Over 2,000 politicians, academics and civil society representatives from 600 cities around the world have confirmed participation in the Brussels Urban Summit from 12 to 15 June, including more than 140 mayors from cities worldwide.
By 2050, the United Nations estimates that two thirds of the planet’s inhabitants will live in urban areas. These areas are therefore key to facing today and tomorrow’s global challenges, such as climate change, migration, urban growth and inequality, the consequences of which will determine the fate of billions living in our cities. The Brussels Urban Summit convenes three international city conferences to discuss urban challenges and solutions: the triannual 14th Metropolis World Congress, the Eurocities Annual Conference and the 6th Meeting of the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative.
The Brussels Urban Summit, bringing together the biggest city networks, is uniquely suited to foster discussions about urban solutions to global challenges, concrete paths to their implementation and the critical role that cities will play in this journey. Brussels, the capital of the European Union, will host more than 2,000 politicians and city experts representing over 600 cities worldwide will gather in Brussels in 10 days’ time. The honoured participants of the Summit include: Anne Hidalgo (mayor of Paris), Barthélémy Toye Dias (mayor of Dakar), Mansur Yavaş (mayor of Ankara), Jaime Pumarejo (mayor of Barranquilla), Asmaa Rhlalou (mayor of Rabat), Balendra Shah (mayor of Kathmandu), Emmanuel Serunjoji (mayor of Kawempe, Kampala), Fabian Mayer (mayor of Stuttgart), Sōichirō Takashima (mayor of Fukuoka), Karin Wanngård (mayor of Stockholm), Ricardo Rio (mayor of Braga), Susan Aitken (mayor of Glasgow), Kostas Bakoyannis (mayor of Athens) and many more influential politicians. All believe that cities are at forefront of answering today’s challenges and will be even more so in the future. They are committed to collaborate internationally to further these solutions.
In addition to plenary sessions, the programme of the BUS includes meetings and workshops, power lunches, and site visits to allow participants to learn from one another and share their solutions to common challenges affecting cities worldwide, while engaging in genuine debate—when ideas clash, innovation is born. This Summit, designed to create debate, understanding, engagement and collaboration among cities, politicians, academics and the Brussels-based stakeholder community, will provide a platform to all, making every voice count in the search for a better urban future.
The Brussels Urban Summit is an initiative of the Brussels Capital Region, Eurocities, Metropolis and the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative. In addition to these leading partners, the Summit counts among its partners: the City of Brussels, the European Commission, the United Cities and Local Governments, the Global Parliament of Mayors, and many others. The Press Club Brussels Europe and Politico are media partners of the Brussels Urban Summit.
“For the first time ever, the three largest city networks are coming together to discuss major societal challenges and formulate urban solutions. It is only right this global city conference takes place in Brussels, a hyper international diverse metropolis and urban laboratory for innovation. The Brussels Urban Summit confirms Brussels’ international status as diplomatic capital of the world.”Pascal Smet, State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region, for European and International Relations
The Brussels Capital Region
The capital of Brussels, host of this important urban conference, is also headquarters to numerous European and international institutions. Despite being pocket-sized, this cosmopolitan city is home to a hyper-international community, with the world’s second largest number of nationalities represented among its inhabitants, after Dubai. What differentiates Brussels from other metropolitan cities is that it is a city of minorities, with no dominant culture.
In just 10 years, the city has rapidly initiated a metamorphosis from a city for cars to a city for people. However, Brussels policymakers will not stop there—they also want to play a pioneering role in the fight against inequality and climate change. Pascal Smet is State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Urbanism and Heritage and European and International Relations. He is the key figure in the transformation of public spaces in Brussels, which began by making squares car-free, constructing bicycle lanes and creating new tram lines. Smet is a strong believer and pioneer of coalitions for forward-looking cities.
To find all the details and full program of the summit, click here.