LAC week in France: Sustainable cities, intelligent cities

Senator Jean-Marc Pastor, opened the forum "Sustainable Cities: Intelligent Cities: Perspectives from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean" event held on May 28 in Paris organised by the Strategic partners EU-LAC Foundation and the Institut des Amériques with the support of other organisations.

The Foundation, represented by its president, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and its executive director, Jorge Valdez, thereby reinforcing the strategic partnership with the Institut des Ameriques, an institutions with a long history of support for the pursuit of policies and measures that could improve life in the cities, make them cleaner and more inclusive for all their citizens.

Ferrero-Waldner noted in her speech that in the early XIX century, only 2% of the global population lived in cities, while in 2050 it will already reach the 70% figure, according to "World Population Prospects" UN report.

The integral development of cities, the use of new technologies in urban management and environmental challenge of sustainable urbanization, were some of the great statements addressed in the forum, attended by numerous experts in urban planning, public officials and members of university circles.

The mayors of Cuenca (Ecuador), Marcelo Cabrera; Delgado (El Salvador) Tomas Minero and Puebla (Mexico), José Antonio Gali Fayad, were examples of the challenges and achievements of Latin American cities, some of which have become or are on track to become megapolis.

And according to the UN, Latin American cities are growing at a rate of 4 percent per year. Today, three out of four Latin Americans live in urban areas with very different levels of accessibility, public services and sustainability.

"The expansion of the city puts an immense pressure on infrastructure, energy supply, social cohesion, environmental protection and biodiversity," said Ferrero-Waldner and added that in order to address these problems, constant adjustments and strong political leadership, open to the close collaboration with the private and the public sector are needed.

Assistant Secretary for Energy from Sao Paulo, Flavio Lautenschläger; a town planner in charge of research at the Institute for Research and Development of Mexico (LPED), Catherine Paquette, discussed the model for green city of tomorrow in the context of globalization, while top speakers like Claude Rochet, director of the Laboratory of economic intelligence of the French Ministries of Economy and Finances, exchanged experiences about new technologies and paradigm shifts in governance and urban management.

The forum, held at the headquarters of the Senate, was part of the activities of the week in Latin America and the Caribbean which has been promoted by the French authorities since 2011 around the country and at the highest level, to revive and deepen the relations of France with that region.