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A short summary of the 5th edition of City Development Forum…

On 13-14th October 2021 we met for the fifth time during the City Development Forum. This year’s jubilee edition focused on the most interesting and most valuable city trends related with green economy and limited consumption, as well as initiatives of local communities perceived as the source of city resilience. We hosted Polish and international experts and professionals from Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, France, Spain, Finland, Israel, Australia and Slovenia.

The first day of the Forum focused on the developmental challenges of modern cities and the ways in which the crisis caused by the pandemic was handled. A debate, in which the Mayor of Poznań and the mayors of the partner cities from Germany, Finland and Israel participated, revealed the power and the role of social capital and the city authorities in handling of crisis situations and highlighted the mechanisms of institutional support for creativity and resourcefulness of residents. During the speeches given by the representatives of France, Sweden, Germany, Finland and Spain we learned about the most interesting solutions that were implemented, tested and planned in Paris, Hanover, Jyväskyla, Barcelona and Stockholm.  Those mainly focused on the concept of developing healthy, green, fair and safe public spaces that facilitate social relations and support local economy. During the debate featuring experts on international business – representatives of trade fairs in Barcelona, Brussels and Poznań – we also had the opportunity to discover the new role international trade fairs play on the current market in times of the pandemic. Their task these days is to strengthen cities with witch they are linked and to protect them from the effects of the pandemic and the possible crisis situations in the future. On the first day of the Forum the speakers also discussed planning strategies for the development of cities and the new trends and tools that facilitate that development. Moreover, the role of data and its processing in the era of digital transformation, the role of e-commerce and innovative urban logistics solutions were discussed. The concept behind the so called living labs, consolidation hubs, smart returnable packagings and intelligent unloading bays were presented among other things. The presentations pointed out to the growing role of cities’ public spaces, in which residents see the potential for work, study, participation in culture and meetings with friends and which affect their comfort and safety. The first day of the Forum concluded with a debate in which people of art, design and social studies shared their thoughts. The participants expressed their belief that the idea of development of cities needs to be separated from the myth of the economic growth – in line with the concept of the Doughnut economics, which separates both personal and urban growth from boosting of consumption.

The second day of the Forum focused on ecological as well as socio-economic challenges that modern metropolises have to face. Speakers from Australia, Great Britain and Poland talked about global problems connected with food-waste and highlighted the importance of changes that have to take place on legislative level, but most importantly on the level of our daily habits. It was concluded that raising social awareness, education on responsible approach to food, the idea of living in balance with nature, building of more resilient and fair societies, revitalisation of cities and re-thinking the urban-rural relationship are of key importance. Most of the second day of the conference was devoted to the concept of Doughnut Economics and circular economy. We heard the examples coming from Great Britain, Slovenia, Germany and Poland of how cities can fully utilise circular economy in order to eliminate negative environmental effects and to strengthen their positive actions. The importance of a sustainable and responsible approach to production and changing of the model from linear to circular, in which resources and materials are reused is the key. The second day as well finished with a debate between experts, during which they were trying to answer a question whether and to what extent the Doughnut economics can be applied on the Polish ground on the city and local government level.

The 5th City Development Forum was co-organised by the Poznań City Hall and MPT Poznań Expo, Związek Miast Polskich, Unia Metropolii Polskich and Poznańskie Centrum Superkomputerowo Sieciowe, under the patronage of: Łukasiewicz Instytut Logistyki i Magazynowania, Geopoz, Krytyka Polityczna, Magazyn Miasta, Kino Muza i Estarada Poznańska.

Soon, on the official YouTube channel of the City of Poznań you will be able watch a video footage from both days of the conference both in Polish and English, but also in sign language. We would like to thank all the interpreters for their work and effort which allowed international audience’s participation in the 5th City Development Forum. We are really pleased with this year’s turnout – each day we had an audience of over 500 people. We are grateful that our viewers asked numerous questions during the Forum. Below you can find those questions and answers that we were not able to cover during the conference. We will be updating them gradually.

We are not saying goodbye to Forum yet as there will be a screening of a movie titled “Food Fighter” that tells a story of Ronni Kahn from Oz Harvest, one of the speakers of this year’s Forum. The movie will be available for free – as part of the cooperation with Kino Muza and Estrada Poznańska – between 2nd and 17th November on the following platform: https://mojeekino.pl/pokaz/kino-muza-poznan

See you next year!

You asked…

What are the sources of funding for the museum? Admission tickets were one of them.”- question to Sélène Tonon The museum belongs to the city of Rennes and is included in public budget. Still, admissions tickets remains a source of funding since temporary exhibitions are still charged (permanent one is free).

How the cooperation with schools look like?”- question to Sélène Tonon There are many ways for schools to interact with the museum! Visits for group of all ages can be organized with a curator. There are arts projects with thematic courses, and these programs are concieved cooperatively with the teacher. Children can visit the exhibitions autonomously too. Workshops allow children learning a technic or discovering a civilization, for exemple. The museum can also visit a school to present some of its works.

