As part of its dinner-discussion series, the ESADE Alumni Public Management Club in Madrid recently invited Ana Botella, Deputy Mayor of Madrid and City Councillor for the Environment, to engage in a debate on the following topic: "Cities and their Main Challenges for the Future: Service Provision, Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability".
Ms. Botella was introduced by Francisco Longo, Director of ESADE’s Institute of Public Governance and Management, and Oscar Cortés (MP-FGAP 07), Vice President of the ESADE Alumni Public Management Club in Madrid, who both highlighted the links between cities and sustainability, the importance of this issue in these times of crisis, and the need to adopt innovative approaches in local public management.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Botella predicted that the 21st century would be "the century of cities", since 75% of the world’s population was projected to live in urban areas – a trend that brings with it the formidable challenge of maintaining economic development and services, which will necessarily be linked to our capacity to obtain the necessary resources. It is essential, she said, to assess energy impact and to implement demanding, decisive, cross-cutting sustainability policies in a diverse range of areas, including city planning, mobility, public procurement and construction. According to Ms. Botella, cities must therefore pursue efficiency and technological innovation if they are to attain a development model capable of attracting opportunities for the future.
Turning her attention to Madrid specifically, Ms. Botella cited a few of the main objectives of the current city government: boosting economic growth and creating an open, environmentally committed city whose energy dependence decreases over time. She also discussed a variety of different projects, some of which have not been widely publicised but have achieved important returns in terms of reducing energy use and emissions (1 billion euros invested in sanitation and water-treatment infrastructure and the planting of one million trees over eight years). She also mentioned Madrid’s plans to generate energy by means of urban-waste treatment, to renew the city’s fleet with environmentally friendly vehicles, to save energy at municipal facilities, etc.
After her talk, Ms. Botella engaged in a lively discussion with participants on a diverse range of topics, including the local management of environmental policies; future trends (electric vehicles and motorcycles, energy accumulators, etc.); sustainability as an element of political discourse (a difficult challenge because, as Ms. Botella noted, "the recession invades everything"); the importance of social consciousness (through education, since sustainability is an issue for everyone); the need to occasionally undertake major infrastructure projects (because city planning integrates, reveals new perspectives on the city, and helps companies); the importance of having a city project and a long enough term of office to carry it out; and the need for a strong, participatory civil society that develops a strong sense of belonging, because, in Ms. Botella’s words, "we all need to make the city together".
The ESADE Alumni Public Management Club invites you to a dinner discussion entitled "Cities and their Main Challenges for the Future: Service Provision, Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability", featuring Ana Botella, Deputy Mayor of Madrid and City Councillor for the Environment.
In today’s world, public management is facing enormous challenges. As a basic social nucleus, the city is a privileged place of social coexistence, economic progress and political democratisation, but it also faces complex problems: sustainability, governance, and finding its place in the global world. How can cities make their services acceptable without diminishing the rights of citizens? Are our cities sustainable? How can we strike a balance between development and environmental impact? How can public management address these challenges?
Welcome and introduction: Rafael Catalá Polo, ESADE faculty member and Director of the Executive Master in Public Administration (EMPA) Oscar Cortés (MP-FGAP 07), Vice President of the ESADE Alumni Public Management Club Francisco Longo, Professor and Director of the Institute of Public Governance and Management at ESADE
Lecture: Ana Botella, Deputy Mayor of Madrid and City Councillor for the Environment
Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the Complutense University of Madrid (1975). Member of the Senior Corps of Spanish Civil Administrators. Five years’ experience as a current
affairs commentator for a news programme on Telecinco. Former international honorary president of the Messengers of Peace Association and founder and chief executive of the Realiza Foundation and the Integra Foundation. She contributed to the book Érase una vez… Los mejores cuentos infantiles comentados (Martínez Roca, 2001) and published a memoir entitled Mis ocho años en la Moncloa (Plaza y Janés, 2004). Since 2003 she has been Second Deputy Mayor of Madrid, while also serving as City Councillor for Employment and Citizen Services (2003-2007) and City Councillor for the Environment (2007-2010). Since December 2004, she has been a member of the Management Committee of the People’s Party of Madrid. She was the party’s Executive Secretary for Social Action until 2008, when she became Executive Secretary for Industry Action. Since June 2008, she has been a member of the National Executive Committee of the People’s Party.