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Monday 12

Tuesday 13

Wednesday 14

Thursday 15

11.30 - 18.00


Get your badge and get ready for the summit.

12.00 - 14.00


By invitation
Power lunch on Urban-Rural Collaboration with Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms

12.30 – 14.00

By invitation

Metropolis Executive Committee

14.00 – 16.30

Metropolis Welcome to Brussels

Participation in this event is for political officials by invitation only, received from the organiser.

Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close, Mayor of Bogotá Claudia López, and Metropolis Secretary General Jordi Vaquer come together at the Brussels Town Hall to welcome Metropolis members to the 14th Metropolis World Congress. Members will take a family picture and hear about metropolises in this current political moment.

The thought-provoking Metropolis Policy Debate: “Greening Cities: A Pathway to Social Inclusion” will feature global political leaders who will share their insights on how to address how greening cities could be a tool for social equity and tackling climate change. The Welcome event will conclude with an afternoon tea with coffee and Belgian pastries.

Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to connect with global leaders.
19.00 – 21.00

By invitation

Networking session for metropolitan authorities

Taking advantage of the World Congress, Metropolis, UN Habitat Metrohub, and the European Metropolitan Authorities, with the support of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, will organize a networking session for metropolitan authorities

Organised by Metropolis, AMB and UN-HABITAT
08.00 - 18.00


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08.30 – 10.00

By invitation

Metropolis Board of Directors - Room: Panoramic

08.30 – 10.00

Breakfast meeting for cities hosting International Organisations - Room: The Arc

(organised by the Brussels Commissioner for Europe and International Organisations)

Being a host city for international organisations imposes numerous constraints that need to be managed in the best possible way, taking into account the sometimes divergent interests of international activity and the daily lives of local and international citizens. The major challenges of this coexistence involve implementing complex urban policies in terms of land use planning, access to housing for all, managing public spaces, safety and mobility, which must reconcile the often legitimate demands of international organisations and the daily lives of local residents.
As a major international capital and headquarters for a multitude of supranational and intergovernmental organisations, Brussels wants to share its experiences in this area with colleagues from other European and international headquarter cities and seek possible ways for future cooperation. Strasbourg, Vienna, Geneva ,The Hague, Paris and Montevideo have signed up and will also take the floor.

09.00 – 10.00

Networking coffee

Enjoy a coffee and small bite while meeting up with other participants in the pleasant setting of the urban expo in Square.

10.00 - 10.30

Summit Opening - Room: Gold Hall

This plenary session will set the stage for three days of debate and insight on contemporary urban challenges.

This session is organised by Metropolis, Brwelussels, OECD and Eurocities

Greg Clark, Global Advisor on Cities and moderator
Pascal Smet, State-Secretary for the Brussels-Capital Region
Claudia Lopez, Mayor of Bogotá (Metropolis, President)
Dagur Eggertsson, Mayor of Reykjavik (OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth, Chair)
Ricardo Rio, Mayor of Braga (Eurocities, Executive Committee)
Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv
Video message by
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
10.30 – 12.00

Tackling inequalities and rebuilding the social contract in cities - Room: Gold Hall

Organised by Metropolis, Brussels, OECD and Eurocities

This plenary meeting will take a hard look at the state of inequalities. The goal is to i) document what such divides are costing our economy and society ii) shed light on concrete actions that can help unleash the power of cities to drive positive change, and iii) rebuild the social contract towards an Urban New Deal. It will be organised in two rounds of discussion that will give a voice to a diverse set of mayors and urban stakeholders.

Introduction and opening speech by Mathias Cormann, OECD Secretary-General
Moderator: Greg Clark
Closing remarks by Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities

Roundtable speakers
Jaime Pumarejo, Mayor of Barranquilla, Colombia
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, UK
Susan Aitken, Mayor of Glasgow, UK
Matúš Vallo, Mayor of Bratislava, Slovakia
Philippe Close, Mayor of the City of Brussels
12.00 – 14.00


12.00 – 14.00


By invitation

Power lunch on Climate Change And Cities with Werner Schmidt, Director of the Urban and Territorial Development Department of the EIB


14.00 – 16.00
By invitation

Urban exchanges

The Urban Exchanges are meetings and workshops open to all summit participants:

Citizen science turns locals into researchers. A great tool for informing local people about issues like pollution and climate change, it also empowers them to understand policy and demand change. This session will share tools and insights from the field.
On the occasion of the Brussels Urban Summit, the Brussels-Capital Region invites European large cities and network to participate in an interactive workshop to reflect on the future of the European urban policy post-2024.
The results of the discussion will feed into a common cities’ declaration within the framework of the Belgium EU Council Presidency 2024.
This Declaration will be a statement of European cities on the urban priorities, challenges, and needs of large cities addressed to the European institutions in the context of the June 2024 EU elections.
With this declaration large cities will make the most of the opportunity offered by these European elections and the formation of a new European Commission to share urban messages.
This workshop is at expert level and addressed to European cities, institutions, and network of cities.
Join us for an exclusive opportunity to explore the science behind smart and liveable cities. You will hear from leading experts and visionary leaders on how to leverage scientific innovations to transform urban environments. You will also learn how to apply evidence-based policies and practices to create more prosperous and sustainable cities for everyone.
We know that poverty and homelessness are linked, but this workshop will shed light on how different forms of inequality and identity, from gender to mental health, can overlap to create specific risk profiles that cities need to tackle.
This workshop will illustrate through examples from a case study cities how Horizon2020 projects have implemented urban ecosystem restoration through nature-based solutions.  
14.00 – 18.00
By invitation

6th Meeting of OECD Champion Mayors - Room: Panoramic

OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative will convene in person for the first time since 2019 for the 6th Meeting of Champion Mayors. This year’s closed-door meeting of Champion Mayors and Knowledge Partners will focus on how mayors are confronting the cost-of-living and housing crisis in cities.


  • Mathias Cormann, OECD Secretary-General
  • Yoshiki Takeuchi, OECD Deputy Secretary-General
  • Philippe Close, Mayor, City of Brussels, Co-Host of the Sixth Champion Mayors Meeting
  • Pascal Smet, State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region, Co-Host of the Sixth Champion Mayors Meeting
  • Dagur Eggertsson, Mayor, City of Reykjavik and Chair of the OECD Champion Mayors Initiative

16:00 – 18:00

Urban exchanges

Organised by different urban networks our afternoon sessions cover a wide variety of topics.

Caregivers are essential for building resilient and fair cities. Yet, they often face challenges that affect their rights, well-being and participation. They are mostly women who carry out this invisible, undervalued and unpaid or underpaid work. How can cities create urban spaces and services that recognise and support caregivers and their contributions? Join us for an inspiring discussion on how to build more equitable communities that put care at the centre.
Cities cannot hit climate targets without dramatically curbing transport emissions, yet these continue to trend upwards. Global cities will share successful policies and a vision for the future in this workshop.
The European Commission invites you to learn more on the New European Bauhaus, a creative and interdisciplinary initiative that connects the European Green Deal to our living spaces and experiences.
With the creation of Kanal, Brussels will finally have its contemporary art museum. How to create an exciting museum that is also an urban space open to its city? How can Brussels finally become, then continue to be, the cultural capital of Europe, and not only its administrative centre? How to share Brussels’ superdiversity, its multilingualism, and its immense artistic dynamic with the rest of Europe? During this session we discuss how to turn cultural projects into real actors in a civil society movement towards common spaces and values.
The objective is to show how combining a hands on support can help promoting the circular economy and sustainable and inclusive urban development in the Global South from a Rwandan and Palestinian perspective on the construction sector.
One of the current challenges of our cities is how to find a better balance between work and life. Time is distributed unequally in our societies, especially for women and people with less resources. This situation generates a negative impact on citizens' health and equality, and resilience on our city. It is urgent and necessary to recognize time policies as a key innovative tool to achieve a better work-life balance, for greater equality and for better human wellbeing and sustainability.
The Global Cities Programme of CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs) together with Eurocities and Barcelona City Council is carrying out a multiyear project to provide support to bolster the empowerment of subnational governments in the implementation of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). This workshop will be an opportunity to present evidence of the first phase of implementation of the recovery funds and to debate on the potential implications for the future of EU funding for cities.
19.00 – 21.00

Welcome Drink

Meet the other Summit participants and exchange views during this opening reception in the beautiful setting of the Oldmasters Museum.

Video messages by
Roberta Metsola (President of the European Parliament)

The welcome drink will take place in the sumptuous setting of the Forum Room in the Museum of Ancient Art, a stone’s throw away from the Square and the historical centre of Brussels. We welcome you there from 7pm to 9pm. This networking event will be the opportunity for you to meet other participants to the Brussels Urban Summit and to visit the remarkable Old Masters collection spanning the 15th and 18th centuries, individually or with a guide (EN-ES-FR).

Oldmasters Museum
Rue de la Régence, 3, 1000 Brussels

08.00 - 18.00


Get your badge and get ready for the summit.

09.00 – 10.00

Networking coffee

Enjoy a coffee and small bite while meeting up with other participants in the pleasant setting of the urban expo in Square.

08.15 – 10.00

Eurocities breakfast on City Diplomacy – for politicians only - Room: Panoramic

In collaboration with the Global Parliament of Mayors

In the face of multiple crises, mayors are working together - bilaterally and within different city networks - to navigate the path towards climate neutrality and resilience, guarantee the right to housing, bridge the digital divide, foster post-pandemic recovery, and promote peace.
During this networking breakfast, we will discuss how we can enhance cities’ capacity to play a role in the international relations system, strengthening the links that unite them and their capacity to develop solutions. It will also look at how to unlock the full potential of cities in the international arena and their link to democracy, peace and the responses related to climate change and greater social equity, citizens demand.

