Successful outcome of the Power Follower Cities Conference
The International Conference “Giving POWER to your city”, organised by the Power consortium in Pisa on the 12th April 2019 was a huge success.
About fifty representatives of the so-called “follower city” network gathered in the city of the leaning tower from numerous different countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Hungary, and Romania) for a full day of studies on experiences and strategies for citizen involvement for the conscious management of water resources. The issue of water is going to fit into the broader issue of climate change, of topical relevance. Even if the answers must necessarily be political, to achieve real change it is essential to create awareness and stimulate participation on the part of the citizens.
The following instruments that can be used by the municipalities were presented and discussed: the Digital Social Platform, developed by the POWER project and available to all the network cities as an advanced tool to encourage interaction with citizens and increase their participation, the City Blueprint Framework, the Water Governance Analysis, and the ConCensus political mechanism.
The four project pilot cities illustrated their experiences with respect to their four specific problems: reduction of water consumption – Milton Keynes (UK); water quality – Sabadell (Catalonia, Spain); flood risk – Leicester (UK); water conservation – Jerusalem (Israel).
The afternoon debate on the objectives of the network of follower cities was very well attended, and ample space was given to sharing the different experiences of the cities and discussing the advantages and opportunities of joining the “Follower City” network, including insights from representatives of the two local land reclamation and drainage authorities (Consorzio Bonifica Basso Valdarno and ANBI Tuscany).
At the end of the day, the declaration of interest in the POWER project was signed by 14 new entities.
The project consortium includes 12 partners – 4 research institutions dealing with environmental, social and governance issues, 2 innovative SMEs, 2 European non-profit organizations and the 4 pilot cities. The POWER Project is supported, from its inception in 2015, by 50 cities belonging to the EIP Water – City Blueprint Action Group and Netwerc H2O, which many European and non-European municipalities have joined.
(the Palazzo dei Dodici in Pisa, venue of the Conference)