Second edition of the International Forum "A thousand cities, millions of citizens: a vision for our future”

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Second edition of the International Forum "A thousand cities, millions of citizens: a vision for our future”


The Second edition of the International Forum " A thousand cities, millions of citizens: a vision for our future”" took place on Monday, September 4th at the Sala del Senato of Palazzo Ducale, the meeting supported by the Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro and organized by the City of Venice in cooperation with the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and Vela spa. The aim of the initiative was to establish a dialogue and stimulate discussions among mayors of the great cities in the world and to relaunch Venice's role as a bridge between East and West.
"This meeting," said Mayor Brugnaro, "wants to be a direct way to know each other, to exchange opinions and share information about the solutions and strategies that each of us is implementing in our own city. The benefits of this work, which with some of the attendees have already begun, will be seen in the next years." Mayor Brugnaro also gave the floor to the cities' representatives who attended the Forum: Principality of Monaco, Bordeaux and Strasbourg (France), Leipzig (Germany), Gent (Belgium), Corfu and Heraklion (Greece), Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina ), Pendik (Turkey), Kharkiv (Ukraine), and New York (United States). In addition to politicians and executive managers of the City of Venice, the Mayors of the 44 Municipalities of the Metropolitan City, the main city authorities and the representatives of the City’ subsidiary companies took part in the meeting. Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe also intervened.
The panel discussion was moderated by Gennaro Sangiuliano, vice director of the Tg1.
Many topics were discussed and "best practices" illustrated by the cities which highlighted positive and critical aspects. In particular, starting from the complexity characterizing many issues of urban realities, the panel discussion focused on urban safety, mobility, waste management, and residence. Many urban realities that have increased public transport and invested in non-polluting transport and parking, integrating the different modes of transport, were presented, such as Bordeaux and Strasbourg. All cities pointed out the need to manage issues connected to security, also by dealing with more difficult districts and the presence of many students, such as Gent. Greek cities have highlighted the affinities with Venice in the management of tourist flows and of a tourism-related economy. The emphasis on sustainable development and the safeguarding of environmental heritage has been set by the Principality of Monaco, while Sarajevo has not hidden the actual administrative difficulties of the city still related to postwar set of problems.
"The discussion provided many insights - concluded Mayor Brugnaro - and I would like to come to your cities and see what you are implementing. Similarly, the various technical structures at work in our cities could be involved in order to put into practice the best practices adopted. The common goal is to 'row everyone in the same direction', said Brugnaro - “despite the difficulties” - recalling the words of the colleague from New York. We need to have a clear understanding of our assets and make the best use of them, because the cost and efficiency problem is not secondary."
Inspired by the issues faced by the colleagues of the various cities, the Mayor stressed the need to better respond to citizens' needs, providing answers and giving everyone the opportunity to act within a vast and complex territory. He explained how waste is managed in Venice Old City and in the Mainland and focused on the issue of security and decorum, expressing his approval for the model used in New York and other cities. Finally, he expressed appreciation for the strategies adopted by Leipzig which has invested in cultural and university development, as well as economic and infrastructural: "That is what I would like to do for Porto Marghera - he concluded - an area to be wholly relaunched" .
September 4th, 2017


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