The EU-Canada Urban Policy Cooperation

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As the calendar gives way to September, delegations representing four cities each from Europe (Almada, Portugal; Hannover, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; and Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain) and Canada (Edmonton, Saanich, Ottawa, and Halifax) are counting down the seven weeks that remain until the Second Working Meeting of the EU-Canada Urban Policy Cooperation, which will take place between 19 October – 23 October. The Second Working Meeting looks to continue the productive interactions of the Canada-based First Working Meeting in July, which laid the foundation for a successful Cooperation.

The Second Working Meeting will follow a similar format to the First Working Meeting: all eight delegations – five person working groups made up of a combination of municipal staff and local stakeholders – will come together for two days of internal discussions and presentations from leading sustainability experts. Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain has been selected as the host city for these two days, and the 2012 European Green Capital is excited to welcome its fellow delegations to the Basque Country. Following these two days, the four city-pairings (Edmonton/Vitoria-Gasteiz; Ottawa/Hannover; Halifax/Tallinn; and Saanich/Almada) will proceed to the respective European city for a three-day field visit. These visits will include technical presentations, policy discussion, site visits, and – if the Canadian field visits are to serve as indication – a good amount of entertainment!

At the close of the First Working Meeting, each city-pairing identified action items: issues within the three thematic areas of the Cooperation which both delegations believe worthy of further exploration. For example, Saanich and Almada are committed to pursuing further knowledge sharing in regard to enhancing resilience through effective, long-term coastal management, while Vitoria-Gasteiz  is preparing a presentation on its achievements with retrofitting programs at the request of the delegation from Edmonton. Each city pairing, with the help of their assigned ICLEI liaisons, are using the interim period to develop their approach and contribution to each action item, and early indications show that the Second Working Meeting is when the legacies of the EU-Canada Urban Policy Cooperation will start to emerge.

For further information on the EU-Canada Urban Policy Cooperation, or the overarching World-Cities Project, please contact an ICLEI Team Member at eu-cities@iclei.org

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