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Launching the Energy 2030 Blueprint in Costa Rica

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Technology is not the problem. It's there. This is a matter of decision," says Forum Associate Felipe De León in the Costa Rican daily newspaper La Nación. De León is referring to the Equinox Blueprint: Energy 2030, which he and Insight Consulting launched in Costa Rica earlier this summer.

The launch event, titled "Lanzamiento en Costa Rica del Equinox Blueprint", built on the core visions of the Equinox Summit: Energy 2030, and explored them in the national context of Costa Rica. The conference gathered technology experts, policy makers and financiers in rigorous exchange of ideas and insights on the five technological pillars of the Blueprint.

The pillar of smart urbanization and smart mobility garnered the most attention in Costa Rica. The event hosted a panel discussion to explore the subject in more depth. Panelists included:

  • William Alpízar, Director of the National Climate Change Program with the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (Nacional de Cambio Climático del MINAET)
  • Verena Arauz, Advisor of the German Agency for Development Cooperation (Agencia Alemana de Cooperación para el Desarrollo, GIZ)
  • Rolando Araya, a consultant and international speaker on energy
  • Felipe De León, WGSI Forum Associate and Director of Performance & Innovation at Insight and Santiago Núñez , Director of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MICIT)

Through consensus, the panel agreed that a broadly accepted notion of smart cities should concurrently seek to minimize carbon footprint and maximize satisfaction in public transportation. A key to the development of smart urbanization is therefore to avoid the cost and environmental externalities generated by private car ownership, and to procure eco-efficient ways of access to mobility. The panel and various other conference participants also advised the integration of mobile application that allows intelligent and real-time trip planning.

De León reiterated during an interview with La Republica—the second largest newspaper (largest business newspaper) in Costa Rica – that the maturity of information and communication technologies, as well as electric vehicle technologies is allowing Costa Rican urban areas to meet the parameters of smart mobility. It is a matter of public policy and popular willingness to realize the vision.


Photo: Smart Cities Panel [Credit: Felipe De León]