Isfahan municipality inks MoU with Dutch counterparts

"We are working together on the concept of smart cities". " Ms. Oostveen is representing the association of municipalities in the Netherlands because all the municipalities are organized in an association in our country", explained Dirk De Jager.

After inking a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the municipality of Isfahan, Irene Oostveen as the senior project manager for the association of municipalities in the Netherlands along with Dirk De Jager as the manager of the private co. responsible for sustainable solutions for better environment agreed to an interview with IMNA English Service.

Will you please tell us a brief introduction of your cooperation?

Dirk De Jager: Irene Oostveen  is representing this municipal government. She and her colleagues have quite some experience on how to work on smart cities in the Netherlands.

And I am representing sustainable solutions, representing companies and the field of urban sustainable mobility like cycling, public transportation, electric cars, deploying sustainable energy in cities, etc.

We are working together from the side of the government and the market both.

Because the transformation from the more traditional industry to a more modern one can be a complicated process in the city of Isfahan to reach its ideals, we could help bringing some knowledge from the Netherlands towards Isfahan to help how to do it.  

Is the fair effective enough on presenting your companies? 

Irene Oostveen: Yes I think it is a very good exhibition, I was impressed by the amounts of companies present here and also the presence of Isfahan municipality in several departments.

 I was able to present the VNG (the Association of Municipalities and Smart Cities in the Netherlands). Today, I gave some examples of what cities do in the Netherlands in one of the workshops and it was very well attended.

How were you invited to this event?  

Irene Oostveen: I was invited to the exhibition by the Iranian embassy in the Netherlands a long time ago. We already had some relations with Iran, I was here ten years ago and now I am really happy to be back. The invitation was at a very good moment because the sustainable urban development and smart cities are now high on the agenda in the Netherlands. It is quite a new topic. It was only this year that was a Dutch National Strategy on smart cities’ sides, so the moment was perfect for us to be invited.

We were also invited to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to exchange ideas further between the two sides.

Have you had the chance of walking around the exhibition to see other countries’ technologies? How updated are they?

Irene Oostveen: I was really happy and surprised to be here, the young startups and the young people working on video gaming and the application of gaming for citizenship were all creative here in the fair. I thought that was an excellent idea of them to be present here and to see how they can interact with other sectors of technology as well. I also saw very good examples of agricultural plants and flowers, as well as waste management and cleaning technologies, which all can be very useful for a future city.

There can still be more ideas to be shared from representatives from all over the world. But it is an excellent international festival.  

How were you welcomed by the people of Isfahan?

Irene Oostveen: I was very welcomed by the Iranian people. They take care of me all the time.

I had the opportunity this morning to visit Imam Square as well. It represents so much history. The excellent part was that people of Isfahan go out together on picnics throughout the city, from parks to squares. It is so beautiful to see all families together walking around here which indicates the social life.

The other surprising thing was the green parks for well maintaining trees.

Dirk De Jager: To be honest, I love Isfahan. It’s my third time here and have always been impressed with the city's culture, the thousand year of being the capital of the Persian Empire, you can deeply feel it here through all the buildings, around the bazaars, in the mosques, along the river.     

It is a pleasure to work with people from Isfahan.  Obviously I love my own city, Amesterdam, but I love some other cities among which Isfahan is very high on the list.   

Interviewer: Marjan Doras

News Code 314298

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