EURESFO: connecting cities for a resilient future

The 11th European Urban Resilience Forum will take place on 26-28 June in Valencia, Spain.

All those seeking to shape a climate-resilient future for our cities and regions are cordially invited to attend the 2024 edition of the European Urban Resilience Forum (EURESFO).

Since 2013, EURESFO has been a unique exchange platform for city representatives, experts and stakeholders from local and regional institutions to discuss strategies, initiatives and actions for adapting to climate change, managing disasters and building urban resilience. The event is a European initiative driven by ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability and the European Environment Agency (EEA), and will now be co-organised with the City of Valencia for the 2024 edition.

Again in 2024, EURESFO will maintain its characteristic informative, open, and interactive ambiance, upholding its 'PowerPoint free' format. Participants are enthusiastically invited to share their experiences and perspectives on an array of topics that delve into the challenges inherent in urban resilience planning and implementation.

Target Audience: Resilience-makers, Resilience innovators, Resilience providers, and Resilience supporters.

The 2024 edition of the European Urban Resilience Forum will take place in the framework of the Valencia Cities Climate Week (including the Cities Mission Conference, EURESFO and the Energy Cities Annual Forum), hosted by the city as part of the Valencia EU Green Capital 2024 celebrations. It will be a unique opportunity to bring together representatives of cities and regions from across Europe to discuss challenges and opportunities for strengthening resilience in the wider context of sustainable urban development.

 

EURESO24: Resilience with a special focus on governance, water and climate-neutral cities.

The 11th EURESFO will be built around three thematic streams and a special focus stream:

  • Multilevel governance, cooperation and just transition: resilience leaves no one behind.
  • Water resilience and the Blue Economy in and beyond the Mediterranean region.
  • Enabling the transformation to resilient, adaptive, and climate-neutral cities and regions.
  • Special focus stream: Post-conflict Resilience and Recovery.

For more information about the Streams and sessions here.

 

Multilevel governance, cooperation and just transition: resilience leaves no one behind

 

This stream investigates and seeks linkages between 3 important - and connected - components of resilience:

a) Multi-level governance: the need to include different levels of government from local to regional, national and European into the resilience discussion.

b) (Inter-departmental) collaboration: the cross-cutting and transversal nature of resilience and the need to overcome silos as key for implementation, by mainstreaming resilience across various sectors, e.g., procurement, culture, mobility, health, governance.

c) Just transition: reflecting on the need to put people at the centre to ensure a fair and just climate resilience, monitoring and evaluating justice in resilience, and fostering discussions on challenges, innovations, and solutions around topics such as governance, just transition, participation and citizen engagement.

Most importantly, sessions within this stream will look at how to move from problems to solutions.

Guiding questions:
How to measure NBS co-benefits to thriving societies?
How to strengthen the participation of National governments into regional resilience discussions?
How to better integrate mitigation and adaptation, and ensure a collaborative environment into city and region administrations?
How to monitor citizen engagement in resilience planning and implementation?

Water resilience and the Blue Economy in and beyond the Mediterranean region

 

The potential for our oceans is vast, but years of exploitation have left them devastated. Sea level rise has left many European cities and regions fighting with extreme flooding events and failing to adapt adequately to address ongoing challenges and protect vulnerable populations. The Blue Economy provides a holistic alternative to existing models, promoting sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth that can equally improve the health of ocean ecosystems. This stream looks at water as a key element ensuring urban and regional resilience:

a) Concrete regional and local nature and water-based adaptation solutions responding to sea level rise, as well as the more and more frequent droughts, wildfires and flooding events in Europe.

b) The need for improved EU, National and regional policies and regulations on water resilience.

c) Accelerating the transition to a blue economy for the sustainable use of natural assets in the Mediterranean and other water resources in Europe.

Guiding questions:
How are cities using blue and green infrastructure to adapt to increased flooding events?
What binding requirements should the proposal for a Climate and Water Resilience Law include? And to whom should it be addressed?
How can Mediterranean cities facing years-long droughts make a more sustainable use of water resources?

Enabling the transformation to resilient, adaptive, and climate-neutral cities and regions

 

In response to the ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal and Adaptation Strategy, many European cities and regions have embarked on a transformational journey, aiming to rethink their social, economic, and infrastructural systems in order to achieve resilience as well as climate neutrality. If it is clear that these 2 objectives are very much related, governance and financial structures often do not allow a comprehensive reflection on regional and local needs for transformation. This stream explores the conditions enabling a successful transformation that considers both resilience and climate neutrality:

a) Financial mechanisms and opportunities to enable the resilient and climate-neutral transformation

b) Mobilising multi-level stakeholders to invest in a (green) transformation

c)AI tools and innovation to accelerate the transformation

Guiding questions:
Which financing instruments can cities and regions channel to drive a transformation that is both resilient and climate-neutral?
How can investors measure the benefits of nature-positivity?
What concrete strategies do public administrations have to support behavioural change in citizens? How can they collaborate to achieve this goal?

The Roadmap from Humanitarian Response to Post-conflict Resilience and Recovery

 

As part of EURESFO24, a special half a day will be organised addressing the challenges of local governance and the lack of coordinated vision to plan and implement post-war recovery and sustainable development initiatives across regional and international partners in conflict fragile settings. This stream is aimed at applying a deep dive exercise to help cities and key stakeholders understand the intersection between conflict risks and climate impacts and solutions, and adopting a cohesive approach for transfer from Humanitarian response into sustainable post-war recovery.  

This will help pave the way towards understanding the gaps in ongoing initiatives taking place on the ground in repose to short-term humanitarian needs and develop a mechanism for local and regional stakeholders’ engagement to help shift the current siloed investments and ad-hoc humanitarian led actions towards strategically and demand led climate neutral and locally driven approach. The outcomes of this process will be shared with potential investors and donor organisations to foster business models, improve access to capital and advance public-private partnership economic behaviour, while maintaining the value, management and utility of municipal services and resources for sustainable post war recovery.