3rd BRIDGE logo
  • Opening Ceremony
  • Session 1
  • Session 2
  • Session 3
  • Urban Issue Hub (I)
  • Urban Issue Hub (II)
  • Urban Issue Hub (III)
  • Urban Issue Hub (IV)
  • High-level Policy Dialogue Opening Ceremony

    3rd BRIDGE for Cities highlight
    From left to right Mr. Mehran Eftekhar, Mr. CAI E-Sheng, Ms. Bernadette Gierlinger, Mr. LI Yong, Mr. ZHANG Yong, Mr. Massimiliano Fedriga and Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo

    During the opening ceremony, distinguished dignitaries shared their vision, strategies , knowledge and experience, as well as the on-the-ground insight necessary to ensure an inclusive approach to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.


    Ms. Fujino Ayumi, Director, Office of Strategic Planning and Coordination, UNIDO

    Ms. FUJINO Ayumi was Head of the Regional Office of Thailand at UNIDO from 2006 to 2010, where she was responsible for UNIDO operations in the industrial sector. Over the next several years, she was UNIDO Representative in India and Head of the Organization’s South Asia Regional Office. In 2016, she became Director of the Strategic Planning and Coordination Office at UNIDO. Ms. Fujino started her career at UNIDO in the 1980s, holding various positions, including Associate Expert and Industrial Development Officer. While she was stationed at UNIDO Headquarters in Vienna, she implemented different projects for the development of micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises.


    LI Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), has had an extensive career as a senior economic and financial policymaker. As Vice-Minister of Finance of the People’s Republic of China and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank for a decade, LI has long been involved in setting and harmonizing fiscal, monetary and industrial policies and in supporting sound economic growth in China. Throughout his career, he has advocated financial-sector reform and prompted major financial institutions to establish corporate governance, deal with toxic assets and strengthen risk management. LI prioritizes fiscal and financial measures to promote agricultural development and small and mediumsized enterprises, both of which represent cornerstones for creating economic opportunities, reducing poverty and promoting gender equality. He played a key role in China’s cooperation with multilateral development organizations, such as the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank.... Read More

    Ms. GIERLINGER Bernadette

    Vice Minister Foreign Economic Policy and European Integration
    Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy Austria

    Ms. Bernadette Gierlinger worked for nearly two decades in tax law and finance, with positions in both private firms and public departments. From 2002 until 2005, she held the position of Deputy Director of Finance at the Federal Ministry of Finance where she coordinated tax policy, prepared government bills and oversaw the calculation of implement... Read More

    H.E. Mr. ZHANG Yong,  Vice Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission, China

    Mr. ZHANG Yong is a senior economist with a master’s degree of Economics. Mr. Zhang is Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Mr. Zhang Yong served as Deputy Secretary General and member of the Party Members’ Group of the State Council, Deputy Secretary General of the State Council and Office Director and Secretary of the Party Members’ Group of the Food Safety Committee of the State Council (minister level), Deputy Secretary General of the State Council and Commissioner and Secretary of the Party Members’ Group of the State Food and Drug Administration consecutively. In January 2015, Mr. Zhang Yong was appointed Vice Chairman (minister level) of NDRC.

    Mr. Massimiliano Fedriga, President, Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

    Born in Verona but grown up in Trieste, Mr. Fedriga holds a Master in Communications Analysis and Management. He worked several years as Head of Marketing for many SMEs in the region. In parallel, Mr. Fedriga cultivated his passion for politics. In 2003, he became “Lega Nord” party secretary for the province of Trieste. Elected for the first time as Member of Parliament in 2008, he was then re-elected both in 2013 and 2018. During his tenure as Member of Parliament he worked in the  parliamentary Committee for Labour. On April 29th 2018 he was elected President of the autonomous region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

    Mr. CAI E-Sheng serves as Chairman of the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation and has served as Executive Director of the China Society for Finance and Banking since 2014. Mr. CAI joined  the People’s Bank of China (PBC) in 1975 where he served as Assistant to the Governor from 1998 and Governor of the PBC Shanghai Branch from 2000. He ... Read More

    Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

    Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo is the Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which is mandated to enhance international cooperation in space activities to promote their use for humanity. Prior to joining UNOOSA in 2014, she was Head of the European Space Policy Observatory at Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) in Brussels. Ms. Di Pippo also served as Director of Human Spaceflight of the European Space Agency from 2008 to 2011, and Director of the Observation of the Universe at ASI from 2002 to 2008, where she started her career in 1986. She has been an Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) since 2013, and since 2016 a member of the IAA Board of Trustees. Ms. Di Pippo is also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on space technology for 2016-18. Ms. Di Pippo holds a Master’s Degree in Astrophysics and Space Physics from University “La Sapienza” in Rome, an Honoris Causa Degree in Environmental Studies from St. John University, and an Honoris Causa Degree in International Relations from John Cabot University. Ms. Di Pippo was knighted by the President of the Italian Republic in 2006. In 2008, the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 21887 “Dipippo” in honour of her contribution to space activities.

