Some 150 city development experts gathered in the Slovenian capital last month for the Ljubljana Forum.
The two-day event was focused on the future of cities, paying particular attention to the local region. It was opened by Blaž Golob, director of the Centre for e-governance Development and initiator of the Forum. He explained that purpose of the conference was to “connect projects, promoters of development of urban regions of South East Europe with knowledge and experiences.”
Golob went on to argue that a new method of governance is needed if the Danube region is to develop successfully and be home to prosperous cities. Speaking later in the day, futurist Jerome C. Glenn stressed that collective intelligence systems will improve urban governance. Meanwhile Ljubljana mayor Zoran Janković emphasised that the majority of cities in the region are older than the states to which they belong and said that the result is a long tradition of cooperation and connection.
Projects to increase those links were also highlighted at the event. Architect Boris Podrecca said there is a creative architectural space between Milan, Vienna, Belgrade and the Adriatic Sea.
Over the two day event, participants put together a list of nine ways in which the governance of cities could be improved. The recommendations were developed in cooperation with the South East Europe team working on the Millennium Project, a United Nations initiative which is seeking to find ways to reduce poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.
The nine recommendations included using development and wealth indicators beyond the traditional gross domestic product (GDP); insistence on transparency to reduce corruption; use of collective intelligence systems to support knowledge-based governance; trans-institutional approaches and multilevel governance alliances; changes to cities’ building codes and zoning laws to encourage the use of sustainable technologies; and a commitment to knowledge sharing among the global community of cities.
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