#38 Valencia & Tallinn: Two European Green Capitals "From Different Sides of Europe"

Episode 44 July 05, 2023 00:46:36
#38 Valencia & Tallinn: Two European Green Capitals "From Different Sides of Europe"
Smart in the City – The BABLE Podcast
#38 Valencia & Tallinn: Two European Green Capitals "From Different Sides of Europe"

Jul 05 2023 | 00:46:36

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Hosted By

Tamlyn Shimizu

Show Notes

This second episode sponsored by Red Española de Ciudades Inteligentes (RECI) was recorded live at the Urban Future Conference 2023 with Ernesto Faubel, Head of Smart City Office at the Municipality of Valencia, Spain, and Vladimir Svet – the Deputy Mayor of Environment, Urban Construction and Mobility for the City of Tallinn, Estonia.

 

With Tallinn currently the European Green Capital for 2023, and Valencia having won the title for next year, we discussed how it aligns with their carbon neutrality and sustainability goals, as well as the impact and challenges of green initiatives on urban planning.

 

Overview of the episode:

01:58 - Teaser: What do our guests have in common?

04:57 - What are our guests' backgrounds?

07:52 - What urban development and public transport projects are happening in Tallinn and Valencia?

12:47 - What does the European Green Capital title actually mean for a city?

16:44 - What action had to be undertaken in Tallinn because of that title?

26:12 - What are some learnings Valencia could take away from Tallinn's experience as European Green Capital 2023?

17:25 - Touching in on AI and Digital Twins programs in Tallinn and Valencia

39:06 - What would you do: what would our guests do in someone else's shoes?

44:16 - Ending Question: To you, what is a Smart City?

 

