EU and Japanese cities hold third exchange meeting to examine progress


The 3rd IUC Exchange Meeting of EU and Japanese cities took place on 11 October in Brussels (Belgium). It was the third opportunity for the five pairings established in 2017 to meet and discuss their progress to date. During the meeting, the results of the five EU cities’ study tours to Japan in April 2018 were presented. 

In the summer of 2018, three additional city-pairings joined the IUC programme:  

  • The City of Bratislava (Slovakia) and the City of Tokorozawa (Japan), who are focusing on climate change adaptation, urban nature-based solutions, and smart eco-city development
  • Grenoble-Alpes Metropole (France) and the City of Toyota (Japan), who are working together on smart cities
  • The City of Umea (Sweden) and the city of Kamakura (Japan), who are collaborating on smart cities, social inclusion and the integration of SDGs

During the meeting, each city representative was given the opportunity to introduce the basic features of their city, their cooperation subject, as well as implementation plans.

The five initial pairings, as well as the pairing coordinators, participated in a round table discussion and reported on activities carried out so far, expressing their vision to achieve their goal. 

An introduction was given to the IUC website, followed by an exchange on the elaboration of the pairings’ local action plans. 

The Japanese Ministry of Land Infrastructure Transport and Tourism presented their tool to visualise statistical data for city planning and the development of policies purposes, titled i-Urban Renovation: Visualisation of urban renovation by using numerical and spatial data. 

Dr. Ronald Hall, Principal Adviser for International Relations at DG REGIO of the European Commission, was pleased to get a deeper insight into the Japanese pairings under the IUC programme and expressed hope that the cooperation continues after 2020 in the form of an extension of the IUC programme.

The Japanese Delegation spoke warmly of the bi-annual meetings and said that the ongoing communication - formal and informal - is highly appreciated. The next meeting is set to take place in Tokyo (Japan) in spring 2019.

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