    Mr. Mehran Eftekhar, Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee for the World Trade Centers Association; Director of the World Trade Center Cyprus

    Mr. Eftekhar has been a Director and the Group Head of Corporate Services & Finance at Nest Investments Holdings Ltd. since 1995. Through his efforts, WTC Cyprus obtained certification as a Center of Excellence, and hosted the WTCA EMEA regional meeting in 2006. Mr. Eftekhar was advisor to WTCA’s Ad Hoc Governance  committee, helping bring reforms and added transparency to WTCA’s business practices. Mr. Eftekhar has been involved in real estate developments located in Doha, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Cyprus, United Kingdom and Spain.

  • Global Goals For Local Impact:

    Strengthening Policy Coordination for the Successful Implementation of Development Goals

    3rd BRIDGE - Session 1
    From left to right: Mr. M. Fedriga; Ms. M. Diara; Ms. W. Yang; Ms. K. Schneider-Roos; Mr. L. Yu

    In Session 1 the panelists, building upon their different background and experiences, explored in greater detail the first pillar underpinning the Belt and Road Initiative, that is the pillar of policy coordination, and its potential to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. More specifically, they examined policy coordination effects on inclusive and sustainable industrial development at city level and the manifold ways in which industrial development interacts with and supports urban development. In this respect, the panelists underlined the need for cooperative mechanisms and partnerships to overcome the detrimental effects of rapid urbanization in the coming decades.


    Ms. Yang Wei, Founder and Chairman of Wei Yang & Partners, United Kingdom

    Ms. Yang Wei, as a renowned urban designer and master planner with considerable wealth of experience in both new communities and urban regeneration, stressed how it is extremely important to increase understanding about how the Belt and Road Initiative relates to, and can improve quality of life at a local level, starting from urban development and innovative and sustainable urban planning.


    Ms. Katharina Schneider-Roos, CEO of Global Infrastructure Basel, Switzerland

    Ms. Schneider-Roos stressed in her intervention how sustainable infrastructure enables other goals to be achieved, at a lower cost and by enhancing the impact of other measures, such as affordable and clean energy. Therefore the Belt and Road Initiative offers a chance for infrastructure to align with the SDGs by incorporating carbon neutral standards in infrastructure development. in order to do so, it is fundamental to avoid the five key potential barriers to the uptake of sustainability standards in the infrastructure sector: lack of adequate incentives, lack of clarity between standards, complexities of regional and local laws, and a perception that it will increase cost and take time.

    Mr. Massimiliano Fedriga, President of the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

    President Fedriga stated that the Belt and Road Initiative is a fundamental step for developing and internationally integrating the territory of the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia (FVG). The initiative requires multi-level governance and it is important to engage with stakeholders on an international level to find solutions to common problems. Regions and cities can and must offer a contribution to these efforts, and this must be done in coordination with public and private institutions. Challenges will still be present, such as the coordination of local and global policies, and strengthening connectivity but UNIDO can offer an important support in laying out the correct path.

    Mr. YU Lifeng, Deputy Director General, Foreign Economic Cooperation Center, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, China

    Mr. YU Lifeng ponted out that the progress of the Green Belt and Road Initiative is closely related to sustainable development, promoting investments in clean energy and strengthening partnerships in global energy development. The main tasks are green development, ecological and environmental security, abiding by laws and scientific planning, and promoting sustainable production.Mr. YU emphasised the concept of ecological civilisation, enhanced ecological and environmental policy exchange and to maintain the basic principles of the BRI for peaceful cooperation and shared benefit.

