4th CITIES FORUM 2020 - “Together we shape a sustainable urban future”
Organised by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, and the City of Porto, the "CITIES Forum 2020 – "together we shape a sustainable urban future" was a two-day major event bringing together more than 700 key stakeholders from European, national and local levels and all EU member states on 30th and 31st January 2020. The Forum was a place for all stakeholders to capitalise on common achievements and reflect on the future directions of urban development within Cohesion Policy including the future of the Urban Agenda for the EU.
Many stakeholders relevant in the urban acquis, including umbrella organisations and NGO’s, contributed to the success of this edition of CITIES Forum by being speakers, leading workshops, and hosting stands. Additionally, more than 30 politicians representing all different tiers of government from all over Europe representing balanced geography, gender and sizes of cities participated in plenary debates.
On the first day, we conferred and organised two workshops in the City of Porto showcasing how this city works on technology solutions and deals with climate and environmental issues at specific locations in the city. At the same time, a CityLab on balanced territorial development in relation to the renewal of the Leipzig Charter was scheduled. Moreover, the Handbook of Sustainable Urban Development Strategies produced by the Joint Research Service and DG REGIO of the European Commission was published during the CITIES Forum. In the afternoon of the first day welcoming words and introductions of high-level speakers were followed by two panel discussions on “how will the European Urban Initiative support cities” and “shaping the future of sustainable urban development including the Urban Agenda for the EU”.
On the second day, several parallel workshops allowed the creation of visitors’ own urban workshop ‘menu’. The attendees were inspired by cities presenting good practices making use of European Regional Development Funds, learned more about the outcome of the assessment study on the Urban Agenda for the EU, were prepared for a transition towards a circular economy, saw the launch of the circular city funding guide and discussed the issues cities face related to housing and equal access to services for all. They joined in to learn how we could strengthen the local economy by focusing on Jobs&Skills and help us boosting digital transformation in cities and communities. After the workshops, mayors from different EU cities reflected on their current challenges and shared their visions on the way forward towards better urban policymaking and urban investments.
After lunch, we continued with different sessions highlighting the progress made so far by the Urban Agenda Partnerships, how to localise the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals or be vocal on what attendees thought the European Urban Initiative should focus on.
Following lively and fruitful discussion, the main outcome of this edition of CITIES Forum was that cities could be an inspiration when responding to the major current and future challenges. They are living labs for policy, innovation, creativity and progress. Yet to do so, cities voices need to be heard and they need have a seat around the table when setting-up and implementing EU and national policies that impact cities.
In addition working in an integrating and participatory way, collaborating with neighbouring territories and networking with other cities, citizens and other levels of governance are the cornerstones of sustainable urban development. It is precisely through this working method where the added value of Cohesion Policy support can be found for cities in this new period.
A small exhibition was also open to participants where urban organisations and networks hosted stands, engaged and provided information on urban programmes and initiatives.
53 EU-funded good urban practices projects form all of the Member States were selected from the Cohesion Policy funded programme and exhibited during CITIES Forum. Through a public poll, participants were then able to choose a favourite project per one of the five categories. The corresponding project representatives will be contacted to receive the award certificate. The results of the poll were the following:
- Favourite Smart Specialisation Projects*:
Bridge (Rotterdam, NL)
The Open Data and Interfaces Spearhead Project (FI)
- Favourite Green Investment Project: URBAN SOIL 4 FOOD (Maribor, SL)
- Favourite Mobility-Connectivity Project: COMMUTE (Toulouse, FR)
- Favourite Social Investment Project: U-RLP (Utrecht, NL)
- Favourite Closer to Citizens Project*:
TAST’IN FIVES (Lille, NL)
International Conference Centre (Katowice, PL)
*The vote on the public poll resulted in a tie between the corresponding projects for the two indicated categories.
- Complete list of good urban practices showcased in the exhibition area
- Pictures to download and share.
- Dedicated event website.
We thank you for your participation in CITIES Forum and we hope you had a pleasant stay in Porto!
