Divestment: Why cities across Europe rush to pull their money out of fossil fuel companies

“We are working hard to become the world’s first CO2 neutral capital in 2025. Therefore it seems totally wrong for the municipality to still be investing in oil, coal and gas. We must change that.” Those are the words of Copenhagen’s mayor Frank Jensen when he announced that the Danish capital would pull its funds [...]

By Melanie Mattauch, on October 17th, 2016

URBACT cities among thousands celebrating European Mobility Week

The 2016 edition of the European Mobility Week, held on 16-22 September under the banner of “Smart and sustainable mobility – an investment for Europe” was the most successful so far, with 2424 cities and towns from 51 countries signing up. URBACT cities, with their long-standing commitment to sustainable mobility, were also part of this [...]

By Ania Rok, on October 10th, 2016

Reinvent democracy with Aarhus’ “everyday activists” and habit-breaking “Givisme” culture!

I have never been welcomed by a butler in black overcoat with a top hat, especially not during a formal meeting organised by a city council. Then I was invited to step into a house, which looked like a huge magician’s enormous suitcase and where I found myself somewhere between Alice’s Wonderland and The Addams [...]

By Ferenc Szigeti, on September 29th, 2016

Cities for all ages: 3 stories to get inspired

We claim to want to build cities for everyone but it seems that not everyone is invited to be part of the conversation. Among many dimensions of exclusion, such as gender, economic status or ethnicity, there is one that is probably the easiest to remedy and yet often forgotten: age. As Gil Penalosa, former Commissioner [...]

By Ania Rok, on July 28th, 2016

What effect will the Brexit vote have on UK Cities? A personal view.

 We are living in turbulent times. The British vote will change the map of Europe in more ways than one.  Already the two Treasury reports one short term, one long term prepared by the team under the leadership of the UK’s chief economist indicate that the effects will be severe and uneven. Although much criticised by [...]

By Peter Ramsden, on July 1st, 2016

The Challenge of Urban Agenda for Europe: another view from Amsterdam

Something promising or unsurprising, according to your opinion, has happened at the end of last month for urban policies in Europe. The 30th of May, the EU Ministers Responsible for Urban Matters held an Informal Meeting in Amsterdam to sign a shared document known as the  Pact of Amsterdam. This  document launches a common agenda [...]

By Laura Colini, on June 28th, 2016

“We, the people”: Cities, digital tools and the reinvention of democracy

Douche v Turd I’m stating the obvious by saying that Western democracy looks in trouble right now. In the US, the emerging Presidential line up increasingly resembles South Park’s classic Giant Douche versus Turd Sandwich episode. Meanwhile in Europe, the increasing use of national referenda combined with the downward spiral of voter participation reflects growing [...]

By Eddy Adams, on May 27th, 2016

#Basque2016, What was it about ?

Try next time, before attending your upcoming conference, to predict the main message of the meeting. In most cases you will succeed: conferences on economy and innovation usually argue for the ’modernistic perspective’ in which technical novelties will dominate and solve all the problems. In a sharp contrast to that environmental conferences will present the [...]

By Ivan Tosics, on May 27th, 2016

‘Migrant crisis’: Two worlds apart seeking cohesion between the national and local levels

Credit photos: Gordon Welters/UNHCR, “How will Germany house all its refugees?”, irinnews.org How can social innovation help in today’s Europe, which is welcoming people from Africa and the Middle East, fleeing war and poverty? How can social innovation reduce the fear of the unknown in central and east European countries, who do not have a [...]

By Peter Wolkowinski, on May 2nd, 2016

The Citizen as Mayor. Citizen participation in social innovation

    The subject of the Eurocities Social Forum in Nantes on March 16th was citizen involvement in social innovation.  Cities are now leading Europe on social innovation across a range of fields from health and care to integrating migrants.  The message of the conference was that for the city to engage with citizens it [...]

By Peter Ramsden, on April 25th, 2016