10.00 - 12.00

Migration and Diversity: Cities lead the way in turning challenges into opportunities - Room: Gold Hall

Organised by Metropolis, Brussels, OECD and Eurocities

Many urban societies and economies have flourished as a result of migration and its positive impact on cultural diversity. However, rising global mobility has also led to more inequality, increasing demands on public services, lack of affordable housing and pressure on social cohesion. This session will examine how migration and growing diversity shape our cities today and what strategies local governments can develop to turn social, cultural and economic challenges into opportunities.

Nthembi Nkadimeng - Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (South Africa)
Rachid El Abdi - President of the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra Region (Morocco)
Claudia Lopez - Mayor of Bogota (Colombia)
Fatma Sahin - Mayor of Gaziantep (Turkey)
Andriy Sadovyi, Mayor of Lviv (Ukraine)
Adama Sangaré - Mayor of Bamako (Mali)
Nathalie Apperé - Mayor of Rennes (France)
Raf Tuts - UN-Habitat
Ayşe Çaglar - Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology (University of Vienna)
Eric Corijn - Professor Emeritus social and cultural and urban geography (VUB – University of Brussels)
Doug Saunders – Journalist and Author (Canada)
Sara Mora – Activist and DACA recipient

12.00 – 14.00



14:00 – 16:00

for Metropolis members only

Metropolis General Assembly

Convened every three years, the General Assembly of members is the sovereign body of Metropolis and hosts a unique forum to jointly build a strategic narrative .

Urban exchanges

Organised by different urban networks our afternoon sessions cover a wide variety of topics.

Cities are using new methods to meet and exceed EU targets for climate neutrality. Cities chosen as part of an EU Mission for 100 cities to get to climate neutrality by 2030 will share their insights.
City centres and local commercial districts are both economic and social hubs for local communities. They provide residents with local access to services and goods, are important sources of jobs and turnover, and serve as community gathering points and sources of local pride and identity. SME retailers in particular help to make town centres vibrant and dynamic. However, they are facing a number of pressures, such as growing competition from e-commerce, decline in foot traffic and shrinking consumer bases in many communities, rising rent and energy costs, and the impacts of climate change. This workshop will explore how local SME retailers respond to these pressures.
Food policy will make or break local ambitions for sustainability. This workshop will present methods of co-creation for food policy, from other levels of government to our most vulnerable residents.
This session will explore the three C’s of empowering cities: co-decision, capacity, and capital. Recent shifts, such as the inclusion of mayors in the G7, have challenged the traditional power dynamics between national and subnational governments, as policymakers at all levels are increasingly recognizing cities as equal partners in international agenda setting and national policymaking, rather than just passive observers or participants in side events. This is especially critical now, at a moment when the world is changing rapidly, and all levels of government are confronting new and complex challenges.
The aim of this workshop is to present concrete solutions that cities and solar developers can replicate to facilitate the deployment of solar PV at local level.

Eero Ailio, Adviser Energy Transition and Local Governance, European Commission
Luis Hernandez, Director of E.ON Energy Communities, E.ON
Sofia Barbosa, Director Regulatory Affairs, Greenvolt
Mario Rajn, Mayor, City of Krizevci, Croatia
Anna-Lisa Boni, Deputy Mayor, City of Bologna
Pascal Richard, President, Aura Solar, France
Naomi Chevillard, Head of Regulatory Affairs, SolarPower Europe
Jonathan Bonadio, Senior Policy Advisor, SolarPower Europe
16:00 – 18:00

Eurocities General Assembly (15:45-17:45) - Room: Gold Hall

The Eurocities General Assembly brings together annually around 100 local politicians and over 400 city officers. This year the discussion focus will be on the opportunities and risks facing cities during the next European political mandate, starting in 2024.

It will be the occasion where the next Eurocities President begins a new two-year mandate, and where the results of votes for the Eurocities Executive Committee are announced.

Greg Clark

André Sobczak - Eurocities Secretary General
Andriy Sadovyi – Mayor of Lviv
Burkhard Jung – Mayor of Leipzig
Dario Nardella - Mayor of Florence
Emil Boc – Mayor of Cluj Napoca
Jeanne Barseghian - Mayors of Strasbourg
Johanna Rolland – Mayor of Nantes
Matteo Lepore – Mayor of Bologna
Normunds Popens - Acting DG, DG Regio
Patrick Child - Deputy Director General, DG Environment
Peter Kurz – Mayor of Mannheim
Ricardo Rio – Mayor of Braga

Urban exchanges

Organised by different urban networks our afternoon sessions cover a wide variety of topics.

