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BRIDGE for Cities 4.0: Connecting cities through the new industrial revolution

3 to 4 September 2019

Vienna International Centre

Vienna, Austria

registration Hyperlink

Organized conjointly by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC), “BRIDGE for Cities - Belt and Road Initiative: Developing Green Economies for Cities” (“BRIDGE for Cities” event) is a large-scale annual event, which aims to advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda. The event promotes the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development via the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with which it shares many similarities, in all participating countries, to encourage municipal officials and development stakeholders to scale up their engagement in inclusive and sustainable urban-industrial development initiatives.

Based on the success of the previous events, BRIDGE for Cities 4.0 will explore the role of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in fostering urban innovation in cities along the Belt and Road and beyond. The “4.0” in the title symbolizes both the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the fourth edition of the event. It will aim at providing a wide and multidisciplinary perspective on how cities can tap into advanced technologies and new industrial solutions to enhance the quality of life for their citizens by reducing cities’ carbon footprint, improving public services as well as creating new jobs and attracting skilled labor.

For more information, please contact us at: bri@unido.org

3 September

Boardroom D, 4th Floor, Building C

During the opening ceremony, distinguished dignitaries will share their vision, knowledge and expertise about the impact and benefits of the new Industrial Revolution on urban development, setting the ground for the following theme-specific sessions.

Rotunda, Ground Floor, Building C

Cities's leaders and UNIDO Director General will inaugurate the exhibition booths in a short Ceremony.

Boardroom D, 4th Floor, Building C

Organized by UNIDO Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation and UNIDO Department of Policy Research and Statistics

The session will explore how high-tech parks and start-up hubs can have a beneficial impact and can empower the urban economy.

Cultural performances will be organized during lunch break, to showcase different facets of cities' cultural heritage.

Boardroom D, 4th Floor, Building C

Organized by UNIDO Department of Environment

The session will revolve around the role of digital technologies in supporting circular, environmental-friendly, industrial development.

Boardroom D, 4th Floor, Building C

Organized by UNIDO Department of Energy

This session aims to pave the way for development stakeholders to address urban mobility challenges through urban-industrial solutions enabled by smart technologies.

The first day of the event will be closed by an informal gathering at the VIC restaurant.

* By invitation only

4 September

The City Leaders and Ambassador Breakfast is an occasion for ambassadors, representatives from the permanent missions and from the participating cities to interact and share information about their projects and activities in an informal setting.

Co-organized with AIG and the Wood Group, the roundtable aims at discussing how to embed the element of resiliency in Belt and Road-related projects, especially at urban level.

* By invitation only

The round-table will be an occasion for participating Mayors to discuss concrete challenges that their cities are facing daily as well as a platform for exchnge of knowledge, experience and for building new partnerships.

* By invitation only

Cultural performances will be organized during lunch break, to showcase different facets of cities' cultural heritage.

Boardroom D, 4th Floor, Building C

Case region: Metropolis GZM (Silesian region), Poland 

Boardroom D, 4th Floor, Building C

Case cities: TBD

The Closing Ceremony will conclude the two-day event.

Confirmed Speakers as of 10 June

  1. Mr. Cai E-Sheng

    Cai E-Sheng

    Chairman - Finance Center for South-South Cooperation

    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 then acted as Chairman of the Supervisory Board for the China Everbright Group and the Citic Group Corporation beginning in 2001. From 2005 to 2013, he worked as Vice Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. He was elected a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in 2013. Mr. Cai holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Shanxi University of Finance and Economics in China.

  2. Mr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa - Opening Ceremony

    Mr. Alkhalifa

    Director General

    The OPEC Fund for International Development

    Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, a Saudi Arabian national, was elected Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of OFID - the OPEC Fund for International Development - at the institution’s June 2018 Ministerial Council meeting. Dr Alkhalifa officially assumed his post on November 1, 2018.

    Prior to his appointment at OFID, Dr Alkhalifa was Deputy Secretary General of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund from 2014 to 2018 and advisor to the Secretary General from 2010 to 2014. He has also held a number of leadership positions at the World Bank Group and served the government of Saudi Arabia in various capacities.

    Dr Alkhalifa holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Miami, Florida, and a Master’s in Applied Economics from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

  3. Mr. Michael Ludwig - Opening ceremony

    Mr. Ludwig

    Mayor of Vienna

    Mayor Ludwig graduated in political science and history at University of Vienna and obtained his PhD in 1992. He started his political career in 1994 as Member of the District Council of Vienna 21st district, to then become Member of the Austrian Federal Council from 1996 to 1999. 

