* Note, the programme has yet to be updated to reflect the change in format to online event. This will be done in the coming days, but rest assured: all of the plenary, policy panel, toolbox and solution session topics from our original programme will be explored in the online format.
The conference will officially be opened by the host city of Mannheim as well as organiser ICLEI, together with the partners of the conference.
Bernice Notenboom will set the framwork for the conference. She is a professional adventurer, climate journalist and film maker known for her documentary films on global warming and expeditions on the Artic.
There is an obvious tension between permanent economic growth and globally limited resources. The plenary will explore the possibility of a more stable and sustainable alternative to growth. How can we create a more local and social economy, carried by local investors, cooperatives etc. and shared societal benefits?
One key challenge of the transformation of our cities towards sustainability is to leave no one behind. This plenary will include local reflections on alternative models for a just transition, specifically from a social policy perspective.
This interactive session will highlight the need for enhancing biodiversity when planning, developing and implementing activities for sustainable urban regeneration. In light of the dire state of biodiversity around the globe and the upcoming 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming (postponed), the consideration of biodiversity within the topic of nature-based solutions (NBS) is crucial.
The session will bring together insights and reflections from city representatives and scientific experts from high-level institutions and city representatives involved in various European-wide projects around the planning and application of nature-based solutions. . Experts will tackle three main questions: How do projects and cities contribute to biodiversity through the NBS they are implementing? What are the barriers in including biodiversity in urban plans and strategies and how can they be overcome? What are concrete opportunities to foster biodiversity via NBS? A broad and informative discussion will provide participants with an understanding of the co-benefits of factoring biodiversity into NBS projects and with valuable real-world examples of solutions in practice.
Social innovation in the energy sector is about new ways of ‘thinking, doing, and organising’ that transform our energy system. The approach gains attention and helps to consider both supply and demand side changes, going beyond the purchase and adaptation of low carbon technologies.
Social innovation is just as much about new combinations of old things, as it is about integrating new things into existing contexts. In practice this means an encounter of old and new and the need for co-creation amongst diverse actors. Such encounters don’t take place in a vacuum, but are developed by people and evolve in concrete places. This makes the local level and especially cities take centre-stage for social innovations.
Smart Cities have been the “talk of the town” in Europe for the past ten years and a series of solutions are ready for upscaling, replication or adaptation. Many solutions exist, but arguably the most successful and innovative are those in which technology works closely with citizens to achieve an impact.
This session is a deep dive into how cities combine their ambitions on sustainability with technology and active contribution from citizens. Best-case examples will be provided by leading European Smart Cities and practical advice will be shared on how other cities can take a ‘smart’ solution and make it their own.
In light of a growing number of local governments demonstrating their ambition for climate action in calling for a climate emergency, the session aims to explore tangible and bold local integrated climate action translating the urgency into practice. Discussing ambition in action in engaging pitch presentations of innovative, replicable low-carbon examples from frontrunning cities who declared climate emergency, the session will contribute to accelerating the uptake of proven solutions and demonstrate how local governments can walk the talk.
Building upon pitch presentations, panellists will explore the shape and scale of their most ambitious local climate projects and kick start reflections among panellists and audience on how local governments can turn ambitious aspirations and commitments into game changing action for achieving the necessary systemic changes towards a low-emission future in line with the Paris Agreement and the EU Green Deal.
Procurement is a powerful tool that helps public authorities meet their needs for products and services but offers the opportunity to drive the implementation of Agenda 2030. This can range from leveraging the power of procurement to achieve environmental goals, but also to foster fair working conditions, supporting gender-equality or marginalised groups, to improving conditions across a supply-chain in collaboration with industry.
This session explores the following questions: What are key challenges and drivers when getting started on sustainable or innovation procurement? How can procurement be used to influence global supply-chains such as electronics? What are examples for the difference that socially responsible procurement made? What are recommendations from experienced procurers on how to start buying social?
The session will present first-hand examples of how cultural heritage serves as a driver for the sustainable regeneration of urban areas. The cities will showcase their best practices and reflect on lessons learned focussing on the guiding questions:
- How do heritage, culture and creativity contribute to local sustainable development?
