• 1. High-level panel – How to support the implementation of the European Green Deal in cities while dealing with new challenges.

  • The European Green Deal sets ambitious objectives for the EU to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Supporting frameworks, initiatives, policies and partnerships are already in place at the EU level to bring forward the needed transformations, in particular in urban areas. These will significantly contribute to delivering the European Green Deal on the ground. A number of questions arise that need urgent answers due to current global challenges that impact urban areas, including those relating to the energy transition.

    What will participants learn?

    This event will allow for a discussion between the European Commission and high-level municipal and national representatives on the coherence and extent of the support provided to implement locally the Green Deal, in particular those that relate to the energy transition. This dialogue should include discussions on the needs of cities, ways to make use of available EU opportunities, approaches to channel support for adapting to changing circumstances and discussions on new challenges on the path to sustainable and resilient societies.

    #EUGreenDeal #CohesionPolicy #Local #Implementation #EnergyTransition

  • 2. Workshop – Greening cities in the European Union: strategic approaches to address climate and environmental challenges

  • Cities are essential to carry out the green transition on the ground and to foster the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal. To comply with this objective, they need a holistic approach that brings together many policy areas, sectors and regulatory measures. These areas include both environmental protection and climate mitigation and adaption measures and goals. Multi-stakeholder approaches, good governance and inclusiveness are also key to building and implementing strategic and integrated visions.

    What will participants learn?

    In light of the EU Cohesion Policy, the EU Climate Adaptation Strategy, its Biodiversity Strategy, the Horizon Europe Mission for 100 Climate neutral and smart cities and other frameworks and support measures, this session will provide an opportunity to dialogue with different cities regarding their approaches and recommendations on how they combine climate and environmental goals in their development strategies. Participants will also learn more how they can receive support for planning actions, networking, financing and capacity building when developing and implementing their strategies.

    #GreenTransition #ClimateAdaptation #HorizonEurope #CitiesMission #CapacityBuilding

  • 3. Workshop – New European Bauhaus: how can it bring a difference to local development?

  • Used right, the New European Bauhaus can be a game changer in terms of building strong community ties and fostering sustainable urban development and experimentation at the local level. The workshop offers a key opportunity to present this movement and the ways Cohesion Policy can play a crucial role in putting the core values of the New European Bauhaus initiative in practice in cities and towns.

    What will participants learn?

    Practitioners and supporters will highlight pre-requisites and ingredients for shaping New European Bauhaus projects and highlight inspiring examples of projects that successfully incorporated sustainability, inclusiveness and quality of experience.

    #NewEuropeanBauhaus #SustainableUrbanDevelopment #Local #Implementation

  • 4. Urban Talk – Change the system, not the climate

  • We are facing a climate emergency and its disastrous consequences are obvious. But cities are complex and integrated systems. Tackling climate change and the transition to a more sustainable future requires a profound and lasting transformation in multiple sectors simultaneously – a systemic change. Cities must rethink their food, energy and mobility systems all at once. The role of digital is central as it is a strong enabler for system transition and a change maker that incorporates the full potential of data and innovative technologies to rethink the system. Systemic change is hard to imagine, but not impossible.

    What will participants learn?

    This session will focus on the topic of sustainability transitions. It will provide insights on the conditions for systemic change to tackle the climate challenge. These influence each other, effectively creating a snowball-effect. The EU has been active in this field already and different EU initiatives showcase how these initiatives contribute to sustainability transitions. Participants will also discuss the additional needs and challenges urban and regional territories will have to face in the future to foster their systemic change.

    #SystemicChange #ClimateAdaptation

  • Workshop – Welcoming people with a migrant background at the local level

  • Cities play an essential role in welcoming people with a migrant background and fostering their inclusion at the local level. When implementing national or regional integration policies, local authorities are responsible for translating policies to respond to the local needs and context, in particular in the area of service provision. This includes, among other things, making education and housing services accessible, inclusive and non-segregated. Local authorities are also encouraged to develop their own local integration policies. Ensuring a multilevel governance approach throughout the design, implementation and monitoring of integration policies is crucial to effectively coordinate stakeholders at different levels.

    What will participants learn?

    This session will serve as an interactive platform for the exchange of best practices to welcome the arrival of people with a migrant background and foster their inclusion and access to mainstream non-segregated services in education, employment, housing, health and social care. Local authorities’ representatives and civil society organisations will share their practices in these areas and their lessons learned from their experiences in responding to the current and past migration waves, including but not limited to the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    #Social #Inclusion #Migrants #Refugees #Funding #Implementation #CohesionPolicy #Support

  • 5. Workshop – Fostering socio-economic inclusion of marginalised groups at the local level

  • Europe should ‘leave no one behind’ . To this end, comprehensive measures are also needed to foster the socio-economic inclusion of marginalised groups at the local level. These groups include Roma, persons with disabilities, older persons, people with a migrant background and homeless persons. The measures should focus on preventing and combatting segregation and on fostering access to mainstream non-segregated services in education, employment, housing, health and social care.

    What will participants learn?

    The session will shed light on practices put in place by local authorities and civil society organisations which led to the effective socio-economic inclusion of marginalised groups at the local level. The examples will cover different areas, such as access to non-segregated inclusive education, desegregated housing, accessible mainstream services and responding to the needs of the different marginalised groups.

    #Community #Inclusion #PublicServices #Local #Implementation #Social #Funding #CohesionPolicy #Support

  • 6. Official launch of the European Urban Initiative – The European Urban Initiative: innovating, sharing and inspiring for sustainable urban development in Europe

  • This session will mark the official launch of the European Urban Initiative (EUI), a novel instrument of Cohesion Policy in support of sustainable urban development.
    The Initiative fosters innovation, exchange of experiences and knowledge, and capacity building. The EUI supports cities of all sizes as key agents in the green and digital transitions and for a more inclusive Europe.

    What will participants learn?

    This session will present the ambitions of the EUI and the concrete and new opportunities for the cities offered by the initiative in 2023. Key partners will also share their insights and expectations for the years to come. Finally, more information will be provided about the next Innovative Actions call and support to the Urban Agenda for the EU.

    #EuropeanUrbanInitiative #EUI

  • 7. Workshop - How can cities build their capacities on sustainable urban development under the European Urban Initiative?

  • Cities can play a stronger role in the delivery of Cohesion Policy in the 2021-2027 period. This is possible due to the introduction of Policy Objective 5 and the earmarking of at least 8% of ERDF resources at national level for sustainable urban development.

    What will participants learn?

    The European Urban Initiative is launching a capacity building offer for cities, consisting of events and peer learning activities, including peer reviews and city-to-city exchanges to support urban practitioners and improve their skills and knowledge on sustainable urban development.

    Join the EU’s biggest urban capacity-building community as part of the new European Urban Initiative!

    #CapacityBuilding #Implementation #Support #Cohesion Policy #EUI

  • 8. Workshop - Innovating in cities

  • What are the factors that enable innovation in cities? This session will focus on the potential of cities for creating local innovation ecosystems where place-based solutions can flourish. To achieve this goal, many cities have already established co-creation models, such as urban living labs. Nevertheless, developing a creative and innovative urban environment requires good governance, knowledge infrastructure and a strong capacity to attract talents and address brain drain.

    What will participants learn?

    This session will provide insights on global megatrends and the policy challenges faced by cities. It will outline the implications for the innovation capacities of cities and local innovation ecosystems. The work undertaken by the 2014-20 Urban Innovative Actions and URBACT III programme will showcase innovative solutions developed by cities. Participants will also learn about the European Partnership Driving Urban Transitions and its approach to innovation in cities and related co-creation models.

    #Innovation #CohesionPolicy #PlaceBased #UIA #EUI #DUT #JPI

  • 9. Workshop – Functional areas in the EU: from Cohesion Policy to practice

  • Both the New Leipzig Charter and EU Cohesion Policy encourage functional area approaches to planning sustainable urban development. Evidence shows that well-coordinated functional urban areas can achieve higher productivity, promote a more efficient use of resources and ensure better access to public services.

    What will participants learn?

    Through the perspectives of Functional Areas in the EU pilot project (, participants will learn about the framework which is being developed with local authorities to identify and formulate solutions necessary to overcome the limitations of administrative boundaries. It will also reflect upon how capacity building and financial support can help functional areas scale up their planning processes from incipient levels of inter-municipal cooperation towards maturity. It aims to encourage participants to think about how to include functional areas in the planning for the 2021-2027 programming period and beyond.

