During the workshop “Working in the City” developed in the framework of the third congress of UCLG, local authorities from different regions of the world, agreed that boosting innovation is a key element to foster the creation of more and better jobs in communities around the world.

In the Interactive Museum of Economics, the mayors discussed the challenges that cities face in the lack of employment opportunities and concluded that it is necessary to produce a change in current paradigm of labor markets to ensure better living conditions.

The workshop “Working in the City” was part of the discussion series “City of 2030” so that the speakers discussed what conditions will have face workers in cities in 20 years, what kind of jobs could be offered and within what economies.

They noted that in this respect we must be “futuristic”, because technological innovation is advancing at a rapid pace, “20 years ago never imagined the impact of Internet or multimedia telephones, we must train these areas,” they remarked.

Michel Destot, Mayor of the French city of Grenoble, said that currently 50 percent of the world´s population live in cities and trends indicate that by 2050 will increase to 70 percent, this happens, because people migrate to cities looking for health, training and work.

However, he said, providing these opportunities is becoming increasingly difficult; a proof of this is the increase of informal employment that occurs in large cities. In this sense, William Cobbett, director of the Cities Alliance Global partnership, said that the solution to the informal labor market is not in its eradication, but on analyzing “how we can bring the power of the informal to the formal economy.”

For its part, Ibone Bengoetxea, Deputy Mayor of Bilbao, said that the basis for achieving the development of cities in the field of employment is to bet on creativity and knowledge management and become a “smart city”, this, added means, taking advantage of the diverse talents of its people, “not only give opportunity to people with higher education, but also to promote skills development. We must try to capture all these talents, keep them in groups or companies that help us be the cities we want to be, “he said.

Cassam Uteem, former President of Mauritius, coincided with the position of creating inclusive public policies because, he added, recent studies suggest that countries that include people in the dynamics of their economies achieve greater development than those that does not include them, ” the future of our cities and our people will depend on how we treat the weakest sectors of the community, “he said.

Finally, Claudio Arriagada, Mayor of La Granja, Chile, emphasized that the market does not solve everything since national states are the ones that have public policies on employment and labor codes work to protect employees and public policies that allow the generation of public-private investments to protect the wealth of each city.

The speakers concluded that even when the characteristics of each city vary widely, it is a common obligation to design consistent policies that allow conditions in which everyone has an opportunity for improvement, “there are no magic solutions, but we have to analyze what works and what does not in each of our cities and areas, this let us turn our differences in learning, “he concluded.

Source: Comunicación Social D.F.