    Ms. Mariline Diara, Director of Environment and Classifies Establishments, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal

    Ms. Diara described how Senegal's national policy document is evolving and puts more emphasis and efforts to achieve sustainable development. Senegal’s effective new governance is in the process of making a regulatory diagnosis with the support of UNIDO to put in place a framework that allows the development of the country’s economy as well as the growth of local economy. For this reason, the government must work closely with cities and their mayors, but also take into account the population, who must benefit from this industrial boom. To achieve the SDGs through measurable indicators, specific criteria must be defined. Senegal is setting up tangible targets and measurable indicators relating to renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, and stabilising greenhouse gases.

  • Financing the Future:

    Strengthening Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships to Finance Inclusive and Sustainable Urban-Industrial Development

    3rd BRIDGE - session 2
    From left to right: Mr. H Feng; Mr. S. Dörfler; Mr. M. Sorge, Ms. Q. Zheng; Mr. R. Dipiazza

    Session 2 focused on the development and impact of multi-stakeholder partnerships on financing sustainable urban and industrial development, and their role in supporting the pre-existing synergies between city development and industry, including their capacity of enhancing the promotion of small and medium-sized companies, to encourage the adoption of renewable energy technologies, and to boost technology transfer and diffusion. Strong partnerships can therefore guarantee sustainable social, environmental, and financial returns.


    Mr. Marco Sorge, Principal Investment Officer, World Bank Group - Vienna Office (IFC)

    Mr Sorge oriented the discussions on the importance for International Organizations and International Funding Agencies of assessing the number of agents involved in any project, and their respective needs for financing. UNIDO has a role to play to ensure that bankable projects attract appropriate private sector partners. By planning together, stakeholders create preconditions for development by bringing together technical know-how and financing for the best outcome for all citizens


    Ms. ZHENG Quan,  Director general, Policy and Strategy Department, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

    Ms. Zheng Quan in his intervention presented AIIB focus on financing infrastructure projects to promote sustainable eco-growth, long-term sustainability, and support for
    lower-middle income countries to maintain the quality of their assets. AIIB supports municipal governments as well, and is interested to form partnerships for high  standards for which there are three thematic priorities: sustainable infrastructure, cross-country connectivity, and private capital mobilisation. She also pointed out that infrastructure investments in cities can be broadly categorised into four areas: enhancing urban mobility, improving basic infrastructure and city resilience, promoting integrated development, and building freestanding health/education facilities. AIIB’s investments are client-driven, outcome-driven, and financial viability-driven. The long-term aspiration is to become a trusted banker in providing financing solutions for cities in Asia to achieve the AIIB objectives: green, resilient, efficient, accessible, and thriving (GREAT).

    Mr. Stefan Dörfler, CEO and Chairman of Board, Erste Bank, Austria

    Mr. Stefan Dörfler highlighted that for Erste Bank multi-stakeholder partnerships play a profound role and will do so even more in the coming years. Partnerships increase the level of cooperation among civil societies, financial institutions, governments, foundations, and businesses all around the globe and cooperation is everyday more necessary to achieve the SDGs. SMEs represent the majority of businesses around the world, account for a large amount of economic activity and play a major role in
    future development. Therefore, SDGs can only be achieved if SMEs are built up and supported from a financial perspective. This aspect relates to social inclusion, so to financially enable all levels of society to access wealth creation.

    Mr. Roberto Dipiazza, Mayor of Trieste, Italy

    Mayor Dipiazza pointed out that Trieste area is important in Italy and in Europe as well for many reasons: just as an example the pipelines starting from the port supply 5 billion tonnes of oil to neighbouring countries. Relatedly, the construction of a cruise port and railways will create good cooperation with Venice for tourism.
    Even though there are some bureaucratic hurdles in Italy, Trieste is making a spotlight in trade through their investments in the port, since it is easier to develop infrastructure in Trieste than other ports due to the physical depth of the waters. Trieste, the closest port to access Central Europe from the Suez Canal, can therefore become an important link for the BRI in Southern and Central Europe.

    Mr. HUANG Feng, Managing Director of Asia-pacific Model E-port Network Operational Center, China

    Mr. Huang Feng provided an outlook on the linkage between advanced technologies and finance market. Technology development has advanced international trade flow over the years and has changed the market dynamics. Institutions can receive more data via the use of emerging technologies, such as blockchain-based platforms that provide a new form of trust. This will help SMEs meet regulatory requirements for finance opportunities in order to expand in major markets. Trade finance will be hanged with the power of technology. A new trade ecosystem will develop beyond B2B and include smaller partnerships. Quality Traceability Systems will help trace product origin throughout the supply chain and allow financing access to the trade system with detailed information in real time, fostering cross-border trade and encouraging more finance for SMEs of the future.