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View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Tamlyn Shimizu 00:00:06 Welcome to Smart in the City, the BABLE podcast where we bring together top actors in the smart city arena, sparking dialogues and interactions around the stakeholders and themes most prevalent for today's citizens and tomorrow's generations. I am your host, Tamlyn Shimizu, and I hope you'll enjoy this episode and gain knowledge and connections to accelerate the change for a better urban life. Smart in the City is brought to you by BABLE Smart Cities. We enable processes from research and strategy development to co-creation and implementation. To learn more about us, please visit the BABLE platform at bable-smartcities.eu. So welcome back to another episode of the Smart in the City podcast. I'm sitting in BABLE's, hometown of Stuttgart at the world-renowned Urban Future Conference, where we are proud media partner. Uh, before we get started, I want to send the organizers a big thank you, um, for having us as media partners and getting the opportunity to record with so many great guests. Um, in addition to this being an urban future episode, we also have a really great partner, which is helping us connect Spanish cities with other cities in Europe to create more dialogue between the cities. They are, of course RECI the National Network of Smart Cities in Spain. So representing RECI from the Spanish side. I have a really, really incredible guest today. Um, Ernesto Faubel. He's the head of smart city office at the municipality of Valencia. Welcome Ernesto. Ernesto Faubel 00:01:32 Hi. Thank you for inviting me to this, uh, session. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:01:36 Yeah, absolutely. My pleasure. And, um, with him today, he has a great counterpart here. Um, the guest of the hour with us is none other than Vladimir Svet. He's the deputy mayor of Environment, urban Construction and Mobility at Tallinn City Government. Vladimir Svet 00:01:50 Hello. Nice to have you here. <laugh>. Nice to be here. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:01:54 <laugh>. Yeah. So lovely to to have you here. So, um, another reason why this episode is gonna be a really fantastic one is because Tallinn is currently the European green capital for 2023, and Valencia has been awarded this title for next year. Yes. So you definitely have to keep listening to, to see these perspectives. Um, so before I, uh, get into the main conversation, I like to have a little teaser question. Um, I was wondering, uh, you, you guys actually got the chance to talk last night over dinner and some drinks too. So, um, I'm really glad that you had that opportunity, cuz maybe you have a better idea for this question. Um, and it is, what do you think you both have in common? Vladimir Svet 00:02:38 So, I, I think, um, the thing that we, uh, have in common, and we also have in common, I believe with a lot of cities across Europe, is, uh, the will to make people happier. Because, you know, in the end when we talk about, um, uh, the, you know, we talk about the, uh, carbon problem, when we talk about mobility, when we talk about digitalization, we actually forget, sometimes forget what is the final aim, why are we doing that? And I think that, uh, so different cities like Valencia and Tallinn, uh, situated in, uh, almost opposing parts of, uh, of Europe on different sides, uh, still I think the, the overall goal is the same. And the second thing I think that we have in common, uh, is that, um, uh, we respect, uh, green territories in the city. And actually for us, Valencia is a big, uh, inspiration on how to create this kind of big liner parks that, uh, creates sort of a green backbone for the whole city infrastructure. Ernesto Faubel 00:03:53 Yeah. For us, it's a very good thing to, to have this, uh, this, uh, green capital after you, because for sure we, we will have the opportunity to learn, uh, from your experience. And I fully agree with you that, uh, your approach that at the end, we, we have a common goal that we have some enablers, some tools that could, uh, make the, the, the big goal, uh, to be achieved. But, uh, we have different, uh, uh, roadmaps, uh, to go there. But at the end we have a similar problems. We have, uh, the goal of reducing the carbon footprint. We want to make this the mobility more sustainable, we want the, a better quality of air and things like that, that are closely related to this, uh, green capital award, uh, achievement. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:04:49 Yeah. So lots of things in common, actually, I'm hearing, so that's good. Even though you're on opposite sides of, of Europe. So, um, different sides. Vladimir Svet 00:04:56 Def I would not say opposite. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:04:57 Yeah. Not opposite sides. Different sides of Europe. <laugh>. Yeah. Important point. Um, good. So Vladimir, I'd love to, um, ask you a little bit about your background. What can you tell us about your story, your journey that led you to where you are today? Vladimir Svet 00:05:12 Actually, I'm a lawyer, um, not a, not an urbanist or a special planner or something like that, but I was, uh, uh, an active student back at the times, um, in involved with, uh, youth parties with some kind of youth councils, stuff like that. Uh, participative democracy on a youth level. And, um, that's why when I finished university, I went to work actually as a lawyer for the, uh, children and family rights, uh, to the, uh, uh, office of Dystonia Ombudsman where I dealt with, you know, basic rights and, uh, help tried to help people who were, um, somehow, uh, you know, lost in the system, especially with these kind of topics. But, uh, then, um, the party I was active in BET before that I won local elections and, uh, they wanted somebody, so to say fresh, but with, uh, some kind of basic experience. Vladimir Svet 00:06:12 So they invited me, <laugh>, and this is how my political career began. Like five, five and a half years ago, I was a district elder or a district governor, um, in a few districts oft and, uh, eventually, uh, after last election, um, the guy, uh, who was, uh, doing the job I'm doing now decided to retire and somebody had to do the job, so, so they <laugh> they invited me. But yeah, actually, um, you could say that I'm a, like a career politician, but, uh, uh, my plan B is to become a lawyer again somewhere. Oh, yes. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:06:51 Going back to going back to a lawyer. Yeah. Sounds good. Really interesting story. So, um, Ernesto, same to you. I wanna hear all about your background. Ernesto Faubel 00:07:00 Well, I'm a computer engineer and, uh, I have been working in the municipality for 28 years. I have been also a part-time teacher at the university. I have developed most of my career in the municipality in urban planning department. It has, uh, helped me to understand better the process of, of, um, urban planning and things like that. And, um, my last year say I have been coordinating as smart CD project with, uh, some focus on some issues like, like such as energy efficiency, mobility, uh, obviously I C T, and with a lot of, uh, actions, uh, with, uh, from a social perspective. And, uh, since September, I am, uh, the, the head of the smart city office in the municipality of Valencia. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:07:52 Very nice, very interesting backgrounds to both of you. That's one of my favorite questions actually, because Oh, really? You were a lawyer. Like, well, how did this happen? Like, all these things. So, um, Vladimir, can you tell me about what's going on in Tallinn? Like, give, give the people some, some stories. What, what's some exciting projects that's going on? What's the focus? What are some initiatives? What's happening? Vladimir Svet 00:08:14 Well, a lot of things are happening int this year. It is partially a co coincidence that, um, in the very year when we are the green capital, we are also bringing to life a number of huge investment projects connected to development of public transport and transforming, uh, public space and creating better streets. But the problem is that in process, it all means construction. A lot of construction, I mean, people in Stuttgart I think are used to <laugh>, big, long construction sites. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:08:46 No really Vladimir Svet 00:08:47 <laugh>, but, um, uh, well, a big part of the city center now is, uh, dug up and, uh, is not a good place, um, to drive through, especially with a car. Uh, which maybe is sort of a good teaser for the overall, uh, direction we are moving to. Um, because there are a lot of people who say like, oh my God, I, I mean, I cannot use the car, I have to take the bus, or I have to go on foot, I have to take the bicycle. And we're like, yes, that was the initial idea though we didn't want to get there thanks to the construction process itself, but so, so yes, we have a, a lot of things going on. We have a new protective areas being created in the city because TA has a lot of forests actually on its territory and, uh, even a swamp. Vladimir Svet 00:09:42 Uh, and, um, I mean, we are now trying to, you know, move, uh, on from just dealing with public Greenland to start protecting also the private one. And of course, um, I mean that's, um, that's a big challenge for us because if a person owns a land and somebody says, now you cannot build here anymore, he's not very happy about that. But I think we're now in the process of transition in the process of, uh, going from a city where you could not imagine, um, living without a car to a city where a car is just only one alternative. Ernesto Faubel 00:10:25 Yes, we share this, uh, this perspective also, but if I have to say things about what's happening in Valencia, I could start with we have changed the color of the local government two weeks ago. So it's a period in a way of, uh, uncertainty. Vladimir Svet 00:10:40 So you have a new boss, <laugh>? Yeah, yeah, Ernesto Faubel 00:10:42 Yeah, yeah. This week, in fact, so this week was announced the, the counselor for, for the area in which, uh, I working in. Uh, but we are confident on that, uh, the most relevant things will have a continuity. Um, but, uh, obviously we have this, this issue, uh, now, uh, to deal with. But, uh, in last years we have been in a process of, uh, change. We have changed the, the, the model of mobility as, uh, lair has, uh, said, uh, the mobility is much more sustainable now than a few years ago. It is much, uh, easier, uh, to go to ride a bike than to drive a car because, so a lot, a lot of bike lanes, uh, have been built. And, uh, we have a, as, uh, you have mentioned before, this green linear park that is, uh, it's a very relevant infrastructure for our city that con at the same time connects and divides the city in, in, in two parts north and north and south. Ernesto Faubel 00:11:47 But it connects because, uh, you can, uh, go with your bike or, or, or your e scooter and ride it, uh, all across the city and then go to one or another place. Apart from that, we have, uh, had the different, uh, relevant issues that, uh, in the last years, for example, we were, uh, green, uh, well design capital last year we have been two years, uh, finalists of e capital awards, so the Europeans capital of innovation, uh, the, the last year smart tourism, European capital. So lots of things, uh, lots of, uh, capitals. And the final one, the, the, maybe the most relevant one has been the, the, the green capital. So we are really proud of it, and I would like to, to mention some issues that, uh, have been, uh, very relevant for achieving that. But, uh, we could go and with the conversation. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:12:47 Yeah, absolutely. I actually wanted to ask you, um, what does the European green capital actually mean? Is it just a title? Like what does it actually give the city? Um, maybe Vladimir knows a bit about this as being the current one better than me, Ernesto Faubel 00:13:02 Because Tamlyn Shimizu 00:13:02 You're not exactly, but Ernesto Faubel 00:13:03 You are. We are, uh, waiting for that, Vladimir Svet 00:13:06 But, well, you know, I think we can talk a lot about, you know, bike lanes and, and greenery and, and trees and, uh, like different events happening around that. When I think about, uh, what does green capital title give to me as a politician, as a citizen of the city, then I would say that it is means of saving time. Because in this race, um, for reducing our carbon footprint, time is crucial. We can, you know, we can say that yes, these decisions, the changes we have to make, we can make them in five, in 10, in 15 years. Uh, but that will not be enough. Uh, and, uh, that would, um, lead to the situation where the harm has been done even more, and we have to run even more faster. So if there are means of saving time for hard decisions and being a green capital, it's all about hard decisions, and cutting your carbon footprint is all about hard decisions, then the title of green capital saves us time that would otherwise, um, would go to making these decisions. Vladimir Svet 00:14:26 I like to say that it saved us one political cycle, like a four year time that would take, um, otherwise to, you know, discuss debate, elaborate, these kind of questions that we need to decide. And now as we are the green capital, we have no choice but to do these kind of decisions. Um, and it is a very strong argument in the inner discussion. So I think for people who will come tot it'll be about events, it'll be about the public space that is changing, but, uh, the, the deep influence is, um, the overall understanding that if we are the green capital, we must, you know, decide this, this, this, and this, and here are the decisions. Ernesto Faubel 00:15:13 Yeah. For us, it's, uh, a kind of alignment of strategies because, uh, we are also, uh, one of the 112, uh, mission cities for being carbon neutral in 2030. It is a very ambitious goal. And, uh, well, all these things that, uh, have to have the relation with, uh, with this green capital obviously will affect this, will have an impact on, on this, uh, main goal. In fact, most of the policies that, uh, the, the local government has in this moment are oriented to, to this, uh, ambitious, uh, goal of, uh, being carbon neutral in 2030. And, uh, for that, uh, even though we haven't started, uh, yet being green capital, we have focused our candidacy in some, in some facts, uh, both previous and current. So because, uh, uh, we have mentioned before the transformation of the old bed, old river bed into a linear park, uh, now as far as I know, is the, the longest, uh, linear parking in, in Europe with 12 kilometers. Uh, so it's, uh, very nice. And so it's one of the main assets of the city and current, because we have turned some squares into pedestrian that there used to be roundabouts for cars and, and buses, and now it's more, uh, so, uh, a charm for, uh, being there, have a walk or for pedestrians, much better. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:16:44 Yeah. Very nice. Can you talk Vladimir A. Little bit more about what have been some of those decisions that, or like those things that you just had to do because you were the European green capital? What were those actions? Well, Vladimir Svet 00:16:56 I think, um, uh, there, there, there are, there, there are two types of decisions. One of them are, uh, aimed at, uh, directly cutting the carbon footprint. Uh, for example, the decisions to invest in public transport and to start this, uh, you know, hard, uh, um, hard walk from, uh, diesel and, and gas, uh, to, uh, carbon neutral, uh, ways of transport that we are. And we are now in the process of signing our first contract for the electric buses, uh, to come into the streets, uh, the decision to, uh, start creating new tram lines. And one of them is now being built in the center of the city. Um, the decision of, uh, banning one time, uh, cutlery, uh, on big events and replacing it with, uh, reusables, uh, which is now a big, um, it has, it has been a big decision that created a lot of controversy. Vladimir Svet 00:18:02 Um, big investments in, uh, also bicycle infrastructure and, uh, re renewing our street and, uh, widening, um, uh, the possibilities of, uh, uh, mobility for, um, the, uh, for people who move on foot, uh, for people who cycle, um, and, um, squeezing the car space, especially in the city center. Uh, these decisions that, uh, I think are now being made by all of the cities, um, they are always, uh, nice to present, uh, at a conference or in an interview, but, uh, politically usually they're very hard to, uh, to drag through. And, uh, uh, these are, these were the ones that we have to make, and we have what is waiting. I think one of the big topics is the topic of renovation, which is the, one of the biggest problem in Italian in Estonia and Eastern Europe, because we have this kind of a lot of Soviet time housing that is very ineffective and needs to be reconstructed. Vladimir Svet 00:19:12 And also, um, one of the big things that we have done is that, uh, now we are creating a new, um, private venture together with the company responsible for the district heating and cooling in ta in order to develop this whole, uh, energy system, and not only provide the usual service, but also to start producing energy from waste water and from sea water, uh, with, uh, this kind of, well, for us it's like a cutting edge, uh, technologies. But these technologies are actually widely used in several cities and countries of, of Europe. The problem is that for a small country like Estonia, this all requires, uh, big amount of investments. But that's one thing, that's all the usual suspects