Montevideo events highlight ICTs crucial for urban sustainability

The innovative use of ICTs to help build more livable and sustainable cities has been highlighted during a series of events in Montevideo this week. The events focused on Smart Sustainable Cities (SSCs) and the role of policies and standards to promote them. Participants also highlighted the need to develop international key performance indicators (KPIs) and standards which will foster the development of SSCs.

The events brought together a number of national and international experts, government and private sector representatives, international organizations, students, and civil society organizations.

The events, which are taking place in the MERCOSUR headquarters in Montevideo from the 11th -14th March 2014, were opened by Minister Roberto Kreimerman from Uruguay’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, Ms. Susana Vidal, UNESCO Montevideo, Regional Office for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr. Ahmed Zeddam, ITU-T Study Group 5 “Environment and Climate Change”, Chairman, Mr Armando Irineo Castaingdebat, President of Uruguay’s Congress of Mayors and Sergio Scarabino, Head of ITU Area Office in Santiago.

Minister Kreimerman highlighted the importance of SSCs to his country, saying that Uruguay has a strong agenda connecting ICTs with energy, environment and business development. The concept of SSCs, underlined the Minister, is totally coherent with this strategy.

ITU’s Sergio Scarabino provided some examples of how ITU is assisting countries to shape SSCs in Latin America. Cristina Bueti, also from ITU presented a working definition: “A smart sustainable city uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) to provide enhanced quality of life to its citizens, improved efficiency of services and sustainable development. Such a city meets the needs of today without sacrificing the needs of future generations with respect to economic, social and environmental aspects”. Bueti invited experts to send comments to ITU no later than 30 April 2014.

Carolina Cosse, Antel´s CEO, offered a comprehensive overview on Uruguay´s strengths and opportunities towards fostering Smart Sustainable Cities, particularly in Montevideo.

The importance of education in supporting the changes needed in society for the advancement of such cities was also highlighted alongside issues such as environmental challenges of e-waste, the role of policies and standards for effective e-waste management, building sustainable businesses and strategies through e-waste management: turning an e-challenge into an e-opportunity.

For more information about the events and for a copy of the full programme and presentations see: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/Workshops-and-Seminars/Pages/URY-2014.aspx

UNESCO Press Release

Photos of event

 

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