Author Archives: Monica Pianosi

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POWER Award Ceremony at the Final Conference

POWER Award Ceremony at the Final Conference

One of the highlights of the POWER conference was the Award ceremony on October 10th. There, the winners from the POWER Idea Contest for Sustainable Communities and the POWER Best Practice Award for Sustainable Water Innovation presented their ideas and projects to the audience. The contest and the award are both part of POWER’s vision to engage different groups of people with sustainability and water-related topics, thus establishing an international network of water-wise communities.

The POWER idea contest urged people to submit ideas for solutions to local sustainability challenges. Throughout the course of the contest more than 140 innovative ideas were submitted out of which 10 were selected by the POWER community and a jury of sustainability and innovation experts as winners from the contest. They winners were invited at the POWER conference to present their ideas and network with water and sustainability experts who are willing to help them develop further their ideas towards successful implementation. The authors of the 10 winning ideas are from all corners of Europe – the UK, Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spain – proving that the POWER project connects not only locally, but EU-wide. A full list of the ideas could be found here.

The POWER Best Practice Award for sustainable water innovation was given to the most innovative and impactful projects submitted to the POWER best practice repository – a global network of water management projects and water-wise communities. Of all 64 eligibale for the award entries, the POWER jury selected three projects that showed outstanding results in their work in the fields of extreme water resilience and water reuse, namely:

  • BRIGAID (Antwerpen, Berlin, Tirana, Valladolid):

  • INSPIREWATER (Tarragona) :

  • RainAhead (Lübeck): ,

Representatives of the three awarded projects were invited to the POWER conference to present their work to the international audience of water and innovation experts, thus establishing further connections between water innovators in the EU.

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Follower cities that participated

Successful outcome of the POWER Follower City Conference

14 new entities have signed up to join the “follower city” network created by the EU-funded project POWER

Follower cities that participated

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 consumptionMilton Keynes (UK); water qualitySabadell (Catalonia, Spain); flood riskLeicester (UK); water conservationJerusalem (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

Opening talk by Prof. Giuliano Manara, CUBIT

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Introduction by Filipppo Bedini, Assessor of the Municipality of Pisa

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POWER’s project coordinator Dr. Ljiljana Marjanovic-Halburd

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Presentation of the POWER DSP by Sérgio Coelho from Baseform

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Dr. Richard Elelman illustrating the power of ConCensus to the Follower Cities

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Dr. Janet Riley from De Montfort University illustrating the further aspects of the POWER project

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Dr. Stef Koop from KWR Watercycle Research Institute presenting the City Blueprint Framework

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Marco Bottino, President of ANBI Tuscany, discussing the importance of water intervention at the local level

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Sandro Borsacchi, General Director of Consorzio for Basso Valdarno

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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)

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Tehila Cohen illustrating the experience of the community gardens in Jerusalem, one of the POWER Key Demonstrator Cities

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The day continued with an open discussion and different interventions of the attending municipalities

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We concluded the day with Dr. Richard Elelman reading the Declaration of Interest that the attending Follower Cities later signed

POWER tweets