Past events

Smart cities and communities for all: How to become smart and age-friendly

Monday 10 October 2016 from 15:00 to 17:00

Hosted by Fundación Galicia Europa, Brussels

In a context of population ageing and budgetary constraints, it is crucial for European cities and communities to implement initiatives allowing their older residents to remain independent, active and healthy for longer. At the same time, European cities and communities are getting involved in smart initiatives in order to save energy, facilitate mobility, increase civic participation, and thus improve quality of life for their residents.

Developing smart cities and communities implies a continuous digitalisation of information, public services and opportunities for civic participation. How can smart cities and communities be inclusive for all, including older persons? How to ensure that smart cities and communities do not create new barriers for social inclusion, access to public services, and civic participation for vulnerable groups and, doing so hamper age-friendly efforts?

The debate offered room for discussion on inclusive smart cities and communities and shed light on concrete examples from cities and regions. It made the link with the Urban Agenda for the EU, the EIP on Active and Healthy Ageing, the EIP on Smart Cities and Communities, the emerging European Silver Economy Strategy, as well as the European Covenant on Demographic Change.

Contact person: Julia Wadoux,


160906 invitation Galicia EU cohesionEPRS Galicia Europa Logos

Sparsely and underpopulated regions in the EU face a number of challenges, such as low birth rates and a lack of transport connections, job opportunities and adequate social services. Researchers also suggest that broadband technologies, tourism and agriculture could provide new opportunities to boost the economic prosperity of these regions.

This event aimed at addressing several of these topics. Ramón Luis Valcárcel, Vice-President of the European Parliament introduced the main issues of the debate. Other invited speakers were the political representatives of the Region of Galicia and Thuringia who talked about their experiences in dealing with demographic issues that affect their territories. A discussion on the challenges and opportunities of sparsely populated and underpopulated areas followed.

Ramón Luis Valcárcel, MEP, Vice President of the European Parliament
Mercedes Bresso, MEP, Member of the Committee on Regional Development, Chair of the Intergroup on Rural, Mountainous and Remote Areas
José Manuel Rey Verela, Regional Minister for Social Policy, Autonomous Region of Galicia, Spain
Babette Winter, Secretary of State for Europe and Culture, Free State of Thuringia. Member of the Committee of the Regions
Michael Schneider, State Secretary of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt to the Federal Government. Member of the Committee of the Regions.

Moderator: Sarah Sheil, Head of Unit Structural Policies, EPRS

Event Depopulated areas

Agenda_Sparsely populated and severely depopulated areas

DCRN Meeting on “Age-Friendly homes”
Office of Extremadura in Brussels
11 May 2016

DCRN Meeting on “Understanding the managing Demographic Change”
24 February 2016

DCRN Meeting with “Population Europe”
17 November 2015

Joint seminar of the DCRN and Best Agers Lighthouses on Demographic Challenges
13 May 2014, event summary

Symposium on Family Policies from four EU Member States

22 and 23 January 2014, more info

Workshop 3: Raising the awareness of AAL JP activities and AAL JP projects among European regions
27 November 2013, more info

Horizon 2020: a major opportunity for research and innovation in regions
13 November 2013, more info

Working Lunch in the European Parliament: Giving Smart Seniors Access to Smart Technologies
12 November 2013, more info

GoAct Conference in Brussels
17-18 June 2013, more info

2013 Demography Forum: Investing in Europe’s demographic future
6-7 May 2013, European Commission, more info

DCRN and the Saxony Liaison Office invited to the seminar
„Demographic change: European challenge, regional solutions“
5 October 2011, Saxony Liaison Office