More than €4 million are being allocated by the port to prevent bankruptcies and maintain existing jobs. 200 companies established in the port area are concerned. The proposed measures will support the economic activities, tourism and maritime and inter-island transport services.
➜ Port of Papeete
The subsidy from the French State will pave the way for the project to move forward into the operational phase. The project brings together local communities, the port, private stakeholders, educational and research institutes. It aims to transform the local area over the next ten years, using innovative solutions in the fields of mobility, energy, smart data, the ecological transition, relations with the public, education and training, and general attractiveness.
➜ Le Havre Smart Port City (+ video) ; Actualités
Sidewalk Labs, the subsidiary set up by Google to develop this Quayside project in Toronto, explained its decision by citing the uncertain economic climate and the difficulties in making the project financially viable. The announcement pre-empts a decision from Waterfront Toronto on the future of the project, for which Sidewalk tabled a new proposal in June 2019, notably expanding the area covered by the plans from 5 to 77 hectares. But the project, launched in 2017, quickly attracted controversy as we reported last July. Presented as a laboratory for an exemplary smart city, it raised fears about the use of the private data collected by the numerous sensors that were to be installed. The later proposal, made in June 2019, failed to clear up the issue. Nonetheless, the question of how smart cities can be developed in tandem with the citizens remains an interesting round-table topic for AIVP…
➜ Sidewalk project ; Sidewalk Blog ; La presse canadienne ; L’Usine Digitale ; Canadian Architect
The circular economy concept has gradually established itself. Could its ideas provide the inspiration for a “circular governance” approach to the re-use of urban cultural? That is the question being pondered by 16 cities of the European ICLEI network. The synthesis report on this project is now available. It identifies and illustrates how a new approach is possible, for re-using, funding and maintaining cultural heritage sustainably.
➜ Iclei ; Synthesis Report
Sharing and exchanging practical experience: this platform created by the Metropolis network brings together a number of initiatives of this kind, adopted by various international networks and organisations, including those we brought to your attention in our previous newsletters. Meanwhile, the UIA – International Union of Architects has launched an information hub that not only highlights the impact of the pandemic and measures to mitigate them, but also looks at the its implications for future city planning. The approach is similar to the online forum “Et demain on fait quoi?” (“What will we do in the future?”), which is being expanded and now includes around sixty contributions from planners, architects, sociologists, and others. The current crisis is focusing minds on issues that were already present, but it could provide an opportunity to renew them or explore new avenues, whether in terms of the economy and the balance between North and South, as highlighted by the IIED – International Institute for Environment and Development- , in terms of inequalities, or of course the choices possible for moving towards a fairer, more sustainable world, as hoped by Gaetan Siew (UN Habitat Special Envoy), Zaheer Allam and Carlos Moreno…
Amidst the wave of negative news caused by the COVID-19, some positive ones can bring hope. Before the beginning of the quarantine in Spain, in mid-march, the port authority of Ceuta and the Red Cross signed an agreement allowing this humanitarian institution to use port facilities for the next 10 years. The Red Cross will focus on prevention, surveillance and care in risky situations, as well as rescue, first aid and maritime assistance.
➜ Puerto de Ceuta
AIMF, the International Association of Francophone Mayors, continues to add to its online platform with new initiatives and solutions that could be adopted not just by the organisation’s members, but across the world more generally. Other networks, like IAGF (Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers), are sharing their assessments of the situation for certain countries (Africa, Argentina, etc.) and the challenge posed by climate change in the post-Covid world. UN-Habitat has also unveiled its city resilience action planning programme, which covers 64 countries and draws on practical experience to aid national and local governments, especially the most vulnerable. The action plan mirrors the appeal launched by the World Urban Forum, with its emphasis on cooperation and sharing experience and solutions.
Sharing, partnerships, experience pooling are also keywords for initiatives looking ahead to the post-Covid world and the future of our cities, as with the forum “What will we do tomorrow?” or the appeal for contributions launched by PUCA, an urban planning, construction and architecture body that is part of the French Ministries of Ecology and Territorial Cohesion.
These keywords are naturally hugely important to AIVP also, having always been part of our organisation’s DNA and our raison d’être for the members of our international network!
Initiatives to share practical experiences and measures that have proved successful in tackling the Covid-19 crisis are continuing. Some take the form of webinars organised by the Global Resilient Cities Network (GRCN) and the World Bank, while others involve the use of online databases, like the one published by a research centre at New York University.
However, we are also keen to share with you some of the ideas being floated, about what the post-COVID world should look like. In the wake of the current pandemic, we will need to re-think and reshape our cities, as living metropolises designed around relations and local services and communities, as argued by Carlos Moreno, a member of AIVP’s network of experts. The ICLEI believes nature will need to regain its place in our urban environments, while others are calling for more resilient cities. Will the crisis have a positive impact on our economic, social, environmental and public health policies, as this panel of experts called for during their debate? While experience from previous crises leaves some sceptical, it may be the case that some far-reaching changes were already in motion even before the current crisis began…