Designing Resilient, Climate-Neutral Cities: District-focused Innovations

20. October 9:00 - 10:15

Cities in Europe are taking a leading role in achieving climate goals, pledging to become climate-neutral under the European Commission's Mission for Climate Neutral and Smart Cities. These cities are utilizing district-level strategies as a starting point to scale up climate initiatives effectively. This approach bridges local and city-level policies while emphasizing a human-scale transition to sustainability.

In this interactive session, city representatives will share their experiences, challenges, and successes in implementing innovative urban planning and design practices. These practices include nature-based solutions, spatial justice, and tactical urbanism, alongside innovative procurement methods. The session will also explore how these strategies align with local and regional climate plans, fostering dialogue among various stakeholders, ultimately driving sustainable and resilient urban futures.

Join us to discover how integrated approaches can drive sustainable and resilient urban futures.


This session is part of the Mainstreaming solutions for a just transformative pathway: an integrated approach to resilience stream.


Ilaria Giuliani

Chief Resilience Officer and Director of the Urban Resilience Department, City of Milan

Ilaria Giuliani,Chief Resilience Officer and Director of the Urban Resilience Department, City of Milan

Before joining the City Resilience Department, she worked as researcher in urban planning for universities and cultural foundations, such as the Politecnico di Milano, Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli and City University of New York. She also worked as advisory staff for the Urban Planning Deptuy Major, leading the development of urban transformations projects and focusing on the coordination of EU projects.

She holds a degree in Architecture (IUAV University of Venice) and master degree and PhD in Urban Planning and Territorial Policies (Politecnico di Milano).

Kinga Feenstra

Policy advisor, City of Rotterdam

Kinga Feenstra, Policy advisor, City of Rotterdam

Kinga Feenstra serves as a policy advisor for the City of Rotterdam with a strong focus on knowledge exchange, governance, and the renewal of political processes. With experience across civil society, the private and public sectors, she offers diverse insights into comparative politics and policy making. Her time in St. Petersburg, Russia, has deepened her insight into global political developments and patterns. In her role at Resilient Rotterdam, Kinga uses her political science background to support resilience-building efforts in the city. Her responsibilities include international knowledge exchange, digital resilience, and resilience at district level, with a main focus on social and community resilience. Finally, she leads Rotterdam's participation in the HORIZON project UP2030.

Luís Capão

Cascais Ambiente

Luís Capão, Cascais Ambiente
Matteo Satta

Project Coordinator, ANCI Toscaan

Matteo