- What is the role of cultural heritage in promoting social inclusion and cohesion?
- What is the link between cultural heritage and resilience - and how can cities benefit from synergies between the two?
The session will explore how cultural heritage has the potential to enable new forms of collaboration and cultural production, to support cities to cope with future challenges, creating the conditions to carry out sustainable adaptive reuse projects. Participants will also discuss how cultural heritage can contribute to strengthening the resilience of communities.
The Mayors meeting will take place in parallel to the Lunch and following Solution Sessions. Participating Mayors will rejoin the conference for the Policy Panels in the afternoon.
Four high level policy panels will explore key approaches to tackle the urban transformation. Topics include adaptation to the changing climate, implementing a Circular Economy, Public Private People Partnerships as a new investment model, and resilience towards today's and future crises.
Presentation of the EU Green Deal, the roadmap for making the EU's economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the transition just and inclusive for all. The plenary will include a presentation of a commitment and call from local governments related to the Green Deal.
The Innovation Market is the arena to promote the latest project results, offer advice, seek input and directly engage with representatives from the sustainable urban development community.
Apart from the toolbox sessions to learn about the latest tools, the Innovation Market allows for local government practitioners, EU projects, and policy makers to address their challenges or present their findings in various formats. (A call for applications will open soon.)
This interactive session helps you build scenarios for developing nature-based solutions (NBS) that address key urban sustainability challenges, from climate mitigation to social justice. You will work in small groups to analyse a real case, from which you will develop a vision, together with the goals and targets needed to achieve it. In the process, you will learn how to use the Urban Nature Atlas, the world’s largest database of urban NBS, to support you in addressing specific sustainability challenges, and to evaluate and compare their potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.
Discover a new EU-funded tool aiming to support local governments in successful energy and mobility transitions, and how policies and social innovation can influence the way your population welcomes local interventions. This session is a ‘premiere’ interactive presentation of the SMARTEES Policy Sandbox Tool, which includes a guided computer workshop based on the pioneer cases of Aberdeen and Groningen.
You will explore the scenarios linked to the energy and mobility transitions of the two cities, and see how and why scenarios change, which ones present more citizen acceptance or resistance, strengthening or hovering the efforts of the municipalities. Space is given for feedback and exchange on the big potential of such a tool to support your policy-design, decision-making and eventually successful transition.
The hands-on session will introduce the web-based THERMOS tool as a viable means for cities, utilities and consultants to master-plan quicker and cheaper economically feasible, low-carbon thermal energy systems in Europe and beyond. Through Horizon 2020 funding THERMOS is free to use, and built with and for local energy planners. Participants will hear reflections from different THERMOS users about their experience and results from applying the software for instant high-resolution address-level mapping and built-in validated energy demand estimations.
The session will invite participants to engage in on-site testing of the tool together with THERMOS experts. Bring your laptop or tablet and accelerate the planning of sustainable heating and cooling networks yourself.
Scaling up the renovation of building stock in cities is important, if ambitious climate, energy and public health goals are to be achieved. This session shares insights from several European municipalities on their deep renovation experience and participants will be introduced to an innovative gamified platform that drives building renovations by better responding to user requirements and removing market barriers.
Participants are also invited to explore the platform’s complementary tools, which help users assess the impacts of renovation on energy consumption, indoor environmental quality as well as health and well-being. Hands-on testing - both from a building user and a renovation business perspective - showcases how the gamified platform can make renovation more efficient and affordable. Moreover, participants are encouraged to contribute their experience and share relevant tools.
Discover Mannheim, its history and green development in one of ten fascinating Study Tours. All Tours will be guided by local experts. More information will be made available soon.
Digitalisation is inevitable, but what is its social and environmental impact, and what is its public value? What are the societal benefits? Is digitalisation a means or a goal in itself? And how can we secure public income in the digital age, given the effects on labour?
How do young innovators envisage their future lives and what is their vision of a sustainable urban environment they would like to live in? What is their responsibility and engagement? What are the boundaries between public and private?