Leading Cities Summit: Day 1 Dublin

The World Class Cities Partnership is re-branding.  Hurrah!  We are now “Leading Cities” — and now we need a tag-line.

But more importantly, we just met in Dublin for 3 days.  There were representatives from the following Cities (from universities and from the Cities themselves — often Deputy Mayors or Councillors).  The cities represented this year were:  Boston, Vancouver, Dublin, Lyon, Barcelona, Lisbon, Hamburg and Zapopan (close to Guadalajara Mexico).

I arrived on Tuesday June 25 into Dublin and immediately had a meeting with three “creatives” who had been and are still involved in Creative Dublin.  There is certainly a theme of “creativity” in most of the Dublin activities that we experienced over the 3 days of the Summit.  I’ll do a separate post on my meeting with Clodagh, Mitchell & Karan.

DAY 1:  Catching Up with our Colleagues:  Reporting on the Co-Creation Research Project

Day 1 we met at the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and received a briefing on the activities of the Chamber and about the Dublin Region.  Our colleague Jamie Cubbon is actually on secondment from the City of Dublin to the Chamber for a project called “Activate Dublin”.  The first day of the Summit is generally a reporting in from the Cities on their activities — especially in regard to the research topic of the year:  Co-Creating Urban Sustainability.  Here are some very short summaries about a few of the cities.

BARCELONA: Carles Agusti, Councillor, City of Barcelona and Joaquin Rodriguez Alvarez, Researcher at the Center of Risk Governance, Autonomous University of Barcelona.  Barcelona is really into citizen engagement.  Carles is a Councillor responsible for all thing engaging.  For example, citizens can put ideas here:  http://lacasadelesidees.cat/?current_locale=en   Carles also directed us to the site for the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD).  IOPD is “a space open to all cities in the world and all associations, organizations and research centres interested in learning about, exchanging impressions and applying experiences of participatory democracy on a local scale with the aim of deepening the roots of democracy in municipal government.” from their web-site.  http://www.oidp.net/en/about-iodp/about-us/

BOSTON: Dan Spiess, Research Director for Leading Cities and Frank Pryor, Chief of Staff for Boston City Councillor Tito Jackson, lead us through the amazing activities that are happening in Boston.  The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is an important initiative.  http://www.newurbanmechanics.org/boston/  This office pilots experiments that offer the potential to improve radically the quality of City services focusing on: Participatory Urbanism, Clicks & Bricks, and Education. Their street bump ap is one example — you have your phone on, you drive over a pot-hole and the ap automatically reports location of pot-hole and even lets you know when it has been fixed.

LISBON:  Paulo Carvalho, Director for Economy & Innovation, Lisbon City Council.  Lisbon is really a city to watch.  A “start-up” city!  One of the most interesting programs is “Participatory Budgeting” which started in 2010.  The PB process of Lisbon starts its first phase with citizens indicating their budgetary priorities through the city administration website (http://www.cm-lisboa.pt/op). In a second moment the municipal services analyze the technical feasibility and turn them into a concrete proposal. (from web site)  MOst interesting is that they are building their “start-up” city using the funds allocated through the PB process.  They now have a partnership among city of Lisbon, a private bank and a public agency.  It is creating an ecosystem called the Lisbon Incubators Network including Labs, Entrepreneurship Clubs and Knowledge/Innovation Maps.

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