Ostrava hosts international Smart Cities event

8/4 2016

On 7 and 8 April 2016 Ostrava’s New City Hall hosted a conference entitled “Smart Cities: The Path to Sustainable Urban Development”, featuring delegates from the Visegrad Four (V4) grouping of Central European countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia). The conference included an expert round table discussion. The City of Ostrava issued a Joint Declaration on smart city development alongside the Moravian-Silesian Region and the Town of Třinec.

Ostrava hosts international Smart Cities event

The conference was held in the City Assembly chamber. Photograph: J. Zerzoň

Participants at the event included the Mayor of Ostrava Tomáš Macura and the Moravian-Silesian Regional President Miroslav Novák, as well as high-ranking representatives of three Czech ministries – the Ministry of Regional Development (Klára Dostálová), the Ministry of the Environment (Vladislav Smrž), and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (Jiří Koliba). The conference also featured numerous guests from the V4 partner countries.

The European Union initiative “Smart Cities and Communities” focuses on supporting cities and regions in their efforts to achieve a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. Measures include improvements in transport systems, increasing the energy efficiency of buildings, implementing energy-saving schemes and harnessing the potential of pioneering new technologies. The overall goal of the initiative is to improve the urban environment and thus contribute to citizens’ quality of life.

Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region are among the most prominent supporters of “smart” solutions in the Czech Republic, and they have played a leading role in raising awareness of this forward-thinking approach to urban development. In July 2015 Ostrava and the Region (later joined by the town of Třinec) were the first local government bodies in the country to sign a Joint Declaration with the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Industry and Trade setting out their plans to cooperate on formulating “smart city” and “smart region” concepts.

Ostrava is also one of the few Czech cities to be a member of the Covenant of Mayors – another EU-level initiative which pursues similar objectives.

Mayor Tomáš Macura explains: “Our membership of the Covenant is closely connected with our plans to become a smart city. That means approaching issues of urban development with a view to the long-term future. Without placing a heavy burden on either the environment or the city’s budget, the aim is to work with stakeholders to ensure that Ostrava offers excellent quality of life to all its citizens.”