GIS in the European Union
Hilton Brussels Grand Place, Brussels,Belgium, 7th and 8th November 2018
In the context of the EU Summit, the third edition of the Geographic Information System was about applying location intelligence in order to enable decision and policy making process. During the meeting it was highlighted the importance of put in common and order a huge amount of information in order to provided interesting data to help daily people life, enterprises work, and government tasks. Accordingly, creative examples of how to organised data through maps were put in common.
In that sense, Jeffrey Peters, Director of Global Business Development in Esri, talked about the big changes that are happening in geographical issues and the importance of sharing information in order to create smart cities which could operate in real time through Geographic Information Systems. Regarding this idea, very interesting and specific initiatives were showed to the audience as Moses and Clara projects in order to provide water to crops taking to account a big amount of information related to soil and whether for a determinate place and time.
Also it seemed very worthy the National Geographic Institute of Belgium initiative which allow authorities and specialized staff security to act in case of emergency. Further, speakers as Ingrid Vanden Berghe underscore not to forget the important role that nowadays play in our society mapping agencies and information brokering.
#BeCircular Annual Meeting 2018
Tour & Taxis, Brussels, 24th October 2018
In Brussels it was held the annual meeting of the Circular Economy Regional Program entitled « Bruxelles, Région pionnière en économie circulaire». This conference wanted to show the different actions that make the Brussels-Capital Region a pioneering in the topic
The circular approach represents a concrete chance for the European Union. It would generate new economic advantages that will regard business competitiveness, innovation, and job opportunities. At the same time, closing the loop will help Europe to reduce the damages produced by an economy that exceeds the environmental capacity. These achievements are strongly related with the EU priorities mentioned in the treaties. The art.3 (3) TEU laid down that the Union “shall work for the sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment. It shall promote scientific and technological advance.”
The Circular Economy Regional Program represents, thus, a means to enhance EU policy initiatives. The meeting was an opportunity for several stakeholders to debate, exchange ideas, and express the progress made after two years from the inauguration of the program.
At the beginning of the conference, D. Gosuin and Fadila Laanan presented the political efforts already done toward circularity in Brussels. Then, the participants had the possibility to look closely at new economic activities developed in the area, and to directly speak with their actors. The enterprises were involved in different domains: Construction, New Economic Models, Food, Zero Waste, Logistic, Design.
In the case of construction, it was organized a visit to the “Centre Culturel et Sportif Tour à Plomb”. The aim was to briefly present how the circular economy concept can be implemented within the renovation of constructions.
The centre was an old metal factory, which has been abandoned more than 20 years ago. Accordingly, the municipality of Brussels decided to renovate it, by taking advantage of the existing structure and the old facades. In this way, any virgin material was extracted. Additionally, by avoiding the demolition process, it was prevented the generation of debris.
The interior of the place looks comfortable for the visitors. It has various openings, which provide natural light.
Part of the structure reused with some reinforces to be appropriate for the new use.
The building was projected to integrate a variety of uses. For example, it involves cultural, sports, and learning activities. Or, the public school located next to the building can use the installation to give classes to its students. For all these reasons, the project represents effective instruments to raise awareness within the community about circular economy processes.
In the second part of the conference, several experts intervened. Between the others, Julia Vol, a representative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, concluded that in order to face city’s impacts it is necessary to create a collaborative network which unifies public government with private business. She said that we need to: “Manage the ecosystem of the business in environmental issues, with collaboration between neighborhoods and government getting a city with innovation, creating more revenues and jobs.”