4th City Development Forum
4th City Development Forum took place on the 4thand 5th November 2020. The main topics of this year’s edition were safe city space and competences of the 21st century. They were tackled by Polish and international speakers from Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Norway, Estonia, Finland and Austria among others. This year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conference was held online.
The topic of the first day was safety in city spaces. Speakers from Norway, Spain and Poland presented proven methods for effective execution of the Vision Zero, which means constant increasing of the safety level, reducing the number of severe road accidents and aiming at total elimination of their victims. Reaching that goal in Oslo, Pontevedra and Jaworzno was possible owing to slowing down the vehicular traffic and eliminating transit in city centres, reducing car traffic in school areas and increasing availability of spaces for pedestrians and cyclists, who were provided with comfortable transport routes and bike lanes. Speakers from London, Vienna, Berlin, Łódź and Poznań appealed for considering adjusting public space for the needs of children, senior citizens and local communities instead of amenities for cars. They emphasized that it is important to look at the city from the perspective of a child and to adjust streets to the needs of all users, especially for school children (for example by temporary traffic restrictions in school areas) and for citizens who want to spend time together and safely (for example by creating woonerfs or playstreets during weekends). An important point of focus on the first day was also safety of citizens in the time of pandemics. Speakers from France and the Netherlands presents means of crowd monitoring in cities using modern technologies and presented solutions allowing keeping social distance and safety (for example by creating movement corridors for pedestrians, creating new bicycle paths, decreasing space for car traffic). Using new technologies (for example air quality monitoring) and collected data (for example about car traffic and car accidents) in city space management which provide safety for all its users was brought up by speakers from Germany and Poland.
The topic of the second day were skills of the 21st century. Speakers from Estonia and Finland presented how the education systems in their countries are organized and what makes them successful in international rankings. The key rules of effective education are great autonomy of teachers and schools in choosing teaching methods, diversity in ways of teaching and adequate proportions between theoretical and practical teaching. An important factor favourable for learning is also possibility to use modern technologies as well as social trust in teachers and introduced changes. Speeches about education of youngest generations and skills necessary in the 21st century were delivered by experts from Great Britain and Poland. They emphasized the need to base teaching on interactions with other people and teaching children openness, communicativeness, adjusting to changing world, resourcefulness, time and work management as well as critical and creative thinking. What they consider essential are also digital skills and education about climate which allows people understand climate phenomena and human influence on them. Those skills were considered conducive to building friendly, kind, open and intelligent cities which allow citizens participate in many processes owing to modern technologies according to speakers from Sweden, Czech Republic and Poland.
4th City Development Forum was organised by the City of Poznań, Wielkopolska Investment Support Center Ltd WCWI, Poznań International Fair and Association of Polish Cities. City Development Forum is an international platform for exchanging experience and good practices regarding city development planning and is an opportunity to new trends and tools supporting this development in many aspects. There were almost half a thousand participants of this year’s speeches and debates online. We are planning the next – fifth – edition of the Forum.