Future Green City World Congress comes to Utrecht

Future Green City World Congress comes to Utrecht

NETHERLANDS - The city of the future is green and sustainable! That's why the Future Green City World Congress will be held at the Beatrix Theatre in Utrecht from the 23rd to the 26th of September 2024. During this unique congress, over 3,000 experts from around the world will share their passion, knowledge, and expertise on the livable green city of the future over four days.

How do we deal with the impact of climate change and population growth in urban areas?
The conversations, shared knowledge and new projects resulting from the Future Green City World Congress are necessary, because urban areas around the world face major challenges. More and more people are moving to cities to live and work, putting increasing pressure on urban infrastructure. Globally, there is a search for a new balance between sustainability, nature, and livability in urban areas: the Future Green City.

The congress connects the worlds of construction, green spaces, infrastructure, and water. How can cities become more circular and climate-neutral? What civil engineering solutions are needed to make a concrete environment greener? And how can cities remain accessible?

Maarten Loeffen, director of Stadswerk, says: "It is important to deepen and broaden our knowledge together. At the Future Green City World Congress, civil and cultural technology are combined to build a sustainable public space for the future. For four days, we bring thinkers and doers together."

Marc van Rosmalen, director of Koninklijke VHG: "In September, people from all over the world will come to Utrecht to work together on the future of green, healthy, livable, and climate-resilient cities. Be inspired by the challenges and solutions in the areas of climate, water, energy transition, and more."

The Future Green City World Congress is an initiative of the Koninklijke Vereniging Stadswerk Nederland and the Koninklijke Vereniging van Hoveniers en Groenvoorzieners (VHG). They are bringing the worlds of green spaces and civil engineering together in Utrecht, in collaboration with World Urban Parks (WUP), the International Federation of Municipal Engineering (IFME), and AIPH, as well as the Municipality of Utrecht, the host city for the congress. The ministries of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, of Health, Welfare and Sport, and of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, along with the VNG and the province of Utrecht, have also joined as content partners. This coalition underscores the importance of the Future Green City.

170 sessions from 32 countries

The most inspiring examples of green transformations in cities from around the world will be showcased. Over 170 sessions have been selected from more than 250 submitted proposals, including lectures, masterclasses, serious games, debates, and science labs. This has resulted in a programme featuring representatives from 32 different countries worldwide, from Argentina to Canada and from Cameroon to Taiwan.

Some highlights from the programme include:

  • Leading keynote speakers: Kongjian Yu on his groundbreaking work on sponge cities, Adriaan Geuze on narrative iconic public spaces, and Carine Saloff-Coste on the impressive transformation of Paris into a hotspot with high biodiversity.
  • Field Trips XL: participants can visit fascinating projects in the Netherlands. There are excursions to Deventer for Aqua Thermal Energy on the IJssel, Arnhem by bike, and to other interesting cities, such as the station area and Triodos Park in Zeist, the Seven Cities Project in Rotterdam, and the challenges of the 'sinking city' Gouda.
  • Urban Trail Utrecht: how do you transform a twelve-lane motorway through the middle of the city into a green waterway? Where do the cars go? And what is involved in such a redevelopment? The Singel is a 20-year project in the busiest part of the city and has been an instant success since its completion. Volunteers from the Greening Singel Foundation will show by boat how city water has been turned into a healthy ecosystem.
  • Workshops XL: four-hour sessions where participants work with experts on concrete issues and solutions. Themes include 'The zero-emission city: the citizen dialogue', 'Technical challenges: Park Making on a higher level', and 'Daylight your rivers and streams'.

Participants will have a refreshing conference experience. It's not just about sitting and listening, as the lively and diverse programme makes the conference much like a festival. Thanks to the many different working formats, including games, theatre, cinema, and debate, as well as the fringe programming throughout the city. Van Rosmalen: ‘A festival-style conference you can't miss.’

Image by wirestock on Freepik

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