    From 1999 onwards he held various positions in Member of the Vienna Provincial Parliament and Vienna City Council, being appointed in 2007 as Executive City Councillor for Housing, Housing Construction and Urban Renewal and later as Deputy Mayor and Deputy Governor.

    Since May 2018 Mr. Ludwig is. Mayor and Governor of Vienna.

    * Tentatively confirmed

  4. Mr. Tomas Diez - Plenary Session 2

    Mr. Tomas Diez

    Director - Fab Lab Barcelona

    Tomas is a Venezuelan Urbanist specialized in Digital Fabrication and its implications for the future of cities. He is the director of Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, the Fab Academy global coordinator and the European project manager of the Fab Foundation. He is a tutor at the Royal College of Arts in London; Co-founder of the Smart Citizen project and StudioP52. He holds a bachelor degree in Urban planning and Sociology from the University Simon Bolivar (Caracas – Venezuela), a Diploma in Social Work at the University of Havana (Cuba), a Master in Advanced Architecture by IAAC.

    Tomas has been appointed by The Guardian and Nesta as one of the top 10 digital social innovators to watch in 2013 and has been awarded the Catalan ICT association as the entrepreneur of the year in 2014-15. His research interests relate to the use of digital fabrication tools to transform the reality, and how the use of new technologies can change the way people consume, produce and relate to each other in cities.

  5. Mr. Klaus Heidinger - Plenary Session 2

    Mr. Heidinger

    Global Head - City IT Solutions

    Klaus is the head of City IT Solutions at the Global Center of Competence Cities of Siemens.

    Klaus’ role involves providing methodologies, system and tools such as the City Performance Tool and City Air Management System to support cities to meet their economic, social and environmental targets.

  6. Mr. Blendi Klosi - Plenary Session 3

    Mr. klosi albania

    Minister of Tourism and Environment of the Republic of Albania

    Mr. Blendi Klosi was born in Tirana , is married and a father of two. He graduated in the field of Electronic Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tirana (1988- 1993), where he was later engaged as a lecturer.  He serves as Minister of Tourism and Environment of the Republic of Albania since September 2017 after being elected Member of the Albanian Parliament, as a representative of the Berat District.

    Mr. Klosi previously served in a number of high level positions in the Albanian government, including Minister of Social Welfare and Youth,  Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports and member of the Presidency of the Socialist Party, holding the position of the Organizing Secretary of the Socialist Party.

  7. Mr. Kamel Ben Amara - Plenary Session 3

    kamel ben amara

    Mayor of Bizerte, Tunisia

    Kamel is an engineer by education and he obtained a PhD at the Engineering National School in Tunis in 1988, where he then taught for 6 years. Afterwards, he has been the head of the department of civil engineering in Qatar for 7 years. Following that experience, he worked 15 years in various positions for Qatar Petroleum, with the last position held being assistant to the director of maritime operations.

    Back in Tunisia since 2005, he participated to the general election to then become the Mayor of Bizerte in July 2018.

  8. Mr. Dirk Fransaer - Plenary Session 3

    Mr. Fransaer

    Managing Director - VITO - Flemish Institute for Technological Research

    Dirk is Managing Director of VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research, the largest research institute in Belgium in the field of sustainability and cleantech. He is author and co-author of more than 30 scientific papers published in national and international journals.

    Prior to joining VITO he worked as an assistant professor at the university of Ghent in the field of hydraulics research and at Baxter, a large US pharmaceutical company in the field of aerial and satellite remote sensing.

    Dirk is president of the board of directors of LIBOVITO (a 100 % daughter company in China, Beijing), of VITO Middle East (Qatar) and VITO Arabia (Dubai), member of the board of directors of VITO Asia (Hong Kong), also member of the board of Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, president of the Audit Committee and the Board of Programme Evaluation of the University of Antwerp, member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and Arts, and Honorary professor Engineering at KU Leuven.

  9. Mr. Roberto Dipiazza - Mayors Round Table

    Mr. Dipiazza

    Mayor of Trieste, Italy

    Roberto is an Italian entrepreneur and politician, currently serving as the Mayor of Trieste after being re-elected for the seat in 2016 for a third 5-year term as Mayor. Previously, he served as Mayor of Muggia (Trieste) from 1996 to 2001 and then he has been elected Mayor of Trieste in 2001-2011 for two five-years consecutive terms.

    Roberto began his career as a large scale retail manager before starting his own business enterprise in Trieste and before joining politics.

