Follower city of Essen hosted the 2nd Session of City-to-City Learning 2019 Programme

The Replicate project, co-financed by the H2020 programme contract number 691735 (SCC1 European Call for Smart Cities and Communities) celebrated the second webinar of its City to City Learning 2019 Programme last 21st of March. CampEssen, ImpactHub Ruhr and SV Gebäudeautomation GmbH (A Thelen-Gruppe company), discussed about “How dedicated Innovation Hubs Accelerate the Smart and Sustainable Transition in Essen”.

The Replicate project is working on its replication strategic activity entitled City to City Learning Programme (#City2CityLearning), led by the University of Oxford as the coordinator of the project’s replication workpackage. The programme includes 6 webinars that will take place throughout 2019, organized by the Lighthouse cities of San Sebastian, Florence and Bristol and Follower cities Essen, Lausanne and Nilufer.

Andreas Kaminsky (CampEssen), Ulrike Trenz (ImpactHub Ruhr) and Norman Sahl Poynor (ThelenGruppe) shared their perspectives on Essen’s transition towards a smarter and more sustainable city in this second session of the programme.

Kaminsky started providing an overview of the startup scene in Essen, and explained how the CampEssen project, a platform for collaboration and co-innovation, has revolved around the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the city in order to blend different cross-sectorial initiatives at a local and regional level. Trenz introduced the ImpactHub Rurh, focused on connecting communities for change through the social innovation perspective, and described how diverse entrepreneurial first steps can enrich and reinforce local sustainable development. Lastly, Thelen-Gruppe presented the new Essen51 quarter, an area of 52 hectares with open green spaces and water zones, high-quality offices and commercial spaces and several types of apartments with a special focus on new urban quarters with individually selectable recreational and health services and special mobility offers.

In conclusion, the programme conducted and co-ordinated by the University of Oxford reached an interesting milestone by suggesting this policy question: Could we understand the smart strategy without a sustainable transition, and viceversa, given the influence paid these days to the SDGs worldwide? The answer for the case of essen is rather straight-forward: There is a very comprehensive relationship of the European Green Capital 2017 strategic project with Essen’s goal to establish a smart city strategy from the Replication project. The entrepreneurial ecosystem through an intense interaction among stakeholders is the source of the ongoing innovation hotspots and hubs at the district level, having an extensive influence in the whole metropolitan and city-regional level. In looking at the replicability opportunities, Replicate must consequently nurture this kind of initiatives blending strategic entrepreneurship with emerging social innovation.

The third session of the programme will be led by Lighthouse city of Florence next 7th of May, and will be focusing on e-mobility, recharging systems, and platform initiatives. Click here for further information about slots and speakers.