Rob van Gijzel; A great challenge in redeveloping our structural systems like mobility, health and energy

 All our structural systems like mobility, health, energy and raw materials, they need to be redeveloped, to be reinvented and that’s something that is giving us a great challenge. You cannot do it only as a government, you have to be involved in what we call the partners, the stakeholders in...

 All our structural systems like mobility, health, energy and raw materials, they need to be redeveloped, to be reinvented and that’s something that is giving us a great challenge. You cannot do it only as a government, you have to be involved in what we call the partners, the stakeholders in our triple helix: the government, the entrepreneurs as well as the knowledge institutes, but that’s not enough. We need the end users as well.

Video-interview with Rob van Gijzel, Mayor City of Eindhoven

Transcription of the interview

The world is in an enormous crisis. Of course we all know about the financial-economic crisis, but I think there is a shift going on. All our structural systems like mobility, health, energy and raw materials, they need to be redeveloped, to be reinvented and that’s something that is giving us a great challenge. It’s what is happening in our cities at this very moment. Within a couple of years 80% of all the people will live in our cities and that will bring new opportunities, new great challenges as well. We have to change our systems, we have to change our mobility systems in our cities. I think smart cities are adaptive and creative and this combination of high level technology and the new way of thinking is necessary to reshape our cities and make them future proof.

Santander is a smart city when we’re talking about environment, traffic and transport. Or Helsinki, that’s a smart city when you talk about the interventions of the government. They use a design as a new approach of working, not with laws and regulations, but see what is necessary to organise your society. Eindhoven is a smart city as well. For example I think that our way of collaboration in our triple helix and quadra helix structure with the end users and the government, the knowledge institute, the entrepreneurs, that was an approach over the last couple of years that has been rewarded quite often. What you see is that we are doing field labs, try out new developments in our city and ourselves. We have a field lab on mobility, it’s block traffic, so you’re not driving your own car. We are doing it on light, on energy and I think on specific areas we are a smart city as well.

You cannot do it only as a government, you have to be involved in what we call the partners, the stakeholders in our triple helix: the government, the entrepreneurs as well as the knowledge institutes, but that’s not enough. We need the end users as well, we try to help them. That specific approach what we are doing is, we are sitting together and then we ask as equal partners in the same process: what is necessary for the economic development in our region. Then points are brought up, we make a program and then we say: this is our part, this is your part and this is the third part. It’s not a template we are making, but it’s a way of working together to help each other in an open mind setting and that is the most important thing I presume.

What we bring here together is a new way of thinking. We do not have all the answers, so we have to help each other to find these answers. A meeting like this that will be organised in Amsterdam is of the highest importance.

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