Spotlight on Ethical Cities and Urban Innovation: Event

2016-07-05 08:15 1784

MELBOURNE, Australia, July 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- What makes cities ethical? Who is driving the sustainable development of cities? How can innovative solutions that enhance urban living be replicated?

These are some of the critical questions that will be asked of leaders working across transforming urban landscapes in Europe at Barcelona's first Ethical Cities: Urban Innovation Forum on 6 July 2016.

Close to 100 key decision-makers in urban-related fields in industry, academia and the public sector will be attending, including representatives from UN-Habitat, the UN Global Compact - Cities Programme, the City of Barcelona, the City of Madrid, Agile Ageing Alliance and Neighbourhoods of the Future.

Speakers include Josep Maria Montaner, housing and district councillor at Barcelona City Council; Maria Campuzano, spokesperson for the Alliance Against Energy Poverty; Sergio Tirado, a sustainable energy futures expert at RMIT Europe; and Julie Lawson, an international housing researcher at RMIT in Australia.  

The forum is being delivered by RMIT Europe, the European hub of Australian university RMIT.

RMIT Europe Executive Director Marta Fernandez said the forum is designed to foster dialogue and debate on the issues surrounding transparent, accountable, respectful, democratic and inclusive cities.

"Many of the key urban challenges facing cities across Europe will be covered, such as affordable housing and financing, urban energy transitions, and public spaces and inclusion," Fernandez said. 

"We can expect outcomes to include innovative, practical and scalable solutions for the local context as well as recommendations that will feed into UN-Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, in October 2016 in Quito and the European Commission Reference Framework for Active Ageing."

The Ethical Cities: Urban Innovation Forum in Barcelona follows the Ethical Cities: Locking in Liveability Urban Thinkers Campus in Melbourne, Australia, an event also hosted by RMIT and organised by the UN Global Compact - Cities Programme and World Vision.

What: Ethical Cities: Urban Innovation Forum

When: Wednesday 6 July, 9.00am to 5.30pm (registration essential by emailing:

Where: Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, 167 Carrer de Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 08025 Barcelona, Spain


For journalists wishing to attend the forum or for interviews with speakers and general media enquiries: 

Patricia Lora: or +34 620 784 988.

Karen Matthews: or +34 675 501 548.

Available interviewees:

Ralph Horne
Director of the UN Global Compact - Cities Programme
Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation for the College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University

Ralph Horne's expertise is in urban social and policy change for sustainable design and development. He has extensive experience of environmental techniques and sustainability appraisal and has a specific research interest in urban transitions, including socio-technical relations in the context of climate change and resource scarcity. 

Julie Lawson
Associate Professor, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University

Julie Lawson is an international housing researcher and Honorary Associate Professor in the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute in the Centre for Urban Research. Her interests include urban development, land and housing policy and social housing finance. She has provided expert advice to UN-Habitat, UNECE and Housing Europe, Norway's Husbanken as well as various Australian governments at the national, regional and local level and housing industry organisations. He current work focuses on investment mechanisms for social infrastructure provision, planning for affordable housing development and organisational development.

Sergio Tirado
Researcher, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT Europe
Sergio is a researcher associated with RMIT's Centre for Urban Research. He is investigating the social and environmental dimensions of the transition to sustainable energy futures and works in identifying opportunities and creating partnerships for advancing RMIT's urban research agenda in Europe. He recently coordinated a study across Spain on energy poverty, vulnerability and inequality in collaboration with Spain's Environmental Sciences Association.

Marta Fernandez
Executive Director, RMIT Europe

Marta Fernandez leads the expansion of RMIT's global reach across research, industry and student mobility in Europe. She has a strong interest in urban wellbeing, particularly the impact of design and technology on cities, and has been a member of several European expert panels for nature-based solutions in cities, active ageing and the built environment.

Source: RMIT University