The Basque Country becomes the European capital of sustainability

Today, the author of this blog has attended the first day of the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns – Transformative Action: the potential for Europe, which is taking place in Bilbao (Basque Country) from 27-29 April. The three-day conference is a platform for local leaders to express ideas, experiences and expectations related to urban development, as well as to analyse the key role of cooperation between local governments, the private sector, civil society and the business sector in order to implement comprehensive measures. Among others, Iñigo Urkullu, Lehendakari (President) of the Basque Government, and Markku Markula, President of the European Committee of the Regions, welcomed the participants in the opening session.

The programme includes plenaries to address how policy frameworks affect cities and urban areas, breakout sessions on a wide range of topics – from health to circular economy, efficiency and mobility – and several mobile workshops to share good practices in the Basque Country. A debate on how the Global Urban Agenda and the EU Urban Agenda interrelate with the political reality in European cities and an open discussion on how Basque and European cities can find sustainable solutions to current challenges will also take place. The initiatives Young Ambassadors and the Youth Forum will be represented by students and young people to assist participants and to contribute to the conference with their ideas and views.

Over 800 participants from local and regional governments, European and international institutions, multilateral organisations, members of the research community, private sector and civil society will take part in the conference, which is the flagship event in Europe in 2016 for discussing and exchanging on local sustainability.

The Basque Declaration 

The Basque Declaration – new pathways for European cities and towns to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities for a liveable and inclusive Europe was presented and adopted by the conference participants today. It outlines new pathways for European cities and towns to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities for a liveable and inclusive Europe.

2016_04_27_The Basque Country becomes the European capital of sustainability during the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities
Image: Twitter

Download the Basque Declaration

More information

The 8th European Conference on Sustainable Towns & Cities is co-organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Government, Bizkaia County Council and Bilbao City Council, with the involvement of Udalsarea 21 – Basque Network of Municipalities for Sustainability, and the support of Araba County Council, Gipuzkoa County Council, Donostia/San Sebastián City Council and Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council.
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