Representatives from the worlds of politics, industry, business and science emphasised the need to act together in taking on the challenges of the future
Pioneers and visionary thinkers are developing new approaches to cross-sector cooperation projects
The congress trade fair UrbanTec made a successful debut from 24th to 26th October 2011 in Cologne as the first separate event dedicated to providing a cross-sector overview of urbanisation, a key topic for the future. “It was an ambitious project, there’s no question, and one that addressed and ‘brought to life’ all aspects of urbanisation using the format of a congress trade fair. We are therefore especially delighted that the exhibiting companies and congress participants at UrbanTec 2011 are not only satisfied with the premiere, but also strongly encouraging us to develop the event in the coming years into the leading dialogue platform for meeting the challenges related to urban living,” said Gerald Böse, Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH.
The participants at UrbanTec included 55 exhibiting companies from four countries, about 900 participants and visitors from 20 countries at the congress and exhibition scheduled in parallel, and more than 100 media representatives from16 countries. Strong support for UrbanTec was provided by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in its role as the patron of the event, and the Federation of German Industry (BDI), which served as a partner in the realisation of the congress programme.
At the official opening of UrbanTec, Gudrun Kopp, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, pointed out the importance of sustainable development of cities, particularly in rapidly growing major cities in developing countries and emerging markets. “The development policy goal of creating the conditions needed for sustainable urban development coincides ideally with the leading role played by the German private sector in offering innovative solutions for cities,” said Kopp.
Experts at the UN estimate that about 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. According to an OECD study, over €30 trillion will have to be invested in the urban infrastructures just in the period until 2030 to ensure that they will be in line with acceptable standards of living and not have adverse environmental impacts. Hans-Peter Keitel, President of the BDI, believes this development offers an opportunity for Germany as a leading location for sustainable industrial technologies. It is necessary to act now, says Keitel, and not leave the challenge to future generations. Given this situation, Keitel called for investment-friendly conditions and public-private partnerships, in other words close partnerships between public sector clients and private sector companies.
This position was also shared by Christian Ude, President of the German Association of Cities and Mayor of Munich: “While it is true that Germany has no megacities, our industry nevertheless offers outstanding products for mastering the challenges in the world’s major cities.” Ecological problems, Ude said, can not be solved by means of technologies alone, but are rather an important element to be taken into account in forward-looking city planning.
This would require that “all measures are carried out in harmony with the political conditions, to ensure that the planned solutions also deliver successful results for society,” said Jürgen Roters, Mayor of Cologne.
A total of 55 exhibiting companies from four countries took part in the first UrbanTec, including 45 German companies and ten companies from abroad. The participants with stands in the exhibition area in Hall 7 at the Cologne exhibition centre included 12 leading German industrial companies: Siemens, Lanxess, Bayer MaterialScience, Daimler AG, Strabag Real Estate, TÜV Rheinland, TÜV Nord Cert, RWE, E.ON, RAG Aktiengesellschaft, DHL and PWC. Also represented were joint participations from Brazil, Russia, Switzerland, the government of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft branch in Cologne. The companies presented technological solutions for all areas of application in urban life — including from the segments construction engineering, energy, health and hygiene, mobility and logistics, resource recovery/urban mining, related services, and information & communication.
The premiere of UrbanTec attracted interest from around the world. A total of about 900 congress participants and trade fair visitors from 20 countries attended the event. Represented in Cologne were, for example, visitors and delegations from China, Brazil, Argentina, Russia and Germany’s neighbouring European countries.
At the UrbanTec congress, which was attended by leading professionals, international experts gave presentations shedding light on the global effects of urbanization and identified the political conditions needed to realise technological solutions. The main themes of the UrbanTec congress were “Infrastructure”, “Mobility and Logistics” and “Buildings”. The speakers who travelled to Cologne for the event included the renowned US political consultant Jeremy Rifkin; Professor Klaus Töpfer, formerly Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and now Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS); Dr. Roland Busch, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO of the Infrastructure & Cities Sector; and Prof. Hans-Jörg Bullinger (President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft).
Further information and all of the press releases and images related to the event are available for downloading at www.urbantec.com.