Council leader wows ´em in Belgium

PETERBOROUGH City Council leader Councillor Marco Cereste (left) and director of environment capital Trevor Gibson have been leading seminars showcasing the innovative ‘Sustainable City Visualisation Project’ this week (October 4-7) at the 8th European Week of Regions and Cities Open Days event in Brussels.

The project has been jointly developed by the city council, Opportunity Peterborough, IT giant IBM, consultants Royal Haskoning and investment and asset management company Green Ventures.

It allows an extensive array of environmental performance data covering energy, water, transport and waste systems to be displayed on a Google Earth platform. It will mean that city officials can monitor performance while working more effectively with utility suppliers to plan the long term energy and water infrastructure for a sustainable future.

Councillor Cereste said, “The Peterborough visualisation model is attracting interest from business leaders and government officials from throughout the world.

“This project demonstrates how Peterborough is setting a global lead with a big picture overview of its current sustainability performance. It identifies how organisations and individuals can collaborate and prioritise investment to secure truly sustainable growth.”

Trevor Gibson added, “The Peterborough model harnesses technological advances to collate data and interpret it in ways not achieved before.

“Peterborough is using recognised expertise that will enable us to meet the sustainability challenges and support Peterborough’s reputation as the home of environment capital.”

Peterborough’s reputation for supporting the growth of environmental goods and services companies is also being promoted at the Brussels event by Gareth Jones from the UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development (UK CEED). He is speaking at seminar on ‘Better cluster support services for green innovation’ and describing the work of Peterborough Eco Innovation Centre.

Launched in 2003, the open days events provide local authorities, voluntary organisations, private industry and universities opportunities to showcase their capacity for creating growth and jobs, to demonstrate best practice in areas such as regional competitiveness, territorial co-operation and social and economic cohesion, and to contribute to debates among EU institutions and member states.

The photo, above right, shows Councillor Cereste with William Kennard, ambassador to the US Mission to the European Union.