Europe’s largest event for sustainable cities which gathers innovative decision makers has started in Vienna.
For the fifth time, leading experts of urban planning, entrepreneurs, and journalists will meet to discuss how cities will change in the near future. This year, the Urban Future Global Conference (UFGC) is taking place in Vienna at Messe Wien from February 28 to March 2. The main topics are mobility, urban planning, communication, and resource preservation.
Among the 3,000 participants and more than 230 speakers are mayors, architects, mobility experts, city planners, scientists, sustainability managers, representatives from start-ups, environmentalists, innovation experts, and many more. The speakers include Milan’s environmental councillor, Edoardo Croci; Gil Friend, chief sustainability officer at the City of Palo Alto; and Daniel Termont, Mayor of Gent in Belgium.
With 400 participating cities and more than 50 discussions and working forums, the conference will examine current challenges facing the cities of the future, and present best practice examples.
"Cities are currently changing at astonishing speeds. Substantial changes in the areas of energy and mobility, together with changes related to climate protection, will have effects on all citizens. The decisions we make today will show the way forward for developments over the course of the next two or three decades,” says Gerald Babel-Sutter, the UFGC’s founder, highlighting the immense importance of the conference which enables exchange between cities’ decision-makers on all levels.
Besides the speakers, the first two days of the program will also include the Urban Journalist Academy, where participants will discuss urban journalism. Among the experts is Chris Michael, the editor of Guardian Cities. The third day will be fully dedicated to alternative excursions around Vienna, among them a trip to a school for migrant children which was opened by citizens, and a route called Vienna Ugly.
The Urban Future Expo forms the center of the conference and enables attendees to intensively network between the sessions with the industry’s players.
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Text: Ekaterina Motyakina