Angelika Tamasova, Climate Change Adaptation Expert, European Environment Agency
Olena Tarasova-Krasiieva, Project Manager on Nature-based Solution for Sustainable Cities, UNDP Ukraine

Funding and unity between cities highlighted at EURESFO 2021


More funding opportunities and collaborative work are essential for cities’ resilient recovery.  After two days of intense discussions in the European Urban Resilience Forum (EURESFO) 2021, cities representatives, industries, and stakeholders highlighted the imperative need for innovative financing solutions and a holistic approach for integrated mitigation and adaptation strategies. The event took place in a hybrid format with sessions and attendees online and in Malmö, Sweden, on 19 and 20 October.

Among the conference’s main outcomes is the agreement that cities need more financial support from the European Union and national funds to scale up action and to work in collaboration with stakeholders, private sectors and research institutions. Funding opportunities were addressed by representatives of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, including the announcement by Cinzia Losenno (EIB) of the first-ever EIB Adaptation plan to be launched at COP 26.

“This issue was massively discussed during the plenaries and we saw that cities are aware of the need for more financial incentives to implement climate action and to accelerate the work. This combination of work in different thematic and sectors with much focus on local level has become more urgent,” said Vasileios Latinos, Resilience Coordinator at ICLEI Europe and EURESFO coordinator.

Further outcomes refer to the need of integrated work on different fronts, such as nature-inspired solutions for the whole city rather than just in specific patches (parking lots, protected areas etc); better data collection and use for integrated climate strategies; actions to ensure future-proofing beyond the individual building level; consider smaller municipalities particular challenges and adapt to them; among others.

For the first time, the EURESFO 2021 took place in a hybrid format with sessions held both online and in Malmö. Around 100 people met in the venue, where studios were prepared to live stream the sessions, while over 500 participants joined the discussions online through the platform Hopin. Mami Mizutori, Head of United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction; Elena Visnar-Malinovska, Head of Adaptation Unit - DG Clima, European Commission; Margareta Wahlström, Expert, Disaster Risk Reduction were present at the event either in person or online.

“We should look at resilience as a competence, not as an end state. Basically, my message [to mayors] is that we need to take disasters seriously, they will happen again, and take the measures to protect citizens the next time, know your risks,” said Wahlström.

In summary, the EURESFO 2021 demonstrated the importance of resuming physical events after almost two year of exclusively online meetings due to the Covid pandemic. For the first time, the EURESFO took place over two days, which made possible to explore more topics, such as resilient buildings, DRR, cultural heritage, and other in which people are currently interested. “Besides the exchanges, networking, and discussions held during the Marketplace, site visits and social gatherings, we also had a couple of workshops, which we couldn’t really explore if we did it online,” said Priscilla Castro, the conference’s Communications Lead.

In Malmö, the participants had the opportunity to choose between three site visits in the first day of the Conference: The Sofielund neighbourhood, to learn about sustainable city development towards a resilient city district; the Parking Malmö, to see a multi-functional multi-storey car parking and how to maximize the societal benefits when building car parks for the future; and the Scandinavian Green Roof Institute (SGRI), to learn about recent projects and visit an experimental roof.



You can watch Mami Mizutori, Head of UNDRR, statement here.

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Click here to see pictures of the event.