Comparator cities: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Lisbon

Three major European cities and regions will join us on Friday 18 June to share the challenges they face and the innovative and exciting approaches they have developed to overcome them, including integrated urban design, climate emergency commitments and building community cohesion across regions.

Amsterdam and its approach to integrated urban design

Marina Vasarini Lopes, Public Space Designer, City of Amsterdam
Alessandra Riccetti, Public Space Designer, City of Amsterdam 

Amsterdam faces a major challenge in terms of the transition of public space in the coming years. The transition is driven by climate change, the switch to sustainable sources of energy, the increasing scarcity of raw materials, and the digitalization of society. In addition, the city is growing steadily and increasing in density. The infrastructure below ground is growing apace, but space is running out. If current methods of city and area development remain unchanged, the transition will stagnate. In new development schemes, the traditional idea of thinking from above ground to below ground is a thing of the past. In this innovative approach, public and private parties work together from an early stage to reserve space below ground for a healthy living environment, for new energy systems, for solutions to problems caused by heat and precipitation, for the desired circularity, and for nature-inclusive design. This accumulation of measures contributes to green, attractive and high-quality public space that makes the city a fine place in which to live, work, relax, play and enjoy life.

Barcelona and the climate crisis

Elena Lacort, Climate Energy Officer, Metropolitan Area of Barcelona 

On 15 January 2020, Barcelona declared a climate emergency and accelerated a series of changes involving all players in the city. The irrefutable scientific evidence and the effects of the global climate crisis meant the city took urgent and direct action. At Congress, we will learn about the Climate Emergency Declaration adopted by the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) in March 2021 and the commitments contained within it.

Lisbon’s Covid 19 recovery: community participation and cohesion

Filipe Ferreira, Metropolitan Secretary, Lisbon Metropolitan Area 

We will learn how the Metropolitan region of Lisbon is building community capacity and participation within the framework of the building process of 2030 Regional Strategy and Portuguese Recovery and Resilience National Programme. Within COVID-19 pandemic context, Cities and Regions have all faced the crisis differently and have adapted in their own way to meet the new challenges. Lisbon strengthened its communication network between the Metropolitan Area and the 18 municipalities, creating a platform for the management of critical products, joint procurement of those products, equipment and resource. This demonstrated that the local level, as the closest level to citizens, is to be taken seriously and not to be neglected in the future.