18 September 2023

Engage with ICLEI at the biggest annual Brussels-based event dedicated to cities and regions

Engage with ICLEI Europe, its Members and partners, all of whom will be part of the 21st edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), the biggest annual Brussels-based event dedicated to cities and regions. This year’s EWRC will take place fully in-person in ICLEI Member Brussels (Belgium) from 9–12 October 2023. Join for ample opportunities to debate and exchange with local and regional stakeholders from all across Europe.

ICLEI Europe will be present representing ambitious local sustainability leaders throughout the week leading workshops, participatory labs, an exhibition stand, and welcoming delegations at our Brussels office. Come say hello: you will find us throughout the week at the ICLEI exhibition stand in the Agora Village of the SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre.

Browse through the links below to see other ways you can connect with ICLEI and our community at EWRC.

Main Programme

10 October

Workshop: Promoting social innovation through public canteens
In-person 09:30–10:30, Brussels, Belgium - ICLEI Brussels Office, Rue du Luxembourg 19, 1000 Brussels

Throughout this workshop, ICLEI will advocate for the implementation of healthy and sustainable school meals and food education for every child in Europe, in order to achieve more resilient food regions and communities. This session will show the power pairing "the public plate" with social innovation to improve the welfare and well-being of individuals and communities in Europe. The session will feature input from the Tunç Soyer, Mayor of ICLEI Member İzmir (Türkiye) and Member of the ICLEI Global Executive Committee, as well as from IFOAM Organics Europe. Register here.

Participatory lab: CapaCITIES: advancing the Mission Cities implementation in 15 European countries
In-person 9:30–11:00, SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre, Room 310

This interactive session builds on the experience and ongoing activities implemented by CapaCITIES partners in 15 EU countries to support Mission Cities at the national level. Representatives from Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia will share insights regarding their multi-level governance approaches and challenges, aligning with different stakeholders, and learning from the urban transition process. The session will feature, among others, Ovidiu Cimpean, State Secretary of the Ministry of Investments and European Projects of Romania. Register here.

11 October

High-level Participatory lab: Local Green Deals: closing the gap between commitment and action
In-person, 11:30–13:00, European Committee of the Regions, Jacques Delors building, Atrium 5 + Ledra 5

Implementing the EU Green Deal requires broad acceptance of radical changes to current societal structures. This session will introduce the concept of Local Green Deals (LGDs), including what they can do for local communities. It will analyse challenges posed (and how to face them!) when moving from political commitment to implementation of LGDs, and will propose ideas for forming "Deals" between local stakeholders in a participatory manner. The session will be led by the Minna Arve, Mayor of ICLEI Member Turku (Finland) and ICLEI Vice-President, as well as by Mayor Hanna Zdanowska of ICLEI Member Łódź (Poland), and by Diana Pretzell, the First Deputy Mayor of ICLEI Member Mannheim (Germany). Register here.

Side event programme

11 October

Workshop: What is beyond Energy Efficiency? The overlooked values of Plus Energy Buildings and Neighbourhoods
Hybrid, 11:30–13:00, Rue Guimard 9, Bruxelles 1040 Belgium

This session will raise awareness of the multiple benefits of sustainable Plus Energy buildings (PEBs) and neighbourhoods (SPENs). ICLEI will provide evidence of the importance of investors and policy makers taking a "multiple benefits approach" to weigh their decision-making. Finally, during the workshop component of the session, policy makers' needs will be collected, and the group will discuss how to ensure wide application of methodologies that quantify and monetise the multiple benefits of PEBs and SPENs. To join the web-stream, click here.

Workshop: Breaking Barriers Using Innovation Procurement as Strategic Tools
In-person 16:30–17:30, SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre, Room 213-215

The EU Urban Agenda, the EIC, URBACT and ICLEI explore the use of innovation procurement as a strategic tool for the benefit of cities and regions. This workshop will present how cities and regions across Europe could use innovation procurement in practice, will present concrete examples of how the challenges faced by local and regional stakeholders can attract the interest of top-notch European innovators, and will promote tried-and-tested innovation procurement tools and training. The session will feature experiences from cities and regions, inlcuing ICLEI Member Haarlem (the Netherlands). Register here.

12 October

Workshop: Financing the local energy transition – from plan to reality
In-person, 9:30–10:30, SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre, Room 213-215

The European City Facility (ECF) has supported over 200 local and regional governments to develop concepts for energy projects that are seeking financing. The ECF will bring success stories – and challenges – related to bridging the gap between ambitions in local and regional governments, and concrete financing. The session will also provide guidance on how cities and regions can apply for an upcoming call (expected in January 2024), which will offer 60,000 EUR. Register here.

13 October

Workshop: Why we should learn from our peers (and from nature!) to address environmental challenges
In-person, 10:00–12:00, Rue du Luxembourg 19-21 Bruxelles Capitale Brussels 1000 Belgium

Nature-based solutions (NbS) are valuable tools for cities aiming to meet EU and international biodiversity targets. However, the skills and capacities to achieve these goals are unevenly distributed among regions and communities. This workshop explores how knowledge-sharing networks – like NbS Hubs and communities of practice – empower communities to expand NbS implementation. Participants will engage in peer-to-peer discussions on important topics such as green-washing. Register here.

Register for the EWRC at: