Monday, 11 April 2016 13:41

Smart cities and blue development

Smart blue cities Smart blue cities

The First Euro-Mediterranean Conference for Smart Urban Development and Blue Growth Opportunities for Cities, Communities and Islands in the Mediterranean, will take place at Limassol’s Trakasol Cultural Centre from April 14 to 16.

The conference aims to create a platform for interaction and exchange of knowledge on urban development issues to achieve smart and ‘blue growth’ – a long-term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. Key actors include citizens and policy makers, the scientific community and industry and local stakeholders.

In total there will be 25 speakers and seven thematic sessions. Scientists and academics from universities and research centres in Europe, the US and the Middle East will be presenting scientific studies on each theme. Presentations will focus on approaches, solutions and technologies to be used in the sustainable management of the major environmental, societal and health challenges European cities are facing today.

The conference’s exhibition part gives the opportunity to the industry and to SMEs to present products that can solve current and forthcoming problems in our communities. Exhibitors include: the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, the Cyprus University of Technology, the Cyprus Sewerage Board, the Cyprus Electricity Authority and the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Presented projects will be submitted for funding to European Initiatives for smart cities.

Building a network to make our cities ‘smarter’
The Smart Cities and Communities Initiative was launched by the European Commission in 2011, followed by the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) in 2012. In the beginning, the partnership initiative only covered energy but then extended to include the transport and ICT sector. EU funding and financing opportunities for Smart Cities for the period 2014-2016 exceed €700 billion.

The Smart Cities Mediterranean Partnership was founded in May 2014 by business development consultant and Director of CNE Business Development Ltd, Chrysses Nicolaides. It aims to ‘smarten’ cities in the Mediterranean region by sharing resources, knowhow and experience and to identify, develop and deploy replicable, balanced and integrated solutions. The conference ultimately looks to establish strategic partnerships between academia, industry and European cities and communities to develop the urban systems and infrastructures of tomorrow.

In an interview with the Cyprus Weekly, Limassolian Nicolaides explains that the conference also aims to raise awareness on the urgency of the situation and on the opportunities and benefits available.
“To be able to profit from these benefits, we need to work together and form partnerships to share ideas, views and experiences and to obtain funding and finance. In collaboration with local governments, action needs to be taken to remove regulatory standardisation, governance and other hurdles slowing down development,” he adds.

Limassol presenting 7 projects
The Smart Cities Mediterranean Partnership assists with the mapping of the current situation, the creation of a Smart City Strategy Plan and the identification and proposal of projects and funding.

It has assisted the Municipality of Limassol to obtain the approval from the European Innovation Partnership of seven projects/commitments which will be presented at the conference.

“It is a great opportunity for Cyprus stakeholders to network with others from the region to form partnerships, design and co-develop projects and submit applications for funding,” says Nicolaides.
Following the conference, a scientific committee consisting of 26 scientists and scholars will evaluate the papers to be presented and those selected will be published by Springer Publishing House; a collection of peer-reviewed papers will be considered for publication in the Journal of Urban Technology (JUT), the editor of which, Professor Richard E. Hanley, is participating in the SmartBlueCity Conference.

Eminent support
The conference is under the auspices of President Nicos Anastasiades, Limassol Mayor Andreas Christou, the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Toursim, the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Greek Tourism Organisation, the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Technical University of Athens.

The event’s co-organisers are KIOS Research Centre for Intelligent Systems and Networks, the University of Cyprus, the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), the School of Rural and Surveying Engineering Dept. of Geography and Regional Planning, Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) and Smart Cities Mediterranean Cluster (SMART-MED).

The conference opens on April 14 at 10am and the closing session will take place on April 16 at 1pm, followed by a guided tour in Limassol Marina and a cheese and wine networking lunch. More information can be found at

article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of April 8, 2016

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

Email Me · Linked In · Twitter · Facebook