Scottish Cities Alliance Participating in EU World Cities Programme 2017

The Scottish Cities Alliance is delighted to be participating in the EU World Cities Programme 2017. This European Union (EU) initiative – supported by  DG Regio (European Commision)  – promotes long-term working relations between cities of the EU and cities in other countries. The Alliance will work closely with four cities in the Republic of Korea - Suwon, Seoul, Gwangju and Busan - as well as Barcelona, Eindhoven and Tampere on collaborative activity over the course of the next year aimed at furthering our mutual ambitions in relation to our Smart, Low Carbon and Hydrogen activity.

The Scottish Cities Alliance delegation discussing opportunities for future working with Tae Young Yeom, Mayor of Suwon

The kick off meeting of the participating cities took place in Korea in March and provided an environment where all cities could share their learning and experience across a wide range of urban issues, identify synergies between existing activity and opportunities to learn from best practice elsewhere as well as develop some initial thoughts on collaborative projects the cities might pursue over the course of the next year. The Alliance was also able to attend a number of site visits to learn first hand about the issues and solutions being developed by the Korean cities. Visits included Incheon Songdu Smart - a newly designed Smart City on reclaimed marsh land in; Bukchon IoT project - a trial area to resolve various complex urban problems in Seoul; Suwon's Safety Convergence Centre which uses advanced IT infrastructure and data to drive urban management, comepetitiveness and quality of life; and the transformation of the Haenggung-dong district in Suwon into an EcoMobility village as part of the EcoMobility World Festival.

World Cities delegates

World Cities 2017 Partners Seoul, Suwon, Gwangju, Busan, Barcelona, Tampere, Eindhoven and the Scottish Cities Alliance with Ronnie Hall, Director International Relations for DG Regio

Having established strong foundations and relationships for future working the Alliance partners will now seek to capitalise the opportunities its participation in World Cities 2017 will bring in terms of advancing their own aims and ambitions both with the Korean cities as well as with the European partners. Initial thoughts are that the programme offers great opportunities to build strong relationships with industry in relation to our Hydrogen activity inclusing Doosan Fuel Cell in Busan and Kia in Gwangju; explore opportunities to build upon the open data work taking place as part of the "Scotland's 8th City - the Smart City" ERDF Programme including for example the creation of open data value chains as well as ways to build in Innovation in procurement.

Watch this space for more information on the Alliance's participation in this programme.

For more information on the programme please click here

Iain McCreaddie - Scottish Cities Alliance