The COVID-19 crisis has yielded major changes in the organization of work, such as the rise of remote working, alternative "off peak" work hours, and shifts in consumer behaviour, shifting the the geographies of workplaces. The impacts of these changes are particularly relevant for intermediary cities--small and medium-sized cities connecting urban and rural areas and acting as territorial hubs. This workshop will convene a panel of analysts and policymakers to discuss policies and actions to make intermediary cities attractive places for people and investors, and how they can leverage the potential of the changing geographies of the workplaces.
Discover how European cities and metropolises are tackling the challenges of the 21st century by exploring the groundbreaking findings of the European Metropolitan Report. This new study, elaborated with the support of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, provides key insights into the diverse realities of metropolitan areas and offers innovative solutions for creating more sustainable, healthy and inclusive urban spaces for all. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to engage with policy-makers and urban leaders, and help shape the future of European metropolises.
From Québec to Brussels, local governments, cities, and public officials make daily use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Systems - sometimes without realising it. They have to also frame responsible uses of these new technological developments, specifically towards the global objective of making cities more sustainable. What does it mean, then, in this context to use these technologies for sustainable cities? Is there a balance to be found between the promising contributions of these technologies and their undesirable side effects? What are the promising models in cities? This panel will aim to present diverse perspectives from various cities from the province of Québec to the region of Brussels.

Following this panel, the organisers hope to identify potential partners to start a community-of-practice of city officials dealing with AI and Data for sustainability.
In this interactive workshop, we will explore how to kick-start Local Green Deal processes in cities across Europe to enable their transition. Whilst the concept of Local Green Deal is at the heart of the discussion, the workshop aims to inspire, develop and share replicable ideas, solutions and approaches, such as Climate City Contracts, to encourage cities to build their own Local Green Deal.
The purpose of this session is to raise awareness on the advantages for local authorities to adopt a human rights-based approach in their public policies, thus enhancing urban equality, diversity and democratic participation.
With this session, the Human Rights Cities Network (HRCN) promotes the advancement of the human rights cities’ movement in Europe through the development of a Standardized Monitoring System (SMS). The aim is to co-create with municipalities and local actors a unique set of indicators and monitoring tools integrating people and their rights at the centre of public policies and practices. Cities using this system will be able to regularly evaluate their achievements and analyse the influence of their work in making human rights a reality for the people. The process contributes to transform participating cities into human rights cities or to strengthen the good practices of the ones that already are. The tailor-made system responds to the specific needs of both, the cities and the people, while its standardization will contribute to expand its use to a wider number of cities in Europe. As a result, cities will acquire a sustainable methodology allowing them to regularly track and improve their achievements independently. By tracking common indicators, participating cities will also become part of a regional network.

Mrs Frédérique Hanotier, Director of the Human Rights Cities Network (HRCN)
Mrs Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA)
Mrs Martha Suprun, external Advisor to the Mayor of Lviv
Mr Andriy Sadovyi, and expert of the Cities 4 Cities / United 4 Ukraine project implemented by the city of Lviv
Dr. Bernd Voehringer, Mayor of the city of Sindelfingen and President of the Local Chamber of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Mr Stephen Pittam, Chair of the York Human Right City Network

Mrs Mila Paspalanova, Anti-Racial Discrimination Advisor, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Regional Office for Europe.
This session is designed to convene urban actors with interest in the African continent to unpack to what extent African cities have been able to meet SDG Goal 11 (Inclusive cities), understand the policy and legislative environment that enables/stifles the progress towards achieving the SDG Goals, Understand what practical institutional arrangements and capability drive this process towards realising the SDG goals, and highlight the opportunity areas for collaboration amongst cities across the globe.
19.00 – 23.00

Dinner @Gare Maritime ft. Eurocities awards

Welcome to the spectacular setting of the Gare Maritime, a former freight station that is part of a wider urban revitalisation project. Enjoy the fine Brussels cuisine while discovering the winners of the Eurocities awards.

Video message by
Vasco Alves Cordeiro, president of the European Committee of the Regions

The Eurocities Awards recognise outstanding achievements by Eurocities members in the delivery of local activities or practices, that improve the quality of life for local people.

This year’s Eurocities Awards provides an opportunity to showcase European cities’ unique approach to working on global challenges. In times where multiple crises seem to threaten the future of our society as we know it, it is more important than ever that cities use their know-how and expertise.

With a focus on three of today’s main challenges, the Eurocities Awards 2023 reognises projects that show Eurocities members’ capacity and leadership in
  1. Managing the energy crisis sustainably
  2. Taking the step from global human mobility to local community cohesion
  3. Bringing young people to the centre of co-creating public spaces
Entries are judged by an independent jury of five members, made up of representatives from the conference host city, an expert on urban issues, civil society, the EU institutions and the media.

The awards ceremony will take place on 14 June 2023 at the Gala Dinner on the premises of Gare Maritime in Brussels.

Follow the Eurocities awards shortlist, which will be published at the end of May on the Eurocities website



Get your badge and get ready for the summit.

08.30 - 10.00

Networking coffee

Enjoy a coffee and small bite while meeting up with other participants in the pleasant setting of the urban expo in Square.

08.30 - 09.45

Mayors signing up for sustainable culture - Room: Panoramic

Eurocities side event

08.30 - 10.00

By invitation

FMDV Board of Directors - Room: The Arc

09.00 - 11.00

Mayors Digital Assembly - Room: Silver Hall

Living-in.EU - Eurocities side event

10.00 - 11.30

City leadership in a global climate crisis - Room:Gold Hall

Organised by Metropolis, Brussels, OECD and Eurocities

More than 3bn people already live in areas that are highly vulnerable to climate breakdown, and half of the global population now experiences severe water scarcity for at least part of the year. In the face of climate emergency, how can city leadership, ambition and policy implementation make a difference in meeting the climate targets?