that, you know, you have to go through when you are trying to cut your emissions. Uh, the other, uh, decisions that were made are connected to the, uh, strategical way of how we see the city, uh, with the new strategy that we have adopted, uh, with the, um, reforming of the city government by creating a holistic approach, um, we call it with the strategy center, which is like a body higher than any city department that is responsible for, uh, overseeing how the city is moving towards fulfilling the strategy 2035 that we have. Vladimir Svet 00:20:38 So it's also about how the city functions as a system. And, uh, I would say that the, the, the latter one is even maybe harder than the, the first Yeah, some certain decisions, some certain investments. Ernesto Faubel 00:20:53 Yeah. By the way, we have a, we are testing a pilot of wave energy converter from getting to get the energy from the waves of the sea of the Mediterranean Sea in Valencia, in, in ma period. We have, uh, carried out an action related to that. If we talk about controversial or difficult decisions, uh, I think that most of them are related to mobility, because if we talk about energy, so who is going to be against the installing a pv, uh, plant in municipal buildings? Nobody. So it's, uh, their decisions easy to be taken. But if we talk about mobility, some actions, some decisions, uh, could be controversial. For example, we have a challenge for this year. It's the implementation of the low emission areas that, uh, cities in Europe for with more than, uh, 50,000 inhabitants. Uh, as, um, it's mandatory for us to implement this area. And we know that it will be difficult because if you have a old, an old car, you will have a restrictions to access, uh, the old town. And some, most of the times the owners of older cars are people with, uh, low lower incomes. So you are in a way punishing people with lower incomes and making it easier for people with higher income. So it's, uh, in a way, I, I dunno if it's fair or or not, but if we want to take care of the environment, we have to take decisions, uh, like this. Vladimir Svet 00:22:25 Uh, I, I, I would just like to continue this, uh, topic that, um, it's, I think it's, um, you know, mathematically, uh, not that hard to understand what steps do you need to do if you wanna make a green transition in terms of, uh, cutting the, um, uh, carbon footprint. What is really a challenge is how to make this transition a just transition where not only wealthy, healthy, um, successful people who, um, you know, go on conferences and travel a lot, uh, and see the world would be on board with the changes that you have, but also people who are living from salary to salary, who are looking at their bills and asking themselves, why should we invest this all money to, you know, to, to wind parks? Why should we invest the money, uh, into rebuilding streets? Why should we invest money to electric buses? Vladimir Svet 00:23:27 Especially when we saw last year that there is also the problem of resilience, where you might have problems with electricity. Why should we do that? Uh, I think the biggest challenge is to have those people on board, is to have them involved and, you know, is not to lose these people to, um, to the problems that they have in a daily life. And this is, this is now, uh, a task that is hard to fulfill using the Excel. Uh, here you have to go to the level of people, and sometimes you may need more sophisticated, uh, decisions. You need to, um, to create some kind of tailor, tailor made, uh, tailor made solutions in order to move forward, but not, not to leave, you know, this kind of people behind. And the very problem, uh, my colleague just, you know, pointed out about, uh, uh, worst cars and older cars, polluting cars being, uh, usually a problem for, um, the poorer people. Vladimir Svet 00:24:33 It is also the reality in, in tale. And I think if we talk about low emission zones, and we will start talking about it soon, um, we know that people in the city center, they will say, well, that's not a big problem for us. But people who go to work in the city center will say like, wow, are you, are you crazy? What are you doing? Um, well, I, I, I think in the end, every change where you have to deal with people's habits is the, is is the most important, but also the, the hardest one because, you know, investing money, buying buses, it's not rocket science in in the end. Ernesto Faubel 00:25:12 Yeah. And, uh, in our case, uh, talking about the fair transition, uh, we are, we have some projects related to energy poverty because, uh, for us it has been a priority to, well, to make lives, uh, easier for these people that are especially vulnerable. And, uh, for that we have created some, some energy offices in which, uh, they are provided with, uh, advice. But not only that, because, uh, people in risk of exclusion, uh, they, they, uh, they could, uh, be, uh, supported by the municipality for this energy poverty issues where covering out some projects related to that because it has been a priority. And, uh, one of them is the, are the energy communities that, uh, we are trying to, to develop in the city. And part of the energy that could come from this, uh, communities could go for this, uh, people in risk of escalation. Hmm. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:26:12 Yeah. Very interesting conversation. Thank you so much. Um, and can you share Vladimir, maybe a little bit, um, uh, maybe a few learnings for him, uh, for Ernesto to take with him, please, from the green, green capital? Yes, please. Ernesto Faubel 00:26:23 <laugh>. I'm eager to Vladimir Svet 00:26:25 <laugh>, you know, um, <laugh>, I, I, I, I am, you know, too humbled, uh, because I think that actually we, uh, as a city, uh, must learn from Valencia, uh, on, on how to do a lot of things. And this is why we are also discussing a big visit by the Italian delegation to Valencia to to learn. So it is, it is, um, it is hard to, uh, hard to give some kind of advice. Maybe what I can say is that, um, I think, again, it's true for any city, uh, when you work in the environment you are used to on a daily basis, I think, um, you, uh, start to underestimate the, um, the achievements that you have made. And, um, uh, I think, uh, it is important to think, I think it's important to think, um, I see that it's very important, um, to, um, have people who are, you know, living in the city on a daily basis, also actually understanding how unique is the environment they are and what a great job has been done during the past years. Um, and we dunno how to do that because we struggle with the same problem. Marketing <laugh>. Well, it's, it's about marketing, it's about involvement, it's about, you know, uh, I would say even sharing responsibility and, uh, empowering people. But I can say that we have a good advice and, uh, a solution to all the problems, but I see that we have the same challenges we can, uh, learn from, uh, together. Yeah. Ernesto Faubel 00:28:08 It will be to, uh, bidirectional exchange. Yeah. Uh, learning process, uh, because, uh, for us, it has been an opportunity to compile all the things that we are doing and we have done in the past. And, uh, have this compilation of things, uh, that, uh, could, are doing, uh, our CD greener. It has been a really good exercise. So, for example, say, have said before, uh, having previous transformations and the current transformation is, is a good thing. This list of projects, because we are, um, uh, as all the cities, we are unique as, uh, Vladimir has said. Uh, we have in our township three natural parks. The main one is the Albu. Ferra Lake is a nice landscape that is, that belongs to the municipality of Valencia with a rice cultivation area. Wow. So it's a very special, uh, area and, um, landscape that, that is vulnerable, and we have to take care especially, uh, of it. Ernesto Faubel 00:29:05 Apart from that, the, the city is surrounded by, uh, agricultural areas with a, because we have a very rich soil, uh, our vegetables are really, uh, good. So Mediterranean, uh, diet is part, uh, because of this, uh, richness of, of, uh, vegetables and, and, and other products, uh, from, from these agricultural areas. Uh, and one of the, the goals and the things that we have tried to have in, in our city is, uh, to have, uh, most of the population, uh, by 90% of the population with a green area in, in not more than 300 meters. So walking distance, you should have a, a green area. If not, we have to do, uh, something so as to create one. Mm. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:29:57 Really, really nice examples. Vladimir Svet 00:30:00 But, you know, I think I, I, I may, uh, may have come up with one idea that I can, uh, suggest you to learn from as a green capital. You will be having a lot of events, uh, that will attract people from all over Europe and, and maybe even wider. And a lot of them will be coming to Valencia. And, uh, I think that what you could do is that you could try to understand, uh, as precisely as it is possible, what knowledge do you need, what expertise from abroad do you need? Because all the events you will be making throughout the green capital would be, you know, the perfect opportunity to get all these people in one place and to get to know what you actually want. I think that, um, uh, um, usually we sort of underuse these kind of possibilities and we focus on the topics of the events, rather to focus on people that we are attracting to our cities. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, and, uh, this is the, I think if we would be doing the same thing, uh, for the second time, uh, then, uh, I would think through like, uh, what do we want to get from this person? What do we want to learn? And then we would, um, maybe design the process a little bit different so that they, we would, you know, drag more from the people that, that come to the events of the green capital. Yeah. Ernesto Faubel 00:31:33 You mean that it's better not to show, only to show off. So good. Uh, Tamlyn Shimizu 00:31:38 <laugh>, have Vladimir Svet 00:31:39 A look Ernesto Faubel 00:31:39 At this. Vladimir Svet 00:31:40 Exactly. Ernesto Faubel 00:31:41 We are so good, but taking the knowledge from people coming, so it's a very interesting point. Exactly. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:31:47 Yeah. Maybe, maybe identifying exact needs that you have. Maybe capacity gaps mm-hmm. <affirmative> that you have within Valencia. Um, and of course, Ernesto, you know, you can talk to BABLE and we, we can help you connect with the, with the right people to, to attract those people to come. Um, if you say, okay, we really need more knowledge in, I say ai because I know you're starting an AI project coming up. Yeah. Um, but, uh, for, in that example, and then finding the specialist to come and really, uh, visit during those events. Yeah, I think that's a good idea. In Ernesto Faubel 00:32:18 Fact, uh, so we are quite used to working networks because, uh, this knowledge, knowledge experience is, uh, uh, up to now has worked for us. It's really good. And one of the best examples is the, the <inaudible>, the Spanish network of Smart city in which we are collaborating with, uh, more than 140 cities, uh, sharing knowledge and, uh, so solving gaps. And, uh, it's, um, for us, it's a very good example. We are in, in other groups, for example, we were involved in, in another group for, uh, CD platforms. We are coordinating a group, uh, at the United Nations level from I T U, uh, for, uh, for CD platforms, U for s, ccc, and we are working in different, uh, forums in which, uh, obviously we, we are trying to absorb the knowledge from, from all the cities, lessons learned, failures, and, uh, so for us it's, is really important. So I, I will take notes of these suggestions that it is very, very valuable. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:33:21 You Yeah, absolutely. Um, and, and with that, I would like to give you we're the opportunity to now talk about anything that we didn't yet talk about. I like to give an open floor now to say, okay, this is a topic that the listeners definitely have to know about. Do either of you have something in mind that you really wanna get out there? Ernesto Faubel 00:33:39 Well, as you have, uh, introduced this concept of artificial intelligence, and now everybody's talking about that, um, going on with this, uh, uh, fairness, we are trying to, to make it fair, uh, more fair, the, the, the artificial intelligence, uh, uh, concept mm-hmm. <affirmative> with a project in which we are involved with Valencia are the, the sea of the, one of the C three separate notes for artificial intelligence for smart city in Europe. One will be in Copenhagen, another in Brussels, and the south one will be in Valencia. And, uh, we will offer, uh, um, a portfolio of services not only for our, uh, local ecosystem, but for other, uh, cities and even countries. And, um, with this, we are trying to control in a way, this, uh, this amazing concept of, uh, artificial intelligence, uh, to have it con under control, because if not, so it will be out of our hands. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:34:44 Really interesting topic to be exploring right now. Yeah, definitely. Trending. Are you exploring similar topics? I know, uh, um, in Estonia, you, you're very, I guess, on the forefront of cutting edge technologies these days. I know you have Green Tech Week coming up, for example. I, I believe that's what it's called, right? Yeah, yeah. Uh, and these types of things, are you exploring those topics as well? Vladimir Svet 00:35:05 Yes. Well, I, I cannot say that we have, uh, a lot, uh, going on with the artificial intelligence, just because this r and d requires, you know, a lot of, uh, capacity and, uh, uh, a lot of money as well. So we are actually looking forward to the developments that will happen with, uh, Valencia, Brussels and Copenhagen to, to, to use the tools and to learn from them. Uh, I mean, the problem with the talent being a digital city is that it doesn't seem, uh, very special to us anymore. And, um, we understand that some of the services that we have, they may seem somewhat unique from the perspective of other, of other cities, but they are not something that surprises our own citizens. This is why we are not maybe very, you know, talking a lot about them. One of the, uh, maybe examples of what we are doing now that I can, um, bring is the, um, uh, so we are creating, uh, uh, a planning tool, um, that, uh, uh, allows you not just to recreate the current environment in a city, uh, in virtual reality, but also to, um, use this for, uh, imagination of how the city, uh, or one or other place would look like with different, uh, developments, different buildings like digital twins, digital twins, simulation with digital twins. Vladimir Svet 00:36:42 Yes, yes. It's another concept in which we are working with now. And, um, what we see here that it's not only about the buildings themselves, because again, this is not something, um, not something special in this way, but, uh, it is also, for example, about, uh, the type of the tree that you choose to plant on a street. And you can see, um, approximately what will this street look like in, in five years, in 10 years, how much shade will it produce? How will it influence the, uh, temperature on the street, uh, how much money you will have to put into maintenance and, uh, stuff like that. So this is where, uh, we are trying to move with the, with the planning process. And I think the, uh, aspect of gamification is also important here. It's not only a tool for, you know, architects and, and urbanists who know what they're doing, but it's also, uh, a tool for citizens to wander around to look, uh, at their city from different perspectives and to maybe play a little bit. Vladimir Svet 00:37:53 And, um, what we are now planning to do with, um, a big road that is going to be reconstructed, I would say into a street in Tallinn, is that we are planning to use, um, an application, uh, called urbanist ai. Oh. So we have ai, <laugh>, <laugh>, um, and, uh, it is, again, it is a tool and actually a workshop, uh, which is this kind of, um, maybe a little bit different means of participation in comparison with what we are, we are used to, that allows people to actually, um, co-create how, uh, one or other place in the city could look like and actually see the picture immediately. And then not just tell the, um, decision makers that we want a bicycle in, we want a tree, we want a playground, but to show that we want a street like this. And, uh, I hope that this will also, um, sort of put people to think about the city in different perspective that they do now. Yeah, Tamlyn Shimizu 00:38:58 Absolutely. Did you also have something to share for the open floor, or you want to move on? I Vladimir Svet 00:39:03 Think we can move on, because I mean, a lot of, a lot of things were said <laugh>. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:39:06 Okay, perfect. We covered a lot of ground then. Um, so now we get to move on to our fun segment. Um, and this is a new segment for us called, what would you do? Speaker 5 00:39:17 What would you do? What would you do in the shoes of someone else? What would be the first actions you would take? Tamlyn Shimizu 00:39:28 And so I want to take a little bit dis different perspective on this and ask you, what would you do differently 20 years ago? If you could go back in time to yourself 20 years ago? Like, what would you do differently with the knowledge that you now have? Ernesto Faubel 00:39:43 So obviously when you are working in the IT sector, so the progress of the technology in 20 years, you can imagine that it has been amazing. So, uh, if, uh, with experience, uh, yes, I, I would apply part of my, I acquired experience, but with the current means, it would be really good to have been 20 years ago. Uh, but, uh, well, I think that, um, uh, life experience, uh, it has been really amazing. Obviously in 20 years, lots of things happen in our lives, obviously. And, um, so I, I dunno if I would change, uh, a lot of things because, uh, so life is in that way, life is <laugh> so sometimes difficult, but, uh, so maybe I could fine tune some things, but not drastically changes. Mm-hmm. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:40:37 <affirmative>, Vladimir Svet 00:40:38 Um, in our case, I think that, uh, it is important to explain maybe two things. Um, 20 years ago we were, uh, sort of a starting democracy that just came out of the communist regime. And, um, in comparison to today, uh, the city owned much more land and property, and it was at that time, seen as a burden for the budget. And the city have sold a lot of land. And, uh, if, I mean, if we could go back in time, then I think that that would be the decision, uh, that we should have to make, that we cannot get rid of too much of the public land. Because today we see that land shortage for the city is one of the biggest challenges in, you know, solving all of these problems that we have today. So this is definitely, um, a step I would take. Vladimir Svet 00:41:34 And another thing, um, coming out, uh, from this kind of, um, uh, like Soviet environment, we know that, uh, uh, 20 years ago, less people had private cars than, uh, we have, and now we are basically struggling, uh, to get back to where we were with the numbers of cars then. So I think that, uh, what we would do, um, I mean, now in Thailand we have free public transport for the city residents. I think that, and we introduced that 10 years ago, the right thing in an ideal world would be to do that 20 years ago when mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there were not so much cars and try to create the, the simplest public transport infrastructure, um, that is something, you know, like air today. But, uh, 20 years ago, uh, I think there were no, or almost no bus lanes in tall, for example. So I would do everything in order to avoid this kind of growing of, uh, the number of cars with even stronger promoting of, uh, the public transport in the city. Ernesto Faubel 00:42:51 So I focused, uh, this in my, uh, uh, partial perspective of, uh, but if I talk about, uh, the city perspective, so in last 20 years, I think that, uh, a lot of things, uh, have been correct, right? And others are maybe not so, uh, convenient. But generally speaking, I think that, uh, no huge mistakes have been, uh, done from the previous government and the previous of the previous. So, uh, some years ago, uh, we focused on our activity in, uh, in big events. For example, we have America Scap, but, uh, some people were against, uh, bringing this, uh, kind of events at the end. They have had, they have had a good impact on the city because we recovered the, the port area, uh, for the citizenship. And it has been good. And, uh, formula One Grand Prix, uh, so huge events, but, uh, so then it changed the, in a way, the model of city. But eh, everything that has had at the end a good outcome. So I I, I wouldn't change all of the things, to be honest. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:44:07 Yeah. Then, then you end up, uh, what what is, uh, the butterfly fact, right? If you could go back and change things, then, uh, a lot of un um, un Vladimir Svet 00:44:15 Unknown unknown consequences. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:44:16 Unknown consequences happen. Yeah, exactly. <laugh>. So, um, good. So last question, and it's the question we ask every single guest, it's to you, what is a smart city? Ernesto Faubel 00:44:27 Oh, well, uh, as the smart city officer, <laugh>, I think that Tamlyn Shimizu 00:44:32 You can start, I could Ernesto Faubel 00:44:33 Say so, um, it's a city. There are a lot of definitions. I have presented lots of them in different, in different conferences, but, uh, so for me is a city, sustainable city in which we apply the technology with the goal of, uh, improving the quality of life of the citizenship. Because at the end, uh, the, the technology is not an, an objective. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's a tool Yeah. For achieving a, a, a more ambitious goal. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:45:03 Absolutely. Have a different perspective. Vladimir Svet 00:45:05 Oh, well, I can, I can just agree and say that smart city is not a stupid city. <laugh>, Ernesto Faubel 00:45:10 <laugh>, Vladimir Svet 00:45:12 But I, I think this very idea that technology is not a aim, it's, uh, like means of, uh, reaching some kind of aims and aim, uh, is happiness of the citizens. It is the, I mean, that's the ground for all this. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:45:28 Perfect. So I have many thanks to give now. So, uh, first thank you to Urban Future and Rusi, um, for yeah, participating in this episode, relief of, uh, facilitating this episode. And of course, huge thanks to our guests, um, from the respective cities, of course of Tale and Valencia as well, um, for such a interesting and insightful episode. Thank you very much. Ernesto Faubel 00:45:48 You're welcome. And thank you for inviting us. Vladimir Svet 00:45:51 Thank you. And see you in Tallinn for the Green Tech Week in November. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:45:55 See you there, <laugh>. Pleasure. And to all of our listeners, uh, don't forget, you can always create a free account on BABLE dash Smart cities.eu to find out more about smart city projects, solutions, implementations, all these cool things happening. Um, and with that, thank you so much. Thank you all for listening. I'll see you at the next stop on the journey to a better urban life.

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