TECH4SDGs: Best practices about the implementation of tech solutions in Porto
- TECH4SDGs. What Cities and Communities Need , Martin Brynskov, Assoc. Professor, Aarhus University / Chair, Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC)
Discussion on the outcome of the assessment study of the Urban Agenda for the EU
- Presentation on the Outcomes of the Assessment Study , Martin Kuehnemund, Head of European Evaluation and Head of the Study Team, IPSOS,
Showcase of good urban practices within Cohesion Policy presented by cities
- Sustainable and Integrated Urban Development in the EU , Eddy Adams, SIX Adviser and URBACT Programme Expert
- Bridge - Rotterdam, NL , Hans Verdonk, EU Representative, City of Rotterdam
- Oasis – Paris, FR , Raphaelle Thiollier, Oasis Project Manager, General Secretariat of the city of Paris
- Low Carbon Public Services – Ii (FI) , Ari Alatossava, Mayor of Ii Town
- TMaaS – Ghent (BE) , Sophie Gillaerts, Team Leader, City of Ghent
- City.Mobil.Net – Bielefeld (DE) , Olaf Lewald, Head of Office of Mobility, Bielefeld Department of Economic Affairs, Urban Planning and Mobility.
- Housing First – Brno (CZ) , Jan Milota, Fonder & Councillor, Platforma
- Doctors of the World – Brussels (BE) , Yolande Gavilan, Service Public Régional de Bruxelles
- TAST’ In FIVES – Lille (FR) , Antoine Plane, Project Manager, Lille City Council
Cities as guardians of fundamental rights. Ensuring equal access to quality services for all
- More than Obligation. The functions of human Rights at the local level , Moritz Baumgärtel, Assistant Professor, Utrecht University, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance
Cities Engaging on the Right to Housing
- Presentation on Cities Engaging on the Right to Housing , Nuala Morgan, Head of Unit - Capitalisation & Communication, URBACT & Raffaele Barbato, Project Coordinator, UIA
Jobs and Skills in the Local Economy: Challenges and potential solutions
- Jobs and Skills in the Local Economy. Singapore’s Upskilling , Christian Scharff, Expert on Skills in the Digital Economy, PWC Luxembourg
- Jobs and Skills in the Local Economy. Porto For Talent , Ricardo Valente, City Councillor for Economy, Tourism and Commerce and City Councillor for European Funds, City of Porto
- Jobs and Skills in the Local Econmomy. Bizkaia talent , Ivan Jimenez, Managing Director, Bizkaia Talent
Scaling up the transition towards a circular economy in cities
- How has the Partnership contributed to Better Regulation, Better Funding and Better Knowledge? , Håkon Sandven Jentoft, Coordinator Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy.
- Urban Innovative Action - Supporting experimentation in cities , Raffaele Barbato, Project Coordinator, Urban Innovative Actions
- Better circular city funding , Werner Schmidt, Director, European Investment Bank (EIB)
- Circular Cities Funding Guide Tjerk Wandernaar, Team Leader PNO Consultants
- Circular City Governance , Veerle Labeeuw, Facilitator Circulaire Economie, Vlaanderen Circulair, Belgium
- How an Urban Innovative Action project pushed forward a Circular Economy Strategy in a Maribor , Igor Kos, consultant Wcycle Institute Maribor, Slovenia
- Joining Urban Agenda actions for a sustainable and circular reuse of spaces and buildings , Albert Civit, Director, Catalan Land Institute (INCASÒL), Government of Catalonia
Working together to deliver Sustainable Development Goals at EU and global level
- Handbook on Voluntary Local Reviews Alice Siragusa, Project Officer, EU Joint Research Centre
- Phase 2 of the International Urban Cooperation Programme , Severina Markova, Programme Manager, EU Foreign Policy Instrument
- A pilot initiative on evaluation of local SDG action: The Global future cities programme , Laura Petrella, Leader of the City Planning, Extension and Design Unit, UN Habitat
- How the International Urban Cooperation Supportis the 2030 Agenda, the New Urban Agenda and Attaning SDGs Annika Lenz, Programme Management Officer, UN Habitat
European Urban Initiative Expert Working Group
- Presentation of the European Urban initiative (EUI)- Expert Working Group , Pia Laurila and Thomas de Béthune, European Commission-DG REGIO
Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms
Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence and Vice-President of EUROCITIES (IT)
Ana Abrunhosa, Portuguese Minister for Territorial Cohesion
Kieran McCarthy, Member of the European Committee of the Regions and Councillor of the city of Cork (IE)
Paulius Kulikauskas, Acting Chief of Office for Europe and European Institutions, UN-HABITAT
Taylor Hughes and Fruzsina Nagy, Greehill