‘If you don’t have social inclusion, the city will never be functional’ – Lamberto Zannier

Lamberto ZannierFor Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) inclusion is key. A city that wants to be safe and secure should reach all its citizens. ‘You need to start from there.’

‘Cities are in the center of the problems’ stated Lamberto Zannier in his keynote speech at the Smart & Safe Event 2017 in The Hague. ‘The mayors are in the trenches; the cities are becoming laboratories. They are dealing with the big challenges, with the changing economy, with the growing number of citizens. They know how unemployment can provoke instability. If to many young people become unemployed this can also lead to radicalization, because of the lack of perspective.’

Do you think the role of the mayor is becoming more important?

‘Yes, we should really have more interaction with mayors. The responses to the global challenges are slow and the global world is really struggling. Of course, we have a sustainable development agenda, but it is a challenge when it comes to implementation. There is a lot to say for a bottom up approach, which is binding the experiences of the cities. They should not remain confined in those cities, but turn into national policies. Therefore, we should make a network of mayors so we can learn from the best practices.’

A lot of mayors are struggling not only to be smart and safe but also to be inclusive.

‘I think inclusion is key, if you don’t have social inclusion the city will never be functional. And, other policies will be also difficult to implement. That should be your starting position, we have to be a participatory system, where everybody is engaging. You want to see an active civil society and active participation of the elections. There are still blockages in some countries, when it comes to the participation of migrants for instance. We really need to deal with that. It is difficult, you should strike a balance. They have to understand and accept the culture of newcomers.’

Can new technologies help to include?

Yes, I think more and more. The use of technology can help to reach out to the younger generations. It is an additional tool that can in fact facilitate inclusion, through technology and social media. I think cities should be investing that.

Do you think local governments are aware how important inclusion is? Also to make the city more safe?

‘I am not entirely sure. Of course, there are pockets of awareness, but I think we need to work more on this. Especially when you engage on a governmental level there can be a push back, there is a tendency to fall back into old habits and procedures. Mayors who are experiencing this every day, can help to start at the front of the problem.’


Smart City Event 2018

The International Smart City Event where you will experience the latest smart solutions for the city of the future!

The 8th edition of the international Smart City Event will take place in The Hague (The Netherlands) on the 27th and 28th of June 2018

Last year over 700 professionals from different countries and cities, came together in The Hague. This year, experts from leading cities will be on stage to present their unique projects of smart cities. During these 2 days there will be several keynote speeches, round table sessions, excursions and much more!


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