The session will highlight the dramatic impact of climate change in cities and the need to massively fast-track climate action on all fronts. It will demonstrate local leadership in ambition and shaping the pathways to climate-neutral cities.

Anne Hidalgo – Mayor of Paris, France
Asmaa Rhlalou – Mayor of Rabat, Morocco
Barthélémy Dias – Mayor of Dakar, Senegal
Carolina Cosse - Mayor of Montevideo, Uruguay
Eszter Dávida - Member of the New European Bauhaus High Level Round Table, Budapest, Hungary
Kostas Bakoyannis – Mayor of Athens, Greece
Karin Wanngård – Mayor of Stockholm, Sweden
Leo Van Broeck – Professor, Engineer & Architect. President of the Climate Expert Committee of the Brussels Region, Belgium

11.30 - 12.00

Summit Conclusions - Room: Gold Hall

During high level interventions we will reflect on the main messages and takeaways from the Brussels Urban Summit to construct more equal and leadership ble urban futures.

12.00 – 14.00


12.00 - 14.00

By invitation

Power lunch on mental health and cities

12.30 – 14.00

After the Earthquake: A Conversation with Mayors - Room: Panoramic

(organised by Metropolis, Eurocities and UCLG MEWA)

Join us for an insightful conversation with Turkish mayors, who will share their experiences leading their cities in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Northwest Syria on February 6th this year. We will delve into the challenges faced by local governments in meeting the immediate and long-term needs of their communities. Discover response and recovery strategies in the wake of a natural disaster. With light refreshments to follow.

With light refreshments to follow.


14:00 – 15:30

Investment Forum for Sustainable Metropolises - Room: The Arc

(organised by Metropolis and FMDV)

Join us for a session to exchange and share inspiring funding and financing practices developed by public and private actors, including representatives of metropolitan authorities, local government networks, donors, investors and/or private companies. This session will provide valuable insights and opportunities to connect with potential partners and stakeholders.

City Adventures

Discover Antwerp, Ghent or Leuven during a varied programme of walks and project visits.

Urban exchanges

The Urban Exchanges are meetings and workshops open to all summit participants:

With the participation of European Commissioner Johannes Hahn
Session open to all.

Since the 1950’s, many cities witnessed the emergence of large office neighborhoods. A lack of other activities and car-oriented design can make these places less attractive and sustainable. At the same time, they harbor enormous potential, being close to the city center, generating jobs and innovation or containing large building stocks. How do cities transform monofunctional neighborhoods to places that are also alive after office-hours with housing, culture, and education? How to connect these functions for walkers, cyclists, and public transport? With the advance of remote work, which strategies can cities develop to repurpose the existing buildings? A new ambition for the European Quarter in Brussels sets out to transform this important office hub in a lively and mixed neighborhood. In discussing its story this urban exchange makes the connection to urban transformations in cities around the globe.

Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner European Commissioner for Budget and Administration
Pascal Smet, State-secretary of the Brussels-capital Region for urbanism and International affairs
Ans Persoons, alderwoman of the city of Brussels for urbanism
Christiane Gerlach-Scheerer, Master architect of the European Commission
Paul Dujardin, Chief Project Director 50/200 Federal Museums, Conservation & Science Institute-Historical Parc Site (TBC)
Alexander D’Hooghe, founder of strategy and design group ORG and associate professor of architectural urbanism at MIT
Alain Hutchinson, Brussels Commissioner for Europe and the international organisations
Moderating : Aitor Hernández-Morales, Politico
14.00 – 18.00

UCLG Executive Bureau - Room: Hall 400

18.00 – 20.00

Reception UCLG at the Brussels Parliament

The Brussels Parliament invites the members of UCLG's Executive Bureau to a reception in the Hall of Mirrors of the Brussels Parliament.
Brussels Parliament, Rue du Lombard 69, 1000 Brussels

20.00 - 22.00

This is Brussels! Urban Answers to Global Challenges

Join us for an evening of thought-provoking lectures, discussions, and an engaging artistic performance as we delve into local urban answers to global challenges.

We are thrilled to welcome Philipp Rode, Executive Director of LSE Cities and expert in governance systems and sustainable urban development, as keynote speaker. Following his presentation, local experts will zoom in on some of Brussels’ initiatives concerning housing, circular economy, decolonisation, culture, …

*Contrary to what we announced before, Saskia Sassen finally won’t be able to be present in Brussels on 15/06. She will introduce the evening with a video interview recorded in advance.

This special event brings together urban actors from around the world who are part of the international city conference (12/06 – 15/06) “Brussels Urban Summit”, alongside the Brussels audience and local experts. Discover how Brussels is an innovative laboratory for the future and what we can learn from its approaches.

Hosted by Brussels Studies Institute, Brussels Academy, Brussels2030 and the Brussels-Capital Region, This is Brussels! is free, open to everyone and ends with a drink.

Reserve your seat now for this unforgettable evening on 15 June 8 pm in Flagey!

With Saskia Sassen (Columbia University), Philipp Rode (LSE Cities), Stephan Kampelmann (Sonian Wood Coop), Nele Aernouts (VUB - Community Land Trust Brussels), Pitcho Womba Konga (multidisciplinary artist), Yasmina Zian (ULB), André Sobczak (Eurocities), Aitor Hernández Morales (POLITICO) and more ...

Register for this event

* Please note this programme is still subject to change and will be updated frequently


Mathias Cormann

OECD Secretary-General

Greg Clark

Global Advisor on Cities

Lamia Kamal-Chaoui

Director OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities

Jaime Pumarejo

Mayor of Barranquilla

Marvin Rees

Mayor of Bristol (UK)

Doug Saunders

Migration & Cities Expert

Ayse Caglar

Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology - Universität Wien

Claudia López Hernández

Mayor of Bogotá

Karin Wanngård

Mayor of Stockholm


Professor, Engineer & Architect


Mayor of Paris


Prof. Dr.

Asmaa Rhlalou

Mayor of Rabat

Bev Craig

Lead for Economy, Business and International, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Cristina Suomi

Vice-President of METREX. Head of Unit, Strategic Urban Planning, City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division

Tunç Soyer

Mayor of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality

Areti markopoulou

Academic Director of the Institute of advanced architecture of Catalonia (IAAC)

Eilish O'loughlin

Head of Capacity Building at European Urban Initiative (EUI)

Jordi Vaquer

Secretary General - Metropolis, the global association of the major metropolises.

Dong Hwan Lee

Mayor of Goyang, South Korea

Fatma Şahin

Mayor of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality

Melisa Breda

Chief Data Officer / Buenos Aires

Rafael Tuts

Director, Global Solutions Division · UN-Habitat

Diana Rodríguez Uribe

Project Associate - Caring Cities, UNDP

Ernest Maragall

Vice-president of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area

Fabiana Goyeneche

Director of International Relations and Cooperation

Juliet Davis

Head of the Welsh School of Architecture

Laura Valdés Cano

Head of Policy at Metropolis

Mariana Flores

General Director of International Relations and Cooperation in the Government of Mexico City

Marta Suplicy

International Relations Secretary

Dario Nardella

Mayor of Florence

Erion Veliaj

Mayor of Tirana

Afan Adriansyah Idris

Undersecretary of the Jakarta Capital City Government for Development and Environment


Chair WG metropolitan areas, Eurocities

Eszter Dávida

Urbanist, director of KÉK Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre

Susan Aitken

Leader of Glasgow City Council

Nathalie Appéré

Mayor of Rennes – President of Rennes Metropole

Matúš Vallo

Mayor of Bratislava

Burkhard Jung

Mayor of Leipzig


Mayor of the District of Bamako

Normunds Popens

Director General (acting)
DG Regional and Urban Affairs – European Commission

Hayrettin Güngör

Mayor of Kahramanmaraş Metropolitan Municipality

Diana Rodríguez Franco

Secretary for Women's Affairs in the City of Bogotá

Johanna Rolland

Mayor of Nantes

Peter Kurz

Mayor of Mannheim

Ricardo Rio

Mayor of Braga

André Sobczak

Eurocities Secretary General

Emil Boc

Mayor of Cluj-Napoca

Uğur İbrahim Altay

Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality

Philippe Close

Mayor of the City of Brussels

Pascal Smet

Brussels State Secretary for Urbanism and European & International Relations

Elisa Ferreira

European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms

Konrad Fijołek

Mayor of the City of Rzeszów

Thembi Nkadimeng

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (RSA)

Rachid El Abdi

President of the Rabat Salé Kenitra Region

Kostas Bakoyannis

Mayor of Athens

Jonathan Bonadio

Senior Policy Advisor

Anna Lisa Boni

Deputy Mayor for EU/Recovery funds, ecological transition and international relations Comune di Bologna

Mansur Yavaş

Mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality

Cansel Tuncer

Secretary General of Antalya Metropolitan Municipality

Mario Rajn

Mayor of Križevci

Luis Hernandez

MD E.ON Energy Communities Spain

Naomi Chevillard

Head of Regulatory Affairs

Eero Ailio

Adviser Energy Transition, European Commission, DG Energy, Directorate B

Sofia Pinto Barbosa

Director Regulatory Affairs Greenvolt

Frédérique Hanotier

Director of the Human Rights Cities Network (HRCN)


Brussels Urban Visits

The Brussels-Capital Region is organising "Brussels Urban Visits" to showcase successful urban projects that have improved quality of life in the city. These projects are mainly related to key themes of the Brussels Urban Summit agenda: inequality, sustainability, integration and urban regeneration.

