Energy and Mobility for Smart Cities :: Cascais thinking about the future
ENERGY AND MOBILITY FOR SMART CITIES | Cascais thinking about the future
Cascais is more than just a pretty face. Cascais Municipality has been concerned about the environment, life quality and its citizens needs for a long time, a constant challenge to bring the municipality to the leading edge regarding nationwide environmental policies.
The ENERGY AND MOBILITY FOR SMART CITIES initiative is more proof of this. This event is another crown jewel that brings worldwide issues on modernity optimization in favour of local communities into public discussion, comparing what Cascais has already been doing for its citizens and what could be improved.
With its feet firmly on the ground, while looking to the future, Cascais is keen on taking control over the sustainability of its resources.
Organizing a debate focused on “urban intelligence” the Municipality found a practical “look and feel” of its daily reality and so can extract practical conclusions for its Citizens’ daily life.
The ENERGY AND MOBILITY FOR SMART CITIES initiative, promoted by the Fundação Cascais together with the Portuguese Electric Vehicle Association, Cascais Municipality and the Jornal de Negócios, has always been dedicated to the discussion of basic issues of daily life in cities, such as sustainability, mobility, energy efficiency and safety. Nowadays, as a result of globalization and the bigger complexity of urban issues, the debate also extends to other subjects, also worthy of public concern such as economy, health, education and employment. The “zoom effect”, the city for the citizen, is the secret to building cities on the leading edge of technologic advancements which can also become more human.
In a world constantly pushed further by technology and communication, life in cities cannot escape the speed of development and constant events. However, if we add to this dynamic innovation, intelligence and creativity, the final results can become very positive.
László Hubay Cebrian, President of Fundação de Cascais, has no doubts about it. Bringing to Estoril, every year, national and international keynote speakers to expose and stir debate on issues such as energy savings, balance in urban life within the dichotomy of progress-sustainability and the proactivity needed to change daily behaviours in a city is just like planting seeds that, when watered properly, guarantee a good harvest in the following years.
“It is important to understand that energy is an asset of everyone’s responsibility, an asset that must be saved and managed carefully. If we keep on wasting energy as we have been doing, we will not have a promising future (…). Youngsters need to learn from my generation, learning with the good things, but also with our mistakes. And us, from my generation, we have made many mistakes. This is why youth must be close to us, so we can learn from them and let them learn from us. I think we can learn more from them than the opposite. They are the ones who can see what we did wrong and how it should be done it the future”.
The “ENERGY AND MOBILITY FOR SMART CITIES” debate brings together important, internationally famous keynote speakers, related with areas of Mobility and Energy. In their speeches one of the main focuses is to connect those topics to the challenges and problems of modern cities, enabling interesting conclusions and connection points to different realities. Besides the debate, this conference also includes an experiential part, where participants are invited to test drive electric cars.
The initiative, which occurs this year at Cascais Miragem, in Cascais, between 25th and 26th November, always includes a high moment – the “Mayors Dinner” bringing to Cascais and Estoril a large number of Mayors from different cities of Portugal, including them in experiences, examples and challenges faced in Cascais which can also represent a try-on test and boost for other municipalities to move in the direction of implementing an environmental improvement program.
In terms of energy savings, Cascais is one of the best Municipalities, having already been recognized internationally through several awards, on this matter but also on environmental policies. Some examples of best practices, implemented in this Municipality’s daily life, are the fact that most of public lightning in Cascais is LED, municipal transportation are electric and hybrid, some of the urban waste removal vehicles are also totally electric and many electricity supply points for electric cars have been installed throughout the municipality.
With nearly 300 days of sun per year and a Municipality so concerned with environmental questions, there are more than many reasons to say that in Cascais good energies are all around us.