The curtains dropped on Business Review’s Rising Cities. Smart Future 2022 after more than 4 hours of lively debates between top business leaders, local officials, the heads of European Investment Bank and European Commission representations in Romania, and members of the civil society. Thank you to all those involved, the on-site and online audience, the speakers and partners of the event: Vastint Romania, BTDConstruct & Ambient, Brisk Group, Vodafone Romania, EY Romania, Schneider Electric, ING Romania, FEPRA, Art Safari and Think Events | Holograma 3D.. The full video recording of the event is available on the Business Review official YouTube channel.
In the first part of the day, leaders of major companies from various industries discussed the challenges and opportunities of creating a sustainable environment in modern communities.
“Smart cities are green and will require major investments. Big banks already condition their financing with ESG assessments.” Says Antoniu Panait, Managing Director at Vastint Romania.
“The buildings are only a small part of a smart city, it follows the infrastructure and everything else that makes up a city, which is why the authorities need to get involved.” Believes Lucian Enaru, Country General Manager at Schneider Electric.
“I truly believe that we are on very close to the moment when the final consumer will come to the developer with sustainability requirements.” Says Razvan Parvulescu, Business Development Coordinator at BTDConstruct & Ambient.
“The future is all about sustainability; we see examples in big cities, Paris, London; that’s what we’re moving towards. The local community is the main stakeholder in an urban development, followed by companies and institutions.” Declared Claudiu Bisnel, Managing Partner at Brisk Group.
In the second panel of the day, Lara Tassan Zanin, Head of the European Investment Bank’s Bucharest office, sat face to face with two of the most important mayors of the moment, Allen Coliban (Brasov) and Clotilde Armand (Sector 1, Bucharest), as well as top professionals and public sector specialists representing major companies.
“In the green transition of Romania, one of the most important drivers must come from municipalities. Mayors are the ones who can make the difference by promoting smart cities and factoring sustainability in their projects.” Believes Lara Tassan Zanin.
“When I became mayor, the first complaints that came to me were about heating. In Sector 1, the district heating network is not sufficient. What I did was to propose and start studies for solar heating, heat pumps fueled by photovoltaic panels.” Said Clotilde Armand.
“The smart city concept is not new. What is new is that the discussion is not only about technology anymore. It is about integration, sustainability, energy-efficiency and all these aspects.” Declared Allen Coliban.
“A smart city is a city where people are happy, they want to raise a child, care about their elders, have fun and entertainment, and pay taxes, of course.” Marius Motofei, Business Operations & Public Sector Director at Vodafone Romania.
“We can help the private sector by offering the guarantees to participate in public projects, because municipalities require these guarantees. Another type of help is financing, there are a lot of grants but they are not always covering the entire cost of projects.” Adrian Huma, Sector Head Automotive, Transportation and Logistics at ING Romania, declared during the event.
“We have been working in supporting local and national authorities to design their policies and decisions and to improve the manner in which they are delivering services. What we have seen through working with different cities around the world is that technology is not the driver of smart city transformation. The real drivers are the citizens and the needs of the community.” Said Michele Giove, Senior Manager, Government and Public Sector at EY Romania.
At the end of the second panel, Ramona Chiriac, Head of the European Commission Representation in Romania will give a keynote speech about the “New European Bauhaus,” a creative and interdisciplinary initiative that connects the European Green Deal with our living spaces and experiences, supporting cities and citizens for sustainable local initiatives.
The last part of the event was dedicated to the actions of the most passionate “City Changers” aiming for a more beautiful and sustainable urban life. The panel, moderated by Oana Vasiliu, Business Review journalist, and brought together a number of “grassroots doers” such as Ioana Ciocan (Art Safari Bucharest), Andrei Boțun (The Institute), Silvia Floares (Weekend Sessions), and Cristian Danciu (Charger.ro).
The Rising Cities. Smart Future 2022 event was organized by Business Review magazine, the leading English-language business magazine in Romania, with the support of its partners: Vastint Romania, BTDConstruct & Ambient, Brisk Group, Vodafone Romania, EY Romania, Schneider Electric, ING Romania, FEPRA, Art Safari and Think Events | Holograma 3D.