“Ecologically and socially responsible and innovative cities” was the name of the first workshop, starting the series, which is planned as the activity of the project “Cities in expanded European space: Joint development of capacities of public institutions via Slovak-Ukrainian cross-border cooperation and increasing of integrity of public issues (CEEA)”, which happened online on June 23, 2021 and welcomed invited guests from Kiev, Czech republic, Germany and Norway.
The goal of the workshop was to screen current situation in following cities: Košice, Uzhhorod, Kharkov and Kirkenes, introduction of their social and green policies, as well applied successful examples of good practice, which can be the inspiration for other cities and municipalities.
Second part of the workshop, which was scheduled for the afternoon, was focused on panel discussion, when different experts expressed their opinions regarding green and social transformations of cities, their sustainability and identification of barriers for implementation of social and green business, as well other questions associated with European Green agreement.
Pendant the workshop we can listen to very interesting and inspiring talks. On the beginning was giving a speech Mr. Marek Šafin, ambassador of Slovak republic in Ukraine, who emphasized the importance of mutual cross-border cooperation and generating of common partnerships. He spoke about active support of embassy provided to particular cities.
Elsa Duriex, senior officer from International board for local environmental initiatives – ICLEI EUROPE, who supports via her professional practice cities in their transition to more ecological and fairer economic model and she provides practical solutions of issues in the area of sustainability to public authorities, was focused in her presentation on the importance of city leadership within local green and social agreements.
Eduard Buraš, the director of company FEMAN and representative of city Košice for development of cross-border cooperation Košice-Uzhhorod and Transcarpathian region of Ukraine, spoke about his long-term experiences and his personal view on social and green cities in Ukraine.
Rune Gjertin Rafaelsen, former and long-term mayor of municipality Sør-Varanger, on the north of Norway, in his talk described mutual cooperation of cities Kirkenes and Russian city Murmarnsk, growing interest in using electrical vehicles in Norway or searching of new green solutions for city Kirkenes.
Workshop confirmed, that open discussion between involved subjects is very important and needed. For this project, it is also the base for elaboration of precise action plans heading towards building of sustainable cities. Most important is to commonly search for new solutions and possibilities of implementations of principles of social and circular economy, which will reflect in everyday life of particular cities.
The program of the workshop as well the presentations of partner cities – Košice, Kharkov and Uzhhorod, which were presented, as well other presentations of the speakers are on the project page.