EU’s WORLD CITIES PROJECT PAIRS Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay, Cape Town and eThekwini WITH FOUR TOP EUROPEAN CITIES
TO SHARE BEST PRACTICES IN SUSTAINABLE URBANISATION
Tshwane 03 April 2017: Four South African cities – Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay, Cape Town and eThekwini – are being paired with four European cities – Bilbao (Spain), Belfast (UK) – Graz (Austria) and Málaga (Spain) – under the new World Cities project. This European Union (EU) initiative – supported by the European Parliament – promotes long-term working relations between cities of the EU and cities in other countries, such as the Republic of South Africa, with whom we share a strategic partnership.
The overall aim of the project is to promote better urban policy and thereby improve the quality of life in participating cities. The cooperation agenda with the Republic of South Africa will require the identification of pilot regions and cities and the development of concrete actions for implementation. This covers, for example, urban innovation (the smart city) and green technologies (energy efficiency, low carbon development). Actions are designed to increase so-called ‘triple-helix cooperation’ between governments, research and business. World Cities will also create opportunities for business and new jobs while pursuing the sustainable development of the cities involved.
The initiative was launched at the Launch Meeting held in Ekurhuleni today in the presence of Mr Roland Hunter, Head of the Economic Development Department of the Cities Support Programme (CSP) of the National Treasury, 20 European city delegates and senior officials of the involved South African cities. The EU was represented by Dr Marcus Cornaro, EU Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa and Dr Ronald Hall, Principal Advisor, EU Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy, Brussels.
Overview of pilot projects
Cape Town – Bilbao
- Development of public-public & public-private partnerships: Sharing of experiences on cooperation between public sector and public/private sector in both cities. Bilbao presented on a number of entities interesting for Cape Town: Bilbao Ría 2000, a non-profit entity aimed at transforming the metropolitan area of Bilbao; Bilbao Metropoli 30, a public-private partnership recognized as a Public Utility Entity, responsible for fostering public-private collaboration to mainly revitalize infrastructural projects.
- Development mechanisms: Sharing of experiences on different development mechanisms used for urban transformation, including recovery of old industrial spaces, contracts & procurement, mobility & transport, improvement of townships and disadvantaged neighborhoods and environmental challenges.
- Smart City: Exchange of smart city strategy, including ICT solutions & best practices. Specifically targeted are the Economic Areas Management Programme (Big data system), transparency and open data platforms, platforms for smart cities services and cooperation between universities and research centers.
Ekurhuleni – Graz
- Green Tech Cluster: The Green Tech Valley, located in Styria, is a global hot spot for innovative energy and environmental technologies. It supports the Graz in various smart city projects and initiatives. Graz has offered to assist the City of Ekurhuleni in various emerging city planning projects
- Regional Management: Development of instruments and measurement tools for a joint regional management system, focusing on the creation of employment opportunities, mobility and inter-communal collaboration in Ekurhuleni.
- Municipal Spatial Development: Collaboration regarding the establishment of “ECOPROFIT”, a comprehensive environmental management system that promotes environmental management and business development. It is aimed at analyzing and optimizing companies regarding their environmental foot print.
Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) – Malaga
- Smart cities: Capacity building for NMB to be provided by the Andalucía Smart Cities Cluster focusing on ICT solutions.
- Triple helix: Cooperation with the universities in NMB (Metropolitan or Port Elizabeth) in order to link them with Málaga’s universities.
- Internet of Things (IoT): early warning systems for floods and fires – exchange of experience with Málaga.
- Water management: learning from Málaga’s experience on water saving technologies, for example from the start-up SOSTECO (http://www.sosteco.es/), whose manager was part of the delegation.
- Urban renewal: waterfront development project in NMB: interest in learning from Málaga’s transformation from a semi-industrial port area to an attractive place for people to meet and spend quality leisure time.
- Industrial Development: Nelson Mandela Bay hosts the Coega Industrial Development Zone on the outskirts of the city, including the deep-water Port of Ngqura, Nelson Mandela Bays’ second port. Coega is the biggest industrial development zone in Africa with investments of over US$ 4bn. Malaga is keen to learn from this successful initiative.
eThekwini (Durban) – Belfast
- Green Cluster: Collaboration on Hamersdale Waste Beneficiation Centre to enhance the use of green technologies. The Hamersdale Waste Beneficiation is the first material recycling facility in Africa, a significant project that can be replicated throughout Africa with major socio-economic outcomes