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8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns - Bilbao

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Bilbao City Council
Palacio Euskalduna Avda. Abandoibarra, n°4 48011 Bilbao
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Ms Lorena Vega
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The 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns will take place in Bilbao from 27-29 April 2016

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to participate in the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns entitled ‘Transformative action: the potential for Europe’, to be held in the Basque Country, on 27-29 April 2016, hosted 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.
The 2016 flagship European conference on local sustainable development will build on the legacy of the previous conferences in Aalborg (Denmark, 1994 and 2004), Lisbon (Portugal, 1996), Hannover (Germany, 2000), Seville (Spain, 2007), Dunkerque (France, 2010) and Geneva (Switzerland, 2013). The conference will demonstrate the pressing need for action by local governments to change current unsustainable pathways and shape Europe‘s future.
The event will take place at a crucial time, following the UN Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda and the climate conference of the parties (COP 21) in Paris that should result in a post-Kyoto framework to address climate change. While having to meet global challenges, local and regional governments also face environmental, financial and societal issues in Europe. The conference will reflect the urgency of the challenges and present a way to address them through transformative action.

Goals & Objectives
• Offer local leaders a stage to express ideas, experiences and expectations related to sustainable urban development.
• Look closely at the crucial role of cooperation between local governments, business, civil society and the finance sector in order to implement actions on the ground
• Explore how strategies and solutions for sustainable urban development can be combined with new economic approaches and social innovation to generate local value, employment and to improve economic resilience
• Provide local leaders with the opportunity to make a formal joint commitment to take action on sustainable urban development, as well as to formulate their expectations towards European governance in support of their pledge
• Inform and engage local governments in European and international policy frameworks related to sustainable development, such as the Sustainable Development Goals or the Urban Agenda for the EU, and to explore if and how these frameworks can support and encourage local initiatives
• Explore how a civic economy can help to address the economic and financial crisis, and re-build the confidence in a united and inclusive Europe from a bottom-up perspective.
Special guests at the event include Corina Creţu Commissioner of Regional Policy, European Commission,  Iñigo Urkullu Lehendakari, president of the Basque government, Jeb Brugmann, an expert of urban sustainability planning & innovation and  Ligia Noronha, director, UNEP division of technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE)

The conference is expected to welcome over 1000 participants including politicians and practitioners from local and regional governments, representatives of European and international institutions, multilateral organisations, members of the research community, business leaders, and civil society.

For more information please go to the event website: