Raising the bar for a more sustainable future

The 10th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns (ESCT) will take place on 1-3 October in Aalborg, Denmark.

All cities, partners and experts seeking to contribute to the sustainable transformation of our cities and regions are cordially invited to attend the 2024 edition of European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, which also marks the 30th Anniversary of the Aalborg Charter (1994) and the 20th Anniversary of the Aalborg Commitments (2004). To mark the occasion, as well as respond to the needs of the ongoing climate emergency, we are setting our highest bar for success yet.

Read the Concept Note

Why Aalborg?

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, first hosted by the city of Aalborg in 1994, where the Aalborg Charter was formed.

Aalborg welcomed us back in 2004, where the Aalborg Commitments were drawn up.

30 years since the first of these ground-breaking documents was formed, we are delighted to return to Aalborg for #Aalborg2024.

An ancient city where Viking ships once sailed past on the Limfjord, Aalborg has evolved into a vibrant cultural hotspot with a spectacular waterfront of iconic architectural buildings.

Aalborg celebrates both the raw and the refined. From its industrial heritage to the soft seats in Musikkens Hus.

Duality is the epitome of Aalborg.

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The Aalborg Charter (1994)

put cities and towns on the map as leaders of sustainability action

created a collective vision of sustainability in 14 consensus declarations

initiated the European Sustainable Cities & Towns campaign

paved the way for local sustainability movements

was signed by more than 3,000 local authorities from more than 40 countries

The Aalborg Commitments (2004)

refined our common understanding and vision of sustainability

built a framework on how to embed sustainability at the local level, across municipality sectors

set qualitative objectives organised into 10 holistic themes

were designed to be flexible to meet local needs

were signed by more than 700 cities and towns

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What makes Aalborg such a significant host of the 10th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns?

Aalborg boasts a legacy of green transition, where sustainability is flourishing across all generations, from the outskirts, to the inner city.

If sustainability is to sustain, it needs to become a natural part of how we think and live our everyday lives.

Local power for a world in crisis

Across Europe, cities and towns of all sizes are developing Local Green Deals, as a response to the European Green Deal. At the European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns - or what we like to call Aalborg2024 - we will take a closer look at the ongoing trends, challenges and opportunities that define these Local Green Deals, as well as ask how we can become powerful enablers of sustainable, local change.

Expect a fertile environment for tackling the most pressing questions, leading to discussions, knowledge-sharing and problem-solving. We hope will inspire and motivate participants to further develop connections made at all levels at the conference, and to put plans into practice, to realise an integrated response to the climate crisis. Together, let’s make the EU green deal a reality on the local level.

A lasting legacy

The city of Aalborg and Aalborg 2024 both boast a legacy of positive impact; a three-time host to the conference, Aalborg continues to inspire change and innovation across Europe. In past years, governance tools such as Local Green Deals and Climate City Contracts have been developed to help local and regional governments bring stakeholders together and integrate their ambitions. Aalborg 2024 will look at local experiences with these tools so far and will explore what support is needed from EU decision makers in 2024.

Again in 2024, Aalborg 2024 will maintain its characteristic informative, open, and interactive ambiance, upholding its 'PowerPoint free' format. Participants are enthusiastically invited to share their experiences and perspectives on an array of topics that delve into the challenges inherent in innovating to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises.

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