July 2023

DUT at the Creating Green Cities Conference in Malmö

How can Driving Urban Transitions as a funding mechanism contribute to the development and implementation of the Urban Agenda of the EU? And what aspects of frameworks such as Leipzig Charter, New European Bauhaus and Driving Urban Transitions can contribute to the successful development of greener, inclusive, and socially just cities?

Some of the important aspects were addressed at the conference Creating Green Cities, held in mid-June as a part of the Swedish EU presidency. The conference theme rests upon the Urban Agenda of EU and its multilevel governance ambition to achieve sustainable urban development. For two days the conference invited to an arena for interactive dialogue, reflexive learning with many excellent panelists and speakers at seminars, workshops, and side events. The conference was moderated by Johan Kuylenstierna, Director general of Formas, and Veronica Hejdelind.

The conference was held back-to-back with the DUT Governing Board meeting, in Malmö as well. Via DUT’s role as a partner in the Greening Cities-partnership under the Urban Agenda, we organized a workshop session on multi-level governance and how to go from policy to practice in urban transformation.

The DUT Transition Pathway coordinators Christoph Gollner and Björn Wallsten led the discussions in two panel sessions, one in which cross-cutting aspects of energy- and resource-efficient renovation and refurbishment were in focus, combining PED- and CUE-perspectives. A second session discussed central aspects of mobility policy for green cities, in which Maximilian Jäger provided perspectives on recent developments and debates on the 15-minute City concept, especially emphasising a few city examples (Milano, Melbourne and Bogotá) and open questions and challenges for implementation.

Panels such as these are arenas of sharing, and they provide opportunities to mix the set-up of speakers for thought-provoking and cross-cutting insights. As an international knowledge broker on urban issues, DUT has much to offer in terms of a vast and well-established network of speakers, projects and contacts.

To get closer to action in the Urban Agenda of EU pillars of better funding, better regulation, and better knowledge the multilevel approach it is really key to release the full potential of the multilevel ambitions.

Key take aways from the conference:

  • To collaborate, but with focus on impact and effect – not “just cooperate”
  • To set social and inclusive aspects at the top of the agenda, to make other aspects follow – the inclusive city is also a more sustainable urban environment.
  • Climate – not only efficiency and neutrality – we do see it as a crisis already. Sense of urgency!
  • The multilevel approach – we need European and national actors to step forward in order to be truly multilevel.