What Does Vienna Have in Common with the New Silk Road?

13 August 2019 | 00:00 Code : 9065 News Events

In order to ensure sustainable development, the cities along the New Silk Road also have to face major infrastructural and social challenges, as well as climate-ecological challenges. More than 1000 participants from more than 178 cities are expected in September in the Vienna International Center for UNIDO's Bridge for Cities Conference as part of the Belt & Road Initiative.

“BRIDGE for Cities 4.0” will focus on the role of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in fostering urban innovation in cities along the Belt and Road and beyond.

Organized conjointly by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC), “BRIDGE for Cities - Belt and Road Initiative: Developing Green Economies for Cities” (“BRIDGE for Cities” event) is a large-scale annual event, which aims to advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda.

The event promotes the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development via the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with which it shares many similarities, in all participating countries, to encourage municipal officials and development stakeholders to scale up their engagement in inclusive and sustainable urban-industrial development initiatives.

Based on previous events, BRIDGE for Cities 4.0 will explore the role of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in fostering urban innovation in cities along the Belt and Road and beyond.

The “4.0” in the title symbolizes both the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the fourth edition of the event.

It will aim at providing a wide and multidisciplinary perspective on how cities can tap into advanced technologies and new industrial solutions to enhance the quality of life for their citizens by reducing cities’ carbon footprint, improving public services as well as creating new jobs and attracting skilled labor.


It encourages municipal officials and development stakeholders to scale up their engagement in inclusive and sustainable urban-industrial development initiatives, and establish a municipal platform through which cities can share their development successes and challenges, and ultimately scale up their capacities.

Through its many activities, including the high-level plenaries, the exhibition, city-to-city matchmaking sessions and cultural performances, the event provides ample opportunities for participants to forge partnerships and exchange best practices.

Since its inception in 2016, the “BRIDGE for Cities” event has been evolving continuously, introducing new features and attracting more participants every year. The increasing attendance not only validates the significance of the “BRIDGE for Cities” events as platforms for facilitating partnerships among cities, but highlights their importance in the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Both the many outcomes achieved and the participation of case cities testify of the growing momentum the event has gained.



LI Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

LI Yong has had an extensive career as a senior economic and financial policymaker. As Vice-Minister of Finance of the People’s Republic of China and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank for a decade, LI has long been involved in setting and harmonizing fiscal, monetary and industrial policies and in supporting sound economic growth in China. Throughout his career, he has advocated financial-sector reform and prompted major financial institutions to establish corporate governance, deal with toxic assets and strengthen risk management. LI prioritizes fiscal and financial measures to promote agricultural development and small and mediumsized enterprises, both of which represent cornerstones for creating economic opportunities, reducing poverty and promoting gender equality. He played a key role in China’s cooperation with multilateral development organizations, such as the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank.


Mr. CAI E-Sheng, Chairman Finance Center for South-South Cooperation

Mr. CAI E-Sheng serves as Chairman of the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation and has served as Executive Director of the China Society for Finance and Banking since 2014. Mr. CAI joined the People’s Bank of China (PBC) in 1975 where he served as Assistant to the Governor from 1998 and Governor of the PBC Shanghai Branch from 2000.

ALKHALIFA Abdulhamid, Director General The OPEC Fund for International Development

Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, a Saudi Arabian national, was elected Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of OFID - the OPEC Fund for International Development - at the institution’s June 2018 Ministerial Council meeting. Dr Alkhalifa officially assumed his post on November 1, 2018.

Mr. MOHIELDIN Mahmoud, Senior Vice-President World Bank Group

Mahmoud Mohieldin is the World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations, and Partnerships. Before joining the World Bank, Mohieldin held numerous senior positions in the government of Egypt, including minister of investment from 2004 until 2010.

LUDWIG Michael, Mayor of Vienna City of Vienna

Mayor Ludwig graduated in political science and history at University of Vienna and obtained his PhD in 1992. He started his political career in 1994 as Member of the District Council of Vienna 21st district, to then become Member of the Austrian Federal Council from 1996 to 1999.

BONI Annalisa, Secretary general Eurocities

Anna Lisa Boni has been secretary general of EUROCITIES since June 2014. Before joining EUROCITIES, she was director of the Brussels office of the French region Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. She has 25 years of professional experience in EU public affairs in the field of local and regional government.

DIEZ Tomas, Director Fab Lab Barcelona


Tomas is a Venezuelan Urbanist specialized in Digital Fabrication and its implications for the future of cities. He is the director of Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, the Fab Academy global coordinator and the European project manager of the Fab Foundation.

HEIDINGER Klaus, Global Head - City IT Solutions Siemens

Klaus is the head of City IT Solutions at the Global Center of Competence Cities of Siemens. Klaus’ role involves providing methodologies, system and tools such as the City Performance Tool and City Air Management System to support cities to meet their economic, social and environmental targets.

KAMGAING Roger, Executive Vice President SGS

Roger KAMGAING is Executive Vice President for Governments and Institutions, a role to which he was appointed in April 2014. With a solid academic background, professional experience in the sphere of audits and certification for Ernst & Young, and commodity training in Africa, Roger joined SGS in 1996 as Regional Sales Manager for East Africa.

KLOSI Blendi, Minister of Tourism and Environment of the Republic of Albania Governmant of Albania

Mr. Blendi Klosi was born in Tirana , is married and a father of two. He graduated in the field of Electronic Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tirana (1988- 1993), where he was later engaged as a lecturer. He serves as Minister of Tourism and Environment of the Republic of Albania.

BEN AMARA Kamel, Mayor of Bizerte, Tunisia Government of Tunisia

Kamel is an engineer by education and he obtained a PhD at the Engineering National School in Tunis in 1988, where he then taught for 6 years. Afterwards, he has been the head of the department of civil engineering in Qatar for 7 years. Following that experience, he worked 15 years in various positions for Qatar Petroleum.


HANACHI Pirouz, Mayor of Tehran Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr. Hanachi has extensive expertise in urban development and cultural heritage preservation. An architect by education, he holds a PhD in "Urban and historical cities renewal" at the University of Tehran. Before being elected Mayor of Tehran in November 2018, he held a number of administrative positions in the Iranian government.

RISMAHARINI Tri, Mayor of Surabaya Government of Indonesia

TRI RISMAHARINI is the first female mayor of Surabaya. Before being elected as Mayor in 2010, she had served as government official in Surabaya City Government for more than 20 years. She is known for her success to transform Surabaya into green and clean city.

DIPIAZZA Roberto, Mayor of Trieste, Italy Government of Italy

Roberto is an Italian entrepreneur and politician, currently serving as the Mayor of Trieste after being re-elected for the seat in 2016 for a third 5-year term as Mayor. Previously, he served as Mayor of Muggia (Trieste) from 1996 to 2001 and then he has been elected Mayor of Trieste in 2001-2011 for two five-years consecutive terms.

MIROSHNIK Irina, Mayor of Petrozavodsk, Russian Federation Government of the Russian Federation

Irina Miroshnik graduated from Petrozavodsk State University with a degree in Physics in 1994. From 2007 to 2013, Irina worked in Gymnasium No. 37 of the city of Petrozavodsk as an informatics teacher and as deputy director for scientific and methodological work.

VUKOVIĆ Ivan, Mayor of Podgorica, Montenegro Government of Montenegro

Mr. Vuković completed his bachelor and master studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Montenegro. During the studies, on the eve of the referendum in 2006, he was a student representative in the Movement for Independence of Montenegro. He completed his postgraduate studies in 2008 at the University of Leiden.

BELIJGE DARA Tesfaye, Vice Mayor of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Government of Ethiopia

Mr. Tesfaye Belijge Dara is head of the Coordination Bureau of Democratic Institutions Building at Addis Ababa City Administration and holds the status of Deputy Mayor. He is also the former Vice President of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State association.

VITANAK Kong, Deputy Governor of Preah Sihanouk Province, Cambodia

Mr. Vitanak serves as Deputy Governor of the Preah Siahanouk Province in Cambodia since 2016, after two years as Director of General Administration of the same Province. Previously, Mr. Vitanak worked extensively in the private sector acquiring a comprehensive expertise on development sectors including investment, industry and handicraft.

WU Zhong, Vice-President and Director-General Finance Center for South-South Cooperation

Mr. Wu Zhong has been the Vice-President and Director-General of Finance Center for South-South Cooperation Limited since June 2015. Dr. Wu previously served as the Mayor of Qianjiang, Chongqing Municipality from December 2010 to May 2015; the Director of International Poverty Reduction Center in China from July 2008 to November 2010; and... Read More

LEHMANN Marc, Head of Catastrophe Management Solutions American International Group

At AIG, Marc is part of the Risk Analytics & Exposure Management Leadership Team and responsible for promoting existing modelling and risk engineering services and developing new catastrophe risk management solutions for AIG’s commercial clients and prospects.Marc joined AIG from insurance broker Willis Towers Watson where he was a Partner... Read More

YU Jie, China Research Fellow Chatham House


Ms. Yu Jie (Cherry) is research fellow at the Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House, focusing on the decision-making process of Chinese foreign policy as well as China’s economic diplomacy.She speaks and writes frequently at major media outlets and regularly briefs senior policy practitioners from the EU institutions, the UK Cabinet Office, an... Read More

HAID Stefan, Partner - Civil Economics, Energy & Infrastructure Competence Center Roland Berger GmbH

Stefan joined Roland Berger in 2009. He studied Business/Economics and Political Science at the Universities of Passau, and ESSEC (Paris) as well as International Relations/Economics at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Stefan has more than fifteen years of experience in consulting.

WU Guangquan, President and Executive Chairman Federation of Shenzhen Industries

Wu Guangquan servers as the president of presidium and director of the Global Industry Research Center (GIRC) in China Federation of Industrial Economics (CFIE), and also as the president and executive chairman of Federation of Shenzhen Industries (FSZI). He was born in May 1962 in Loudi, Hunan province.

ZHANG Xioachen, President of FinTech4Good, UN ESCAP Sustainable Business Network Executive Council UN ESCAP

Xiaochen leads the design and implementation of FinTech4Goods’s strategy which aims to introduce impactful fintech and blockchain solutions to frontier markets through incubation, acceleration and investment. He is a partner at Wemerge Capital, a Chairman of the Global Digital Economy Leadership Council.


BRIDGE for Cities 4.0 & Belt & Road Initiative: Connecting Cities through the New Industrial Revolution

3 to 4 September 2019

Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria

Event Link: https://www.unido.org/4th-bridge-cities-event

Courtesy of Vindobona, Vienna International News

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