  • Cities of Tomorrow:

    Technological solutions and Holistic Approaches for Sustainable Cities

    3rd Bridge - Session 3
    From left to right: Mr. J. Gao; Ms. S. Di Pippo; Ms. W. Yang; Mr. D Pamlin; Ms. F. Haidara; Mr. R. Gauss

    In Session 3 the speakers analyzed the close intertwining between technology, innovation, urban development and citizens' well-being. Application of advanced technologies to urban planning and social services will be a defining feature of urban planning in the future. By bringing together different expertise, the panellists presented concrete application of advanced technologies to improve sustainability, durability and resiliency of urban infrastructure and services.


    Mr. Dennis Pamlin,  Senior Adviser, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

    Mr. Pamlin opened the discussions pointed out how an integrated approach - which can be achieved in the wide framework of the Belt and Road Initiative - is fundamental to share the benefits deriving from a wider and more targeted application of advanced technologies.


    Ms. YANG Wei, Founder and Chairman of Wei Yang & Partners, United Kingdom

    Ms. Yang Wei focused in her intervention on how urban planning should be improved and achieved aiming to sustainability. With 70% of human population expected to be in urban areas by mid-century, cities must be developed strategically. The issues of climate change are inevitable and urban growth must be achieved in an efficient, sustainable way. Urban planning has been related to social reform of society and that is the foundation of the modern planning profession. The most important factors at the core of urban planning are health, wellbeing and happiness of the people. Urban development is not a product but a process which should fulfil what is needed under long-term maintenance, while encouraging people to adapt with changing environments. A good connection is required between plan making and place making. Things should be designed, implemented, measured, and adjusted though a preservable, integrated planning system.

    Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

    Ms. Di Pippo described how UNOOSA, through its role as capacity builder, global facilitator, and gateway to space has the responsibility and the capacity of bringing the benefits of space to humankind. There is evidence of a rapid growth of space technology, data sharing and their potential towards sustainable development. UNOOSA is bridging the space divide by not only working on the technologies, but also promoting international cooperation and integrating assets and infrastructures in order to provide the best possible services and applications on Earth.The development of the Space 2030 Agenda analyses how the UN should deal with space activities, and
    focuses on thematic priorities of climate change mitigation, disaster prevention, integrated space applications and interoperability with ground systems.

    Mr. GAO Jianjun, Deputy Secretary General, Chengdu Municipal Government, China

    Mr. Gao Jianjun focused on the holistic solutions for sustainable cities involves servicing citizens, optimizing green resources, and delivering low-carbon, green cities. These solutions must relate to the promotion of green consumption, low-carbon production, tourism, and existing cultural background by focusing on comfortable and healthy living, quality of life, managing pollution and setting up air quality monitoring systems. It will be necessary to upscale and to improve the ecology system and
    promote the high efficiency use of resources. Repairing city degradation is therefore a top priority and tomorrow’s city must rely on recycling.

    Mr. Richard Gauss, Head of department, Municipal department 24 - Health Care and Social Welfare Planning, City of Vienna, Austria

    Mr. Gauss built upon his experience as policymaker to present the way in which Vienna is managing social housing, public transport, business, water quality, waste management, and green spaces through strong policy frameworks and investments. Mr. Gauss highlighted that Vienna wants to be a forerunner among smart cities, with a key element being social participation and provision of services of general interest tailored to human needs, with the highest quality of living. Quality of life means equal opportunities and accessibility to public services without regard to gender, age, social, and ethnic origin.There is an evident correlation between cities’ quality standards and welfare system. The high competitiveness of a city allows high expenditures for welfare and legitimises political institutions. High social spending, in turn, increases the quality of a location. Health status is among the most important indicators of life satisfaction, and smart healthcare is going to become more important. This means that innovative digital and mobile devices can help not just curing but tackling health problems at the right time with an increased focus on self-monitoring.

  • Urban Issue Hub (I)

    Sustainable City: Urban Port Industrial Symbiosis

    Case City: Trieste

    3rd BRIDGE - Trieste session
    From left to right: Mr. S. Paoletti; Mr. E. Samer; Mr. G. Bernetti; Mr. S. Chiarandini; Ms. G. Catini; Mr. C. Chanduvi-Suarez

    The first Urban Issue Hub session gathered together policymakers, decision makers and representatives from private and public institutions from Trieste, Italy. With support from UNIDO Department of Environment and from the Department of Energy, the panellists presented a comprehensive outlook on the strategies aimed at sustainable urban industrial development implemented and foreseen in Trieste.  The panellists devoted particular attention to the integration of the port with regional, national and European infrastructure in the wider framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, as Trieste may become an important buckle in the maritime route of the Initiative.


