The Global City Report places Bilbao as the third most innovative city after London and Chicago

Bilbao has just received another international recognition for its ability to "develop and attract talent." The Global City Report 2010 -a ranking made by a major Italian business group- ranks the city of Bilbao as the third most innovative in the world, behind London and Chicago. The classification is based on the analysis of four areas: technology, environmental care, cultural attractions and architecture. The last two are the strengths of Bilbao, in the opinion of the authors of the study, Bilbao has managed to transform itself at a good rhythm without sacrificing its tradition.

In the year of the Shanghai World Expo and the ´Nobel´ Prize for cities, awarded by the Singapore authorities, the name of Bilbao has also been heard in Milan, where last Tuesday were presented the findings of the report. The Global City Report is signed by two prestigious organizations in Italy: Generali SGR real estate division, a leading banking and insurance company in the country, and the independent research institute Scenari Immobiliari.

A "smart" change

This time the research was focused on innovation, but not exclusively linked to technological advances. If so Bilbao would not have been highlighted, since in this paragraph it is ranked in the last place of a select club of twenty cities. What it is valued is "the rapid and consistent evolution´ of populations, their efforts to build economic and social fabric to attract "new residents, new businesses and, above all, creative talent". The diagnosis has been addressed in a global scope and with very specific indicators that goes from the introduction of the Internet to transport networks and concert agenda.

Bilbao has shown its dynamism in this long-distance race. The merits attributed to it are the same that have made it win other awards. In the cultural field it won the third place, only behind Paris and Berlin, thanks to the brilliance of titanium. "It managed to transform its urban and industrial city image and reborn around the Guggenheim Museum, which has become a symbol of the city and the contemporary architecture," the report reads. It is even more enthusiastic the reference to urban development, although in this section it ranks seventh. "Bilbao is considered in Europe as a model of intelligent conversion," they say. "In less than twenty years it has come from being an industrial port city to a human scale city, with large green areas." In the field of sustainability, it lies in the middle of the table. In this regard, as in urban, Toronto is the winner.

Although Bilbao does not impose in all the categories, Bilbao obtains good grades in the general classification, perhaps because it "has managed to integrate perfectly innovation and tradition." The bronze medal is a good showcase, as this report is used as a working paper by large companies and investors. The study was conducted by two renowned professionals, sociologist Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, author of seminal works on globalization, and Paola Gianasso, Research Institute Scenari Immobiliari.

Source: El Correo Digital

Connecting classes, hospitals virtually

In a bid to improve the connectivity between areas and increase development, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority(MMRDA) commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad, has decided to introduce the concept of ´smart cities´ for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). If this plan takes off, soon

there will be virtual classrooms across schools in the MMR, where students will learn from a single teacher sitting at a central point. Primary health care workers, sitting in village hospitals across the MMR, will be able to get real-time instructions from doctors sitting in a central hospital.

For this, the MMRDA will tie-up with the international Information Technology major, Cisco.

Gaikwad, who recently visited Shanghai for an Infrastructure expo, where he learnt about the company said, "The company has created a smart city connected through the Internet two hours away from Seoul in South Korea. Even Trichur, in Karnataka, has a similar project. The MMR has many villages that fall under the tribal area and are often cut-off from the rest of the developed region. Cisco will be primarily offering their services for the development of such villages".

To begin with, a pilot project will be implemented in areas where schools do not have teachers and people have to travel far to get basic healthcare. The initiative, Gaikwad said will be part of CISCO´s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the expenses for setting up the system will be borne by Pune-based Science and Technology Park.

Source: hindustantimes

Regional Action Plan for Information Society

With the participation of 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean attached to the Regional Action Plan for the Information Society, was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, the Preparatory Meeting for the Third Ministerial Conference, which analyzed the long-term strategy of the region, known as eLAC, which states that the information technology and communications (ICT) are tools for economic development and social inclusion.

The meeting, which took place on 23 and 24 September, was inaugurated by the Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic of Uruguay, Alberto Breccia, and the director of the Division of Productive and Business Development of the Cepal, Mario Cimoli.

During the meeting it was presented the current regional plan on the Information Society (eLAC2010) and it was discussed a new proposal for the following years (eLAC2015). It is expected the decisions taken at this meeting to be approved at the Ministerial Conference to be held in Lima in November.

Mario Cimoli expressed the strong commitment of Cepal to the ECLAC process. "ICT is a catalyst for growth with equality, and promote regional integration," he said.

Cimoli reaffirmed that gender equality and equity in the region are two strong values of the regional commission of the United Nations, along with the improvement of the integration through dialogue and co-government.

He remarked that meetings like this are very helpful for the dialogue between countries and for building consensus that encourage the deepening of understanding and need for policies to promote the information society at regional level.

Alberto Breccia highlighted the value of the meeting and the need to empower Digital Agendas and ICT as tools for development, in order to make progress on social justice.

Source: Periódico La Reública, Uruguay