Does the system generate savings in overall municipal expenses?” – question to Dganit Ben-Yacov The system does generates savings by the fact that no human intervention of opening problems tickets, and the fact that the municipality handles the calls immediately, when there is no escalation of the issue.

How much more is being spent on construction of bike paths due to increased bike traffic?” – question to the Mayor of the City of Poznań, Jacek Jaśkowiak Funds for construction of bike paths have been included in the Multiannual Financial Forecast and have stayed on a steady level of 8 million zloty. Bike paths are also constructed during other road and public transport investments.

How important is it to research commuting behaviours during the decision making process?” – question to the Mayor of the City of Poznań, Jacek Jaśkowiak Changes in commuting behaviours and the conclusions drawn from those translate directly to the quality of infrastructure that is being designed. Such infrastructure also takes rules of sustainable mobility into account. Infrastructure for pedestrians, commuting passengers and cyclists is constructed in line with specially developed standards and guidelines.

How do you gather residents’ opinions about public spaces?” – question to Pia Karlsson The City of Stockholm has an app, called ”TyckTill” (directly translated: ”Leave a comment here”). With this app, the citizens of Stockholm can send a message. If the message is about Livning Stockholm, the message will come to me. We also get statistics from the app.

How can they get involved in shaping them?” – question to Pia Karlsson Some month or weeks before stablishing a street or a square we send information to the residents in the neighbourhood, informing them about the summerstreet and also encouraging them to participate with their good ideas. The local newspaper write about Living Stockholm when we publish the streets and squares of the year, so some residents find out through media. We also use the City of Stockholms Facebook-group called ”cykla och gå i Stockholm”.

What factors did you use to design ‘green streets’?” – question to Pia Karlsson The City of Stockholm has a strategy called Grönare Stockholm (driectly translated ”Greener Stockholm”). It’s a strategy and a project working with parks, valueing parks and biodiversity.Living Stockholm listens and work together with Greener Stockholm. At our summerplaces (streets and squares and popups), we work with flowers and plants that supports biodiversity.

Can food-sharing points help prevent food waste?” – question to Ariel Modrzyk The concept of food-sharing points can help with using up certain amount of the food surplus, which would otherwise be wasted. Of course this isn’t a solution that would significantly reduce the scale of food-waste, because is not only huge, but it’s also multidimensional –determined by various factors. Therefore, food-sharing points are just one of many potential solutions. The efficiency of the food-sharing concept should not only be promoted and utilised on a broader scale, but there should also be a significant shift in social awareness. The last element seems to be the most difficult to implement, though. The main problem here is that people are suspicious of food of unknown source and absence of expiry dates on some of the products left in food-sharing places.

Are there any reports for example in Poland, which would show how much food was saved due to the legislation against food waste?” – question to Ariel Modrzyk We are not aware of any of such reports. There are studies, which attempt to measure the scale of food waste in Poland and to assess the attitudes towards food waste. It’s worth remembering that private businesses that sell food, run detailed records of their own losses – including the record of food that wasn’t sold. Usually such data is used for internal purposes only. Some retailers such as Tesco supermarket chain promote their own brand by providing statistics of the food waste prevention. However, it is difficult to tell how reliable such data is.

What materials will be used for buildings and streets? Will you choose the low carbon footprint materials (Life Cycle Assessment)? Will it be a zero carbon district? – question to Sabine de Buhr Since we are still in the early stages of development, the exact materials that will be used for buildings and streets are not yet set. However, our aim is to increase the use of eco-friendly and recyclable materials as much as possible. It is also of great importance to us, that the materials are regionally produced, and thus have only a short way for transportation. For the buildings, the investors must present a concept in which they define the materials that they will use for construction. Each concept will be rated especially with ecological criteria in mind. Thus, a life cycle assessment of the building, from construction, use and deconstruction is very important, in order to meet the highest ecological criteria. Despite all the efforts we want to take, however, Oberbillwerder will most probably not be a zero-carbon district in terms of buildings. The energy concept, on the other hand, will be carbon neutral and will only use 100% renewable energies.

What kind of ownership of flats will it be? Public? Private? – question to Sabine de Buhr It will be a mixture between public and private ownership. Hamburg is using the so called “third mix”, what means that you have one third of public rental housing, one third of private rental housing and one third of homeowner ship.

How will residents be selected for the ditrict? Will there be a call for applications? What will be the factors for selection? – question to Sabine de Buhr Everybody is welcome in Oberbillwerder. Nobody will be selected. Only the public housing is intended for people with low income.

Is the land owned by the city or is it privately owned? – question to Sabine de Buhr The land is owned by the city.

The topic of calculating/planning the number of parking spaces. What guidelines did you follow? – question to Sabine de Buhr The number of parking space is 0,4/appartment. The reduced number of parking space is related to a mobility concept which focusses on public transport. Oberbillwerder is located next to a public train line, it is also connected to bus, it has a lot of shared mobility opportunities, is has comfordable bikelines and a lot space for pedestrian.

More questions soon!