovic-Halburd
Presentation of the POWER DSP by Sérgio Coelho from Baseform
Dr. Richard Elelman illustrating the power of ConCensus to the Follower Cities
Dr. Janet Riley from De Montfort University illustrating the further aspects of the POWER project
Dr. Stef Koop from KWR Watercycle Research Institute presenting the City Blueprint Framework
Marco Bottino, President of ANBI Tuscany, discussing the importance of water intervention at the local level
Sandro Borsacchi, General Director of Consorzio for Basso Valdarno
Presentation of the experience of POWER Key Demonstrator Cities: Jordi Vinyoles from Sabadell (Spain), Alex Cameron and Daniel Coles from Leicester (UK), Jeremy Draper from Milton Keynes (UK)
Tehila Cohen illustrating the experience of the community gardens in Jerusalem, one of the POWER Key Demonstrator Cities
The day continued with an open discussion and different interventions of the attending municipalities
We concluded the day with Dr. Richard Elelman reading the Declaration of Interest that the attending Follower Cities later signed