Goris City selected as a pilot for ‘’Smart City’’ concept application

Goris City in Syunik Region, Armenia, has been selected as a pilot for ‘’Smart City’’ concept application in the frames of UNECE project ‘’United Smart Cities’’. The launching of Smart City initiative in Goris will start from the initial assessment mission to be implemented by UNECE experts (international and local) who will elaborate the main indicators for Smart City of Goris, in co-operation with project main partners Ministry of Urban Development of Armenia, Municipality of Goris, UNECE, UNDP, and Regional Environmental Center for Caucasus, Armenia National Office. Mission and subsequent national workshop will take place on February 9-12, in the city of Goris. Workshop participants will discuss the Smart City concept, challenges, initiatives, activities, objectives and outcomes.

Project experts in cooperation with the local authorities and other local partners will collect data and prepare city profiles for Goris City. Activities within the project frames are planned to be held in Goris City with the active involvement of national, local (authorities) and international units. International organizations; EAA, UNECE, UN-habitat, ISOCARP will prepare city profile for the city in certain time frames, during February of 2015. Seminars and presentations will be organized for awareness increase and capacity building on the innovative concept of ‘’Smart City’’ for Goris City.

The “Smart city” is a concept with a broad meaning. A “Smart City” is for us a city that is dynamic in implementing sustainable initiatives. It is a city, which is able to grant affordable and healthy housing, and reduce its consumption of energy and emission of pollutants. It is a city which supports green, inclusive, healthy, compact, smart and resilient human settlements; promotes investments in its different sectors; and effectively manages its financial resources. It presents an integrated approach to planning and building, while supporting environmentally clean, affordable public transport, higher air and water quality and efficient waste management. It supports a sustainable management of urban land as well as transparent land and property registration.  Its efficiency is improved by the use of innovative technologies and ICT within the different sectors. Furthermore, it encourages the cooperation of different stakeholders operating in public and private sector, academia, NGOs, regulators, authorities, citizens.

A strategic goal of the proposed project is to promote sustainable urban development, especially in countries with transition economies and developing countries, through analysis of practices and policies, pilot activities, exchange of experiences and best practices, networking and capacity building. The project will help to scale up the European experiences of smart cities to countries outside of the EU.

The project objective is to strengthen the capacities of national and local authorities in the project region for the development and implementation of national and local policies for sustainable urban development.

One of the core elements is the catalytic knowledge transfer within the network to identify best practices and lessons learned from previous projects and exchange of experience between advanced cities and ambitious transition cities.

The comprehensive “smart cities” initiative aims at improving key dimensions of cities:

(a)   urban environment (buildings, transportation, water, waste, energy services, and information and communications technology);

(b)   governance (inter-sectorial cooperation, cooperation between national, regional and local authorities, other stakeholders; establishment of multi-stakeholder platforms); support to networking with other cities;

(c)   social capital (education, social and gender equality);

(d)   economic conditions (poverty reduction and employment generation);

(e)   citizens’ experience

(f)    urban tourism

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