    #Functional Areas #CohesionPolicy #CapacityBuilding #Implementation #Support

  • 10. Workshop – The role and challenges of small- and medium-sized urban areas in bringing Europe closer to citizens and driving the green and just transition

  • Small- and medium-sized urban areas play a key role in the European polycentric urban structure, and they are an essential part of the urban-rural continuum. Hosting approximately 43 % of the EU population, they have gained recognition in the policy realm at EU level, which is also demonstrated by the recent policy frameworks/documents: Leipzig Charter, Ljubljana Agreement and the Territorial Agenda.

    What will participants learn?

    The session will introduce integrated territorial development tools available through Cohesion Policy. Based on REGIO-JRC handbooks guiding on urban and territorial development and JRC research, including on the role of small and medium-sized urban areas, the session will provide an overview of trends in this area and discuss challenges and opportunities stemming from the green and just transitions. During the session, representatives of small- and medium-sized urban areas and key organisations will discuss and share examples from their own experiences while providing insights into key lessons and practices.

    #SallCities #UrbanRural #CohesionPolicy #Territorial #Handbook #Development #Strategy

  • 11. Coming out of the European Box: international cooperation to inspire sustainable urban transformation

  • Since 2016, the IURC programme (previously IUC, has been financed by the Foreign Policy Instruments service with strategic support from the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission. The programme has contributed to bringing together cities and regions from across the globe to work jointly towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Cohesion Policy, the New Urban Agenda and the Urban Agenda for the EU objectives among others.

    “Coming out of the European Box” to inspire alternative and innovative solutions is one of the most appreciated benefits of IURC.

    What will participants learn?

    During this session, participants will join a dialogue of cities presenting good practices that have been inspired or improved by counterparts in Asia or Americas under the IURC programme. They will reflect with them on how to improve cooperation and its effectiveness at the local level during the next programming period.

    #International #Cooperation #Projects #SDGs

  • 12. A renewed Urban Agenda for the EU: implementing the next generation of Partnerships for cities of all sizes

  • 2022 marked an important cornerstone for the implementation of the renewed Urban Agenda for the EU (UAEU). Two new partnerships on Green Cities and Sustainable Tourism have recently been established and there is an ongoing discussion about the priorities of the next generation of UAEU partnerships.

    What will participants learn?

    In 2023, two new partnerships on Food and Equality in Cities will kick-start their work. Participants will have the opportunity to provide views and discuss more deeply their specific challenges pertinent to these topics, thus contributing to the ex-ante assessment of the Partnerships. But what is next? What are the EU’s most pressing urban challenges? This session will be a platform for dialogue and sharing, while also offering the opportunity to reflect on future themes for the UAEU.

    #UrbanAgenda #Partnerships #Future #GreeningCities #SustainableTourism #Food #CitiesEquality

  • 13. Workshop - Financing sustainable urban development in times of crisis

  • Finance is an indispensable ingredient in delivering the EU’s sustainable transition. What is influencing cities’ capacities to invest in the green and digital transformations?

    Funding remains one of the most significant ways for governments to transform cities. However, the crises experienced during the last three years, from COVID-19 to rising energy prices, imposed a considerable strain on local government finances. Their effects have not been evenly distributed across cities, and some cities are exposed more to the negative impacts than others. As a response, the EU has mobilised significant funding within the multi-annual financial framework, and implemented several measures to support cities.

    What will participants learn?

    During this workshop, panellists will explore how different levels of governance can contribute with reforms and funding to support local authorities. Different approaches to investing and funding projects from the sustainable urban development strategies will be discussed, illustrating the variety of EU support mechanisms.

    #CohesionPolicy #Funding #Support #Reforms #Strategy #UrbanDevelopment

  • 14. Mayors’ debate – Cohesion and recovery in cities

  • This debate between EU Mayors will provide an opportunity for an exchange on key concerns, experiences and the needs of cities after three years of tackling the COVID-19 crisis and its consequences on economies, societies and citizens.

    It will notably raise the question of how to remain focused on the key objectives of economic, social and territorial cohesion, while dealing with the recovery, the reinvention of cities, and the consequences of broader global issues and crisis on urban areas of all sizes.

    What will participants learn?

    Mayors will discuss successful strategies to support long-term recovery, the green and just transition, and social and economic cohesion. The dialogue will also provide an opportunity to reflect upon how the EU’s Cohesion Policy adapted to recent crises and propose paths for reflection on the future.

    #Recovery #CohesionPolicy #Strategy #Transition #Economy