Three thousand urban professionals, including many from the EUROCITIES network, descended on Vienna between 27 February – 2 March for the Urban Future Global Conference.
The main focus of the conference was on building sustainable cities – a message that EUROCITIES president, Daniël Termont, reiterated during the opening ceremony. Speaking also as mayor of Ghent, Mr Termont said that the cities of the future will use technology as enablers to become smarter and more sustainable, but, fundamentally, “we are a city of people”.
EUROCITIES secretary general, Anna Lisa Boni, moderated a session that focussed on the importance of innovation within city administrations, with representatives from both Turin and Vienna.
EUROCITIES was also represented though the Covenant of Mayors, which held an event on ‘Unlocking the energy and climate transition in cities’. Pawel Adamowicz, mayor of Warsaw said that residents need to have a say on how the city will adapt to climate change. Other panellists included Jaroslav Kacer deputy mayor of Brno and Ruska Boyadzhieva deputy mayor of Burgas. Burgas and Warsaw were also among 37 mayors who committed to present the Covenant 2030 targets to their next municipal council meeting.
The efforts of the Covenant, and the spirit brought about by the many city changers who were present, drew support from EU Commission vice president, Maroš Šefčovič.
Nicola Vatthauer, EUROCITIES communication director, and Alex Godson, media coordinator, also spoke at a session of the Urban Journalism Academy – a skills focussed workshop for professional journalists on how to cover the most pressing urban issues.