UBC Safe Cities Commission meeting took place in Kaunas
On January 12-13 Kaunas was a centre for discussions on the topic of “The Safe Cities” organized by Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC). The Safe Cities Commission’s meeting was held at the hotel “Santaka Best Western”. Meeting started with Kaunas city infrastructure projects and initiatives, such as the Science Promotion Centre, S. Darius and S. Girėnas Stadium renovation, International Children’s Games, plans of having the European Capital of Culture title and other business development project. During two days the participants discussed the most prominent issues of the Baltic Sea region cities. Major concerns were given to the safety of the public events, security of municipal buildings, public institutions and instruments that can be applied in order to deal with problems. What is more, the subject of winter problems had undergoing intense discussions and exchange of practices on how to deal with most common life-threatening winter challenges of slippery paths/ sidewalks and snowy roof tops. Also, a large part of discussion was addressed to extreme situation management. Participants were introduced to the action framework, considered the threats of extreme situations as well as the vulnerabilities of energy supply and communication systems. They also discussed experiences and practises on how to prevent and prepare for emergencies. Multilateral coordination, exchange of information and new partnerships were introduced as highly recommended means in order to solve the aforementioned problems. Finland shared the archipelago challenges. The emphasis was put on very long response time, extreme situations management, local people training and preparation to use certain instruments as well as the equipment. Representatives of Latvia introduced the conference members with a unique and innovative project interface prototype of emergency institutions/state services data gathering and analyses. The main idea of the project is to facilitate deeper collaboration and data exchange nationally and intra-regionally, to see the correlation between different factors that cause and provoke certain emergencies.
Information prepared by Karolis Kaupinis and Lukas Končius, trainees at Foreign Relations Division of Kaunas City Municipality