Brussels is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world with a rich cultural history. It is diverse, sometimes complex, but always imaginative, surprising and captivating. A variety of innovative initiatives, supported by the Brussels-Capital Region, are reshaping the city’s rich industrial heritage. The Canal district of Brussels, where many projects are located, is a strategic area of the city where the region is investing in its economic resilience.

Places limited. Registrations only.



Discover the diverse and ever changing urban fabric of Brussels during these guided tours

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: 17 Rue des Ateliers, 1080 Brussels

Guide: Ms Loredana Marchi Foyer vzw

Migratie Museum Migration tells the story of immigrant workers, the first arrivals at the Little Castle, expatriates, refugees, Europeans who moved freely within the EU and all the others. It also pays tribute to the many migrants who have helped shape the city.

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: 184d Boulevard Léopold II, 1080 Brussels

Guides: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - Doctors of the World Belgium - Solidarimo

RIBAUCARE is an integrated social centre bringing together five services from four associations with different specialties and audiences. They operate within the same building to provide a single point of contact for care and/or social services. The centre is accessible to all, with a special focus on people in vulnerable situations.

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: at the crossroads of rue des Goujons and rue de la Prévinaire, 1070 Brussels

Guides: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) -

City Gate is a vast and complex programme that stretches over 130,000m² in the Cureghem district of Anderlecht. You will discover how a combination of projects including housing, economic activities and public spaces are transforming the Canal-Midi neighbourhood.

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: Canal area in Brussels

Guides: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) -

Rich in industrial heritage, the Canal area of Brussels has become the place where a variety of innovative initiatives are reshaping the city's productive activity towards a more sustainable and resilient economy.

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: Canal area in Brussels

Guides: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The Canal area has become a place of experimentation, where innovative initiatives are reshaping the inner city. The European Union makes this possible by providing financial support for urban development, social, ecological, and recreational projects that improve quality of life and sustainable development.

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: Grand’ Place, 1000 Brussels

Guides: TBD

How to make public spaces accessible to all?

Ten years ago, it was decided that, as of June 2015, Brussels’ city centre would be pedestrianised. After Venice, Brussels is the second city in Europe offering the biggest pedestrian zone. The guides will explain the urban project’s strategy and discuss the advantages and challenges of a pedestrian city.

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: Food Market – Abattoir SA- 24 Rue Ropsy Chaudron, 1070 Anderlecht

Guides: European Regional Development Fund (EDRF) - Abattoir SA Event & Communication - Brussels Aquaponic Farm Event & Communication

This visit enables you to explore the design of cities and their ecological transition in the context of the impact of food systems. An urban farm component can accomplish a direct link between the production of food products and the greening of cities. The project develops economic activities by encouraging the establishment of street vendors and food trucks through the creation of commercial spaces that also improve the city experience.

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: Rond-point Schuman 1000 Brussels

Guides: - (TBC)

A new shared urban vision was developed for the European Quarter in May 2022 through participative workshops. It aims to transform it into a more sustainable neighbourhood by tackling the main challenges:
  • turn it into a multipurpose neighbourhood (from 3% to 50% housing) with local amenities and taking advantage of the rise of teleworking
  • transform the local street network into vibrant places for residents and workers
  • radically reduce the carbon footprint of the building stock by stimulating renovation & transformation instead of demolition & reconstruction (circular economy)
  • reduce densification & demineralise the core of urban blocks to offer resident-friendly and climate resilient surroundings
  • tackle isolation by strengthening connections with neighbouring areas and by enhancing natural landscape features such as the Maelbeek valley and the East-West green corridor.

Meeting point: Place Rogier, 1000 Brussels

Venue: The Northern District

Guides: (TBC)

The Nord/Noord District boasts major economic, commercial and transport infrastructure. Crossed by the inner ring road, the canal and the railways, and characterised by high-rise single-function office buildings, the district is currently undergoing major changes. Several public initiatives and private projects underpin this renewed interest, and these changes make room for a new form of urban intensity, through a sustainable and environmental approach for better social cohesion.

Discover these new and ambitious strategies for diverse and vibrant neighbourhoods

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: Van Eetvelde House- 4, Avenue Palmerston, 1000 Brussels


Celebrate 130 years of Brussels’ Art Nouveau and visit Hotel van Eetvelde
In 1893, world renowned architect Victor Horta put the finishing touches to Tassel House, the founding work of the Art Nouveau movement in Brussels. 130 years later, Brussels is celebrating Art Nouveau in all its diversity and stakes its claim as the capital of this international artistic movement. This visit allows you to explore Hotel van Eetvelde, a jewel of Brussels' Art Nouveau. Conceived in 1895 and classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this project was, according to Victor Horta himself, his most audacious ever.
Access is made possible through the LAB-An or Art Nouveau Laboratory, a space for the promotion of Art Nouveau that offers a contemporary look at this Belgian and Brussels heritage and the themes it encompasses.


