Opening Plenary

9:20 - 10:30

The first part of the opening plenary will focus on the experiences of four cities with COVID-19 and its implications for planning ahead for adaptation and resilience. This is a critical moment to address the interrelations between adaptation to climate change, urban resilience and public health, by additionally exploring the impacts of the pandemic on cities, and analysing local responses to it. The plenary will provide insights for four cities that have quite different approaches to dealing with the pandemic, while all of them have already extensive, proven work on resilience planning. Greater Manchester and Paris have both developed resilience strategies through their participation in the Global Resilient Cities Network, while Valencia and Malmö are working with ICLEI Europe in a variety of projects.

During the second part, Elena Visnar-Malinovska, head of the Adaptation Unit, DG Climate Action of the European Commission and Stefania Manca, City of Genoa and EU Urban Agenda Partnership for Adaptation will engage in discussions on important ongoing policy processes that will shape the future of our cities, such as the updated EU Adaptation Strategy, for which the public consultation was announced on the 14th of May 2020.

SESSION 1A: Nature-Based Solutions for better climate: seeking adaptation and mitigation synergies

10:45 - 12:15

The current COVID-19 outbreak and the containing measures implemented (i.e. social distancing and staying at home) have made apparent, now more than ever, the benefits of NBS among citizens around the world. In this session, four European Cities will present their experiences in planning and implementing NBS with both adaptation and mitigation goals in mind. The audience will be invited to discuss lessons learned and success factors based on the showcased experiences while sharing their insights and good practices.

Session 1B: Connecting up the dots between science, municipalities, insurance and climate risk assessment

10:45 - 12:15

Over the last three years a group 23 European scientific, insurance, SME’s organisations and municipalities from the H2020 funded project ‘Oasis Innovation Hub for Catastrophe and Climate Extremes Risk Assessment’ have been working on developing a range of analytical tools that can help cities and municipalities understand their risks. We also discuss how some of the methods traditionally used by insurers and reinsurers can also work well to assist urban planners to understand cities climate-related risks. In this session, we look at a range of new tools developed by this collaboration and that can assist the work of urban planners. We will look into a major new climate change flood model for the entire Danube region, ‘The Future Danube Model.' We will also discuss a new tool to assist Urban Edge Wildfire Management; new ways to assess and manage climate change impacts on chronic diseases, using a case study in Berlin, developed by the world-renowned Charité Hospital in Berlin; how we can obtain global catastrophe and climate change data, analytical tools, and services through a new Hub developed by the Project – the ‘Oasis Hub’ 

Session 2A: Cities for a Resilient Recovery

13:00 - 14:15

While cities are responding to and managing the current pandemic, many have already started preparing and thinking about what comes after, emphasizing the need to “build back better together” and create a pathway towards a green and resilient recovery. It is also clear that cities are fighting the pandemic against the backdrop of multiple existing shocks and stresses and emerging vulnerabilities while striving to put equity, economy, and climate action at the center of their approaches. In this session, we will unpack what urban resilience means in the context of recovery. We will hear from practitioners about forward-looking, holistic approaches to recovery, and the methods they are using to embed urban resilience in recovery planning and beyond.

Session 2B: Financing resilient cities beyond the EU Green Deal

13:00 - 14:15

The EU Green Deal (GD), released by the European Commission (EC) on 11 December 2019, contains a set of strategic measures with the overall aim of turning Europe into a climate-neutral continent by 2050. In 2017, climate-related disasters and extreme weather events only in the EU caused 6,7 billion EUR of economic damages (over 100 billion USD worldwide). Moreover, according to the data provided by EEA, in 2017 only 1% of climate-related risks in the EU were insured (EEA, 2019).Therefore, the following innovative financial instruments with the application of distributed ledger technologies (short, DLT) should be incorporated into the updated version of the Green Deal: savings or self-financing; debt financing (e.g. catastrophe bonds); contingent and crisis financing (e.g. forecast-based financing); climate insurance; risk transfer (reinsurance).

Session 2C: Leveraging public procurement for more resilient cities

13:00 - 14:15

Across Europe, on average, public authorities spend about 20% of the EU Gross Domestic Product (GDP) purchasing goods, works and services. Sustainable and circular procurement is used by cities to ensure that their purchasing reflects broader goals linked to resource efficiency, climate change, social responsibility and economic resilience, for example. This session explores how public procurement can be used to build resilience as a strategic preparedness and response mechanism in European cities. It gives opportunity to dive into the world of procurement, its role to prepare for future stresses and mechanisms for crisis response. The session will also cater to an open discussion reflecting on the current situation under COVID-19.

Closing Plenary: Beyond resilience; outlook, future challenges and prospects 

14:25 - 15:10

The closing plenary will bring the focus back to the review of the EU Adaptation Strategy and will invite speakers from different organisations and networks to provide their suggestions and recommendations for the review. This process is part of the European Green Deal, and the European Commission aims to put forward a new Adaptation Strategy in early 2021, building on the current one, which was adopted in 2013 and positively evaluated in 2018.

Speakers from ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, the Global Resilient Cities Network, OECD, UNDRR and the European Investment Bank will join the European Commission on this discussion. An appointed rapporteur will also bring to the audience important messages collected throughout the day from the different sessions. These messages will provide input from the participating cities, regions and stakeholders for the review of the EU Adaptation Strategy, in the form of a ‘EURESFO outcome’.