    Mr. Carlos Chanduvi-Suarez,  Senior Coordinator, Climate Technology & Innovations Division, Department of Energy, UNIDO

    Mr. Chanduvi-Suarez introduced the existing symbiosis between the industries, the port and the socio-economic texture in Trieste and in the region of Friuli - Venezia Giulia at large, eliciting a discussion on the challenges that local authorities have to face when balancing the beneficial influence of industrial development and the related challenges.


    Mr. Zeno D'Agostino, President of Port System Authority of the Eastern Adriatic Sea, Trieste, Italy

    Mr. D'Agostino disclosed that through the port, Trieste has the potential to become a new gateway for the Belt and Road Initiative towards the center of Europe. He pointed how that in recent years there has been strong investment in Trieste and in its port, and the connections and traffic have consistently increased . Green sustainability is strongly supported, as well as green sociability both in the city and in the region at large.Mr. D'Agostino concluded by saying that Trieste has a competitive advantage thanks to its geographic position, inter-modal capabilities, rail links, seabed depth, and its special free zone regime status. 

    Mr. Sergio Paoletti, President, AREA Science Park, Trieste, Italy

    Mr. Paoletti introduced AREA Science Park, a national governmental agency devoted to pursue innovation per se, not being bounded to any specific scientific discipline. Mr. Paoletti underlined that the possibility of having such an institution in an university city as Trieste attracts a meaningful number of scientists and engineers, to the extent that Trieste has a special record of having a high percentage of scientists, which is 34 per 1,000 active people, whereas the average in the European Union is 8 per 1,000. In order to achieve concrete results and give back to the community, AREA Science Park and the port decided on collaboration with the idea to support the motto that says port, park, and city should develop together.

    Ms. Giulia Catini, Institutional Relations EMEA & APAC, CNH Industrial Representative Office to the European Union, Italy

    Ms. Catini introduced CNH Industrial, a large multinational company which designs, produces, and sells agricultural equipment and construction equipment, trucks, commercial vehicles, buses, and special vehicles, in addition to powertrains for industrial and marine applications. CNH Industrial is strongly devoted to sustainability, being a leader in the Dow Jones sustainability index for eight years. There are four main drivers for CNH: expanding the biofuel offer, spreading sustainable farming solutions, advancing environmental protection, and fostering people engagement. Another key point is the strong push for waste-to-energy circular economies and the reduction of CO2. CNH Industrial is therefore an important player that can collaborate with cities to make public transport sustainable.

  • Urban Issue Hub (II)

    Smart City: Smart Productivity and Trade

    Case City: Shanghai

    3rd BRIDGE - Urban Issue Hub (II)
    From left to right: Mr. J. Yu; Mr. P. Koster; Mr. B. Calzadilla-Sarmiento; Ms. J. Fan; Mr. X. Gu

    The second Urban Issue Hub session, organized by UNIDO Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation, explored how the city of Shanghai, China, mainstreamed advanced technologies such as Internet of Things, Artificial intelligence, satellite technology to support smart measures to enhance citizens' daily life. The panelists also discussed how to attract financing  at urban level for innovative start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises so to foster transition towards smart cities.


    Mr. Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Director, department of trade, Investment and Innovation, UNIDO

    Mr. Calzadilla-Sarmiento stressed how innovation and industry 4.0 technologies - such as IoT and AI - will have great effect on city planning and management  and will provide many new opportunities including job creation at urban level. 


    Mr. Gu Xianglin, Vice President, Tongji University; Vice Chairman of Shanghai Association for Science and Technology, Shanghai, China

    Mr. Gu highlighted that Smart city development has been occurring in Shanghai for many years, fostered by the city’s convenient location for global connection. The goal is to develop a more sustainable eco-city with multi-level urban systems by 2035. This kind of development involves technologies such as information sensing systems which aid in facial recognition, satellite technology for surveillance and monitoring, location awareness, and understanding weather conditions. Smart city development relies on the wired and wireless broadband network as IT infrastructure is needed by the city administration, including Internet of Things platforms that provide the storage, computing analysis and service functions for applying data and services. He stressed that Shanghai has ambitious objectives for the future, including a  masterplan for establishing the fundamental framework of a science and technology innovation centre with global influence by 2020. By 2035, Shanghai will develop into a world city of excellence, a welcoming city of innovation, humanity and sustainability with global influence

    Ms. Fan Jingyan, Executive Vice President, YITU Technology, China

    Ms. Fan stated that a smart city needs many things: smart transport, a smart life, and a smart environment. This process is not just about innovation but also about creating an environment where citizens are smart, healthy and happy. A smart city requires IT and advanced technology so people can make more rational choices while municipalities can use advanced technology to make informed decisions for improving the quality of life of the people in that city. There has been much research in this area and Artificial Intelligence can play an important role by enhancing citizens’ daily life. This is being introduced in China in the medical  community to help with diagnosis and treatment, and the financial industry to help with safety at ATMs. AI is also used in transportation and communities, reducing traffic congestion and improving parking and mobility, thereby easing areas of concern for many governments.

    Mr. Pascal Koster, Managing Director, Malo Capitals & Consulting, S.A., Luxembourg

    Mr. Koster stressed that the power of technology enables another shift in human relationships, organisations and governments. In five years, AI will be a reality and will change how we operate our cities and industries. The trends for 2030 include lab-grown meat, cities as farms, remote medical diagnostics and using AI with robots for medical surgery. 5G digitalization will be widespread, thus combining data to lead to more efficiency land productivity across all sectors, which could increase by 25% through the use of massive data. When thinking about smart cities, we are thinking about creating a digital twin of the city. It means building the right regulatory  framework in order to use the data: these are not just technical problems but concerns the creation of standards and common semantic models. This is about using IoT in an intelligent way in cities. Shanghai has begun to transform itself into a digital technology leader by starting this process over the last ten years.

    Mr. YU Jie, Founder of Ants Plan, China

    Mr. Yu stressed that smart cities should be based on smart education. Internet can change education, which in turn can help alleviate poverty. Ants Plan’s target is to give young people an online learning platform that will change education, by providing enhanced accessibility for knowledge sharing. Shanghai is an educational town, an ecosystem that has been built for young people’s living and education, and allows companies to work together and share resources for future development. There is also an element of industrial education. Industries who want to change and restructure do not just need money but talented young people: this is the core element that allows industries to change. What is important to Ants Plan is to provide to the city’s industrial sector education for talented young people who can lead future industry change.

  • Urban Issue Hub (III)

    Liveable City: Soft Environment for Urban Investments

    Case City: Vienna

    3rd BRIDGE - Urban issue III
    From left to right: Mr. A. Biach; Mr. R. Hundstorfer; Ms. T. Wehsely; Mr. W. Gong; Mr. R. Gauss

    The third Urban Issue Hub session revolved around the City of Vienna and the measures implemented there to ensure social and economic development, thus allowing Vienna to constantly rank among the most liveable cities in the world. The panelists, representing different points of view on urban development, extensively discussed which soft and hard factors contribute to cities' liveability, thus offering insights on Vienna's special context that may be replicated in other cities.


    Mr. Weixi Gong, Senior Coordinator for South-South and Triangular Industrial Cooperation, UNIDO

    Mr. Gong pointed out that Vienna is constantly among the most liveable cities in the world. This result, far from being accidental, is the result of a combination of many different factors, encompassing many aspect of citizens' life.


    Mr. Richard Gauss, Head of Department, Municipal Department 24 – Health Care and Social Welfare Planning, Austria

    Mr. Gauss stressed that soft factors, including policy and regulation, and their interconnections to sustainable urban development are generally analysed less often but they are the main focus for the Vienna case city session. To ensure economic and social development, Vienna aims to become a smart city and has developed a strategy to improve the general living quality while reducing resource usage through innovation. This depends on a strong government, which owns infrastructural services effectively managing maintenance, on the expansion of health systems, accessibility and affordability of public services for the citizens. In addition to household income, health status is one of the most important indicators of the life satisfaction for Viennese residents. Vienna is experiencing a demographic transition and rising population. This creates the need for more hospitals, more transportation capacity and further integration of the city with the surrounding area, which will require closer cooperation beyond administrative boundaries to build upon a well-functioning health system. Another important topic for Vienna is migration and its impacts on healthcare decisions, as well as an aging population. Migrants and elderly people are more likely to be vulnerable and exposed to increased health risks. Therefore Vienna will need to offer balanced and comprehensive basic medical and nursing care, construct new long-term care facilities and expand home care through mobile services.

    Mr. Rudolf Hundstorfer, President, Austrian Sports Organization, Austria

    Mr. Hundstorfer focused on the role that sports play in Viennese society, as it influences leisure time, health and learning at school. Sport must start in kindergarten and continue to be promoted, which is why many schools now implement an hour of sport per day.
    Sport is also an important way to enhance socialization on the wider urban level, bringing people together to play and volunteer. To this end, all the sport facilities
    provided in Vienna are free of charge. The city’s potential depends upon its people and their habits and this is the reason why Vienna fosters a system change, promoting new ideas and cooperation between stakeholders.

    Ms. Tanja Wehsely, Member of Vienna City Council and Vienna State Parliament, Austria

    Ms. Wehsely focused on innovation and digitization, which are the backbone for developing new ideas, co-production and people participation. The City of Vienna is attempting to get its citizens involved, exploiting digital innovations. For example, Vienna offers an easy mobile app that helps people get in contact with the local government. One of Vienna’s successes is social partnership. Admittedly Vienna’s taxes are slightly higher than European average but the services Vienna offers its society are provided for free. The smart city thinking in Vienna integrates digitization with policy making; it is not just about technology, but always about putting the citizens first and thinking about social inclusion, justice and equality. Without this approach, a city would not be liveable. Elements such as social housing, free of charge kindergarten and University are important to Vienna. Vienna is the biggest German speaking University city and invests a lot in science programmes and the labour market to help people improve and to foster a low unemployment rate. Investing in the people and integrated policy are all things required to offer good services, and what makes a city like Vienna. A clear goal and clear policies really make a difference and therefore keeping on track with a shared goal is important in times of changing administrations.

    Mr. Alexander Biach, Deputy Director, Vienna Economic Chamber

    Mr. Biach stressed the importance of social dialogue to achieve social and economic development. One of the successes of Vienna is stability, which comes from  dialogue. Dialogue has been going on for decades between representatives of labour and of business, and Vienna continuously works on enlarging this dialogue to improve the municipal services, listening to the needs of its people. There are environmental advantages in Vienna: a green and secure city. Vienna is a relatively young city with a strong student population. Vienna offers a secure environment for business with a highly qualified labour force, offering vocational trainings in highly qualified sectors. Foreign businesses which come in Vienna are thoroughly supported and they find an agile bureaucratic system. Business follows infrastructure, roads, and rails and therefore dialogue should also surround this idea, and lead to ways of connecting Vienna to the rest of the world through more railway connections, to attract business and high quality tourism. In conclusion, no matter where you come from, no matter who you represent, dialogue is the key word.

  • Urban Issue Hub (IV)

    Park City: Urban Agribusiness

    Case City: Chengdu

    3rd BRIDGE - Urban issue IV
    From left to right: Mr. B. Tjeenk Willink, Mr. J. Gao, Mr. C. Zou, Ms. L. Ansermet, Ms. E. Gladek, Mr. K. Yin

    During the fourth Urban Issue Hub session the panelists analyzed how cities in the future may further integrate sustainable urban agriculture to shorten the supply chain, reduce environmental impact and foster circular economy. In this sense, the example of the City of Chengdu and of its 'Park City' concept provided elements for debate as well as concrete examples of emerging trends for urban agribusiness.


    Ms. Lorence Ansermet, Senior Industrial Development Officer, Department of Agri-business, UNIDO

    Ms. Ansermet indicated that There has been a dramatic increase in urbanization in the last 35 years, and China has been in the forefront of this transformation. Today, there are 16 million inhabitants in Chengdu, fact that creates the need to elaborate systems to manage production, consumption, waste and energy production. China
    is investing and highlighting the need for a circular model of consumption, which includes the need for addressing the challenges of urban agriculture.