Canal cruise

Go with the flow and watch Brussels pass by

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: Quai des Péniches 1000 Brussels (Boarding) - Bridge Suzan Daniel

Guides: - European Regional Development Fund - Port of (TBC)

Due to economic and societal changes, the Canal area was in need of spatial, economic and socio-cultural renewal. A primary plan and various regional, national and European programmes are contributing to developing the urban potential of this area. Private projects and public initiatives are underway on infrastructure, public space, economic and cultural facilities, and historical heritage. The canal cruise offers a view of diverse and changing neighbourhoods, rich in pioneering projects, and a unique panorama of urban scenes where living, working and relaxing coexist.

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: Quai des Péniches 1000 Brussels (Boarding) - Bridge Suzan Daniel

Guides: - European Regional Development Fund - Port of (TBC)

Due to economic and societal changes, the Canal area was in need of spatial, economic and socio-cultural renewal. A primary plan and various regional, national and European programmes are contributing to developing the urban potential of this area. Private projects and public initiatives are underway on infrastructure, public space, economic and cultural facilities, and historical heritage. The canal cruise offers a view of diverse and changing neighbourhoods, rich in pioneering projects, and a unique panorama of urban scenes where living, working and relaxing coexist.


Stretch your legs

Get ready for some insightful exercise in the city

Meeting point:

Venue: 59 rue de Namur 1000 Brussels

Guides:, Brussels’ planning agency, has developed (in collaboration with several Brussels-based partners) the ‘be running’ strategy to promote physical exercise. A network is gradually being put in place to facilitate running ( Put on your running shoes and sports gear and join us to discover Brussels during a 1-hour run! Departure and finish line are at Perspective’s offices. Showers and sandwiches are provided, as well as changing rooms and a safe place to store your belongings during the run.

Meeting point:

Venue: 59 rue de Namur 1000 Brussels

Guides:, Brussels’ planning agency, has developed (in collaboration with several Brussels-based partners) the ‘be running’ strategy to promote physical exercise. A network is gradually being put in place to facilitate running ( Put on your running shoes and sports gear and join us to discover Brussels during a 1-hour run! Departure and finish line are at Perspective’s offices. Showers and sandwiches are provided, as well as changing rooms and a safe place to store your belongings during the run.

Meeting point: 14:00 SQUARE

Venue: -

Guides: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Both the Brussels-Capital Region and the European Union provide financial support for urban projects that improve quality of life and sustainable development. Discover some of these projects by bike. (Belgium Beer Palace, MAD, Espace Hôtelier Bellevue, Winter Garden, etc).

Discover our self-guided walks here and start your discovery of the Brussels' diversity of public spaces and green areas, as well as architectural and urban projects, all aiming at improving the quality of life of Brussels’ residents.


City adventures

Places limited. Registrations only.

Only on Thursday, June 15th

Antwerp, Ghent and Leuven invite participants to take part in city adventures. Each adventure aims to showcase projects or initiatives implemented by city authorities that improve quality of life in Belgian cities, and/or address current global challenges.



Participants in the Antwerp city adventure will be guided on a 2.5 km walk by the experts that led projects in the regenerated parts of Antwerp: starting at the renovated Southern Docks park, we will walk along the Scheldt quays with its protective flood dikes towards Garden Street, a bottom-up initiative to green Antwerp, on our way to a closing reception in our beautifully renovated historic City Hall.

13:15 - Participants meet in front of Chateau Moderne (Mont des Arts, 1)
13:30 – departure by bus to Antwerp
14:15-14:30 – arrival at the Southern Docks
14:45 – walk along the Scheldt quays
15:30 – arrival at Garden Street (Lange Ridderstraat)
15:45 – walk to City Hall
16:00 – reception at City Hall
16:45 – departure by bus to Brussels



Discover during a musical boat trip how cultural players and the creative sector in Ghent cope with urban challenges such as migration, diversity and sustainability. During 3 stops, stories and experiences will be shared by people who remove barriers through cultural participation on a daily basis.

The City of Ghent provides train tickets for the return journey to Brussels. There will be a possibility to store your luggage or backpacks.

13:30-13:45: participants meet in front of Plein Publiek (Mont des Arts)
13:45: departure by bus to Ghent
14:45-15.15: arrival at Handelsbeurs Ghent + welcome
15.30: start of the boat trip
first stop 'Green Track & De Krook: sustainability'
second stop 'Sint-Macharius: diversity & migration'
third stop: drinks & food at ENTR, multicultural and social restaurant
17:24-18:01: train from Ghent SP station to Brussels Central Station



The Leuven city adventure will take us on a bike tour of one of Flanders’ largest urban development project sites situated in a medieval city centre. The ongoing redevelopment of the old hospital site combines urban greening and revived waterways with a sustainable residential area, a museum established by the university (and hospital), and a new performing arts hall. It’s a great opportunity to explore an ambitious sustainable project site in a bike and pedestrian friendly urban centre.

13:30: meet Leuven representative(s) in front of King Albert 1 statue (Mont des Arts, 5)
14.00: train departs Brussels Central station for Leuven
14:30: pick up bikes in Leuven
14:45: bike tour through the historical city
15:15: visit Hertogen site
16:15: reception in Gothic Town Hall
17:33: train to Brussels Central station