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Sustainable town planning under discussion in Vitoria-Gasteiz

2011 March 30

Four hundred experts are taking part in the 1st International Meeting on Sustainable Town Planning in Vitoria- Gasteiz

The speakers at the conference include fifteen of the world's most renowned authorities in the fields of sociology, environmental balance, architecture and city planning and development. The conference serves as a forum for debate and provides an opportunity for the Lehendakari to address the need to commit to cities that are "more sustainable, by renovating and recovering lost spaces".

The Lehendakari, Patxi López, today affirmed that "it is no longer acceptable to use more and more land as a way of responding to population growth; it is now necessary to adopt a more rational and sustainable approach to utilising existing land and ensure that cities develop in a more compact manner".

In his opinion, the Basque Country is facing the challenge of furthering the development of more sustainable cities. To achieve this, the Lehendakari believes it is necessary to "reduce the excessive use of material and energy resources, commit to recycling, land renovation and regeneration and housing, and avoid urban sprawl by minimising the distances between home, work and amenities". He also spoke of the need to take action on urban regeneration and building renovation and the need to "recover, on behalf of citizens, the lost spaces of the city, via more sustainable construction and the application of innovation".

The Lehendakari, the Deputy General of Álava, Xabier Agirre, and the Mayor of Vitoria, Patxi Lazcoz, today presided over the inauguration of the 1st International Meeting on Sustainable Town Planning in Vitoria-Gasteiz, which was organised by Vitoria City Council. The event was attended by over 350 people, along with 25 experts including speakers and chairs from around the world, who led the discussion on the introductory topics: policies of urban renewal and innovation in cities.

Fifteen renowned Spanish and international professionals from the fields of architecture, sociology and urbanism will take part in the talks, roundtables, workshops and debates that have been scheduled for this inaugural edition of the conference. The prominent sociologist Saskia Sassen and economist Jeremy Rifkin are the keynote speakers who will provide the opening and closing talks.

 

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Politicians attending the event
(IX term 2009 - 2012)