  10. Mr. Ivan Vuković - Mayors Round Table

    Mr. I Vukovic

    Mayor of Podgorica, Montenegro

    Mr. Vuković completed his bachelor and master studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Montenegro. During the studies, on the eve of the referendum in 2006, he was a student representative in the Movement for Independence of Montenegro. He completed his postgraduate studies in 2008 at the University of Leiden. Upon returning to Montenegro, he was employed as a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Montenegro.

    In June 2014, he defended his doctoral dissertation at the Central European University in Budapest. In November 2015, she was elected Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science. Since then, he has been engaged as a vice-dean for international relations at the same faculty. He spent one year at the George Washington University, as the first Fulbright scholar for post-doctoral studies in Montenegro. During his stay in America, he taught at the aforementioned university.

  11. Mr. Kong Vitanak - Mayors Round Table

    Mr kong vitanak

    Deputy Governor of Preah Sihanouk Province, Cambodia

    Mr. Vitanak serves as Deputy Governor of the Preah Siahanouk Province in Cambodia since 2016, after two years as Director of General Administration of the same Province. 

    Previously, Mr. Vitanak worked extensively in the private sector acquiring a comprehensive expertise on development sectors including investment, industry and handicraft, water supply agriculture and fishery, both in Cambodia and abroad.

  12. Mr. Marc Lehmann - Business Round Table

    marc lehmann

    Head of Catastrophe Management Solutions

    AIG Global Underwriting | General Insurance

    At AIG, Marc is part of the Risk Analytics & Exposure Management Leadership Team and responsible for promoting existing modelling and risk engineering services and developing new catastrophe risk management solutions for AIG’s commercial clients and prospects.

    Marc joined AIG from insurance broker Willis Towers Watson where he was a Partner and founding member of a risk consulting practice.

    Prior to Willis Marc worked as Principal Engineer and Business Development Director at ABS Consulting  managing the delivery of catastrophe risk advisory services to global clients across various industry sectors. 

    Marc is a structural/civil engineer by training with degrees from Imperial College, London and the ETH, Zurich.

  13. Ms. Jie YU - Business Round Table


    ms yu jie

    China Research Fellow

    The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House

    Ms. Yu Jie (Cherry) is research fellow at the Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House, focusing on the decision-making process of Chinese foreign policy as well as China’s economic diplomacy.She speaks and writes frequently at major media outlets and regularly briefs senior policy practitioners from the EU institutions, the UK Cabinet Office, and the Silk Road Fund in Beijing, as well as major corporates.

    Yu Jie has testified at the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, and was head of China Foresight at LSE IDEAS.

  14. Mr. Xiaochen Zhang - Business Round Table

    Mr. X. Zhang

    President - FinTech4Good

    Mr. Xiaochen Zhang brings more than 16 years of thought leadership and global experience to build impactful solutions and enable innovative ideas in North America, Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia. FinTech4Good introduces cutting edge fintech and blockchain solutions to emerging markets through incubation, acceleration and investment.

    He also serves as a founding partner of New development Ventures, on the Crowdfunding Professional Association Board of Directors and UN ESCAP Digital Economy task Force. Xiaochen advised government agencies and multinational organizations on innovative finance in positions at the World Bank, United Nations, and other international partnership platforms. 

  15. Mr. Stefan Haid - Business Round Table

    Mr. S. Haid

    Partner - Civil Economics, Energy & Infrastructure Competence Center - Roland Berger GmbH

    Stefan joined Roland Berger in 2009. He studied Business/Economics and Political Science at the Universities of Passau, and ESSEC (Paris) as well as International Relations/Economics at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

    Stefan has more than fifteen years of experience in consulting at the interface of the public and private sphere. The focus of his work is public sector modernization, the energy sector, and the facilitation of strategic infrastructure projects during their entire lifecycle. His clients comprise government institutions, international organizations, national and multi-national associations, public and private companies and NGOs. He has extensive work experience in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin/North America.

  16. Mr. Michael Girioni - Business Round Table

    Vice President - Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions

    Mike is the Global Strategic Account Manager for Wood's insurance clients. Mike leads teams of environmental consultants and technical experts across the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific Region. For the past 20 years, Mike has helped insurers and their clients manage environmental risks and control losses resulting from pollution.

    Policyholders want to resolve environmental liabilities in a timely and cost-effective manner within the policy limits, and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Insurers want to reduce environmental liabilities and satisfy their insured clients by proactively managing environmental claims. Mike and his team at Wood provide environmental solutions that connect and satisfy the goals of policyholders and insurers.

Austrian Eco-label for Green Meetings / Green Events

green certification  UNIDO aims at organising the Meeting/Event according to the criteria of the Austrian Eco-label for Green Meetings / Green Events.