Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Ursula Bach

Committee of the Regions European Summit

22-23 March 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark

Over 300 mayors and presidents of regions will undertake to promote a model of sustainable urban development that will help put the European Union in the forefront of the fight against the effects of climate change.

Under the title The European urban fabric of the twenty-first century, the Fifth Summit of Europe’s Cities and Regions, organised by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in partnership with the City of Copenhagen and the Capital Region of Denmark, will discuss issues related to urban dynamics, European governance and the key role of local and regional government in the transition to a green economy.

“We believe that Europe must rely on its cities to regain the initiative in the field of sustainable development worldwide. That is the aim of this summit, as we have in Europe a unique urban model that has demonstrated the ability of cities and regions to continually renew themselves as places to live and engage in economic, social, intellectual, cultural and political exchanges”, says CoR president Mercedes Bresso. “The transition to a green economy, however, will require appropriate funding and EU policies and the development of innovative financial systems involving local partners, banks, private companies and civil society, with support from the EU in order to benefit from a leverage effect while using market-based instruments”.

For two days, mayors and presidents of regions from the 27 EU Member States, together with leading architects and urban planners, will share their experiences and thoughts with a view to ensuring that urban issues feature more prominently on the European agenda. The aim will also be to make sure that integrated, sustainable urban development does not remain a pious wish but becomes a living reality for all Europeans.

CoR is one of the organisations represented on the Jury for the European Green Capital Award, that helps to evaluate the shortlisted cities based on a. the city’s overall commitment, vision and enthusiasm as assessed by the expert panel and conveyed through the presentation, b. its communication actions and c. the city’s capacity to act as a role model to inspire other cities, promote best practices and spread the EGC model further – bearing in mind city size and location – including the city’s EGC communication strategy if they are to win. For more information on the Jury click here

The summit will be accompanied by an exhibition illustrating best practices in sustainable development in some thirty European cities and regions.

This commitment to making cities more beautiful, greener, more socially inclusive, more economically competitive and better integrated into their surroundings will be set out in the Copenhagen Declaration which the CoR president, as part of the EU delegation, will take to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), to be held from 20 to 22 June.

Full information about the summit can be found on the CoR website.