    Ms. Eva Gladek, CEO of Metabolic, Netherlands

    Ms. Gladek explored how circular cities create pathways to sustainable urban food systems and resource management, leading to green, healthy, resilient cities. Global
    renewable energy consumption has been growing exponentially, and some countries are well on their way to building a circular economy and are 40 years ahead of the forecast for the adoption of renewables. Traditionally, countries followed a linear economy of take, make, and dispose. The circular economy aims to retain the value in a product for as longas possible. Value must be captured in value chains, as estimates show that 6 billion euros of value is currently being thrown away in the linear economy. A circular economy retains materials, and focuses on health, energy, biodiversity, equity, and resilience. The key intervention areas are agriculture and cities considering they are responsible for a large percentage of the consumption of global resources and production of greenhouse gases. Cities are real leverage points, as they contribute to 60-80% of greenhouse gases while occupying only 3% of land surface. There are three strategies for this transition: tackling food waste, closing resource cycles, and integrated urban-agri design.cities are drains of resources and there are opportunities for reusing and recycling that currently are not utilised as they could be. Integration can be taken even further with symbio-culture, where the production of many different species are gathered in one production cycle and put inside a city to create more products. For example, using waste water from fish going to plants it is possible to create a closed system. Cities can go from resource drains to centres of circular production, creating value within city walls whilst becoming greener, healthier, and shortening the distance that food needs to travel.

    Mr. Gao Jianjun, Deputy Secretary General, Chengdu Municipal Government, China

    Chengdu is a key center city in China with 2,300 years of history, a city for tourism and a model inland city for investment, the closest to Europe. Chengdu created a path of ecological conservation and green development to become a liveable, green park city. There is a focus on clean energy, people, servicing residents and giving them a better life through inclusiveness, comfort, and by providing platforms for recreational activities. Chengdu is also shifting towards green public mobility and residents are incentivised to adopt green habits, like cycling, to reduce emissions. Focusing on the environment means to increase and protect green spaces and local habitats for shared benefit. Chengdu is focusing on city construction and on optimizing the urban layout by taking a holistic approach to landscaping which maintains the traditional culture and environment. In Chengdu clean energy is accounting for 58.8% of energy consumption and hosts the longest green footpath and the largest urban forest park in the world, to preserve the vegetation and the panda population. Chengdu is working for ecological restoration, and to protect drinking water and wetlands. The business dimension is focusing on upgrading industry by means of resource efficiency, environmental friendliness, and by circular production. Therefore innovation in IT and equipment manufacturing are fundamental to construct open, efficient and green industrial systems. This facilitates the integration of the digital economy and real economy to promote green development.

    Mr. Yin Ke, Deputy Inspector, Chengdu Development and Reform Commission, China

    Mr. Yin described the close relationship between the City of Chengdu and agricultural production. Chengdu is located in a mountainous region with biodiversity and a good ecological background. There are 1.5 million people working in agriculture and 530,000 hectare in cultivation, representing a large part of the economy. In recent years, green industrial and rural development has occurred with strict ecological protection measures employed for agricultural products and projects to ensure a liveable city and a healthy environment. Thanks to those measures, there are 235 days of good air quality and water bodies are improving. Agriculture production systems are being optimized through technology and innovation, which is enhancing trade quality, traceability, and a wider use of agriculture products that are pollution free for organic foods. There is still a lot to be done but there have been goals set and decisions made on how to measure and monitor progress. A new slow city example is being developed in the western suburbs of Chengdu, in Tienfu. The project will attract US$1.5 billion  investment, cover roughly 74km2 and it is designed to build a slow life culture, integrating elements of a slow city in a modern fashion, focusing on low-carbon production and environmental protection. Rural areas will be transformed into forest areas and villages. Chengdu will continue to move forward in its development projects and continue to learn from the example of other cities.

    Mr. Bon Tjeenk Willink, Protix Director Business Development, Netherlands

    Mr. Willink discussed the future trends in food consumption and production. Insects and food have a great deal of power in balance with nature. The population of the world is increasing, which increases demand for protein and meat, and in years to come, this will push resources past their limits. A third of all food is wasted but Protix believes that insects can solve both of these problems. Insects can be fed food waste and the product can be processed into high value animal protein, lipids, and fertilizers. Utilising this as animal feed can be beneficial for the animal’s health and even reduce mortality rates. Many places are facing environmental challenges due to kitchen waste which pollutes the city and the air. Governments are forcing municipalities to address this challenge in new ways through either digestion or incineration. Utilising insects in the recycling process for food is rated well in terms of sustainable waste treatment. It also uses less land, water, and power than other solutions. Insects are the most environmentally-friendly protein source on the market, even more than soy. This will fundamentally change the feed system in the food industry. We should avoid limiting policies and then leapfrog to solutions. China is the perfect country for applying these solutions at the moment because of the large dependence on protein, and also because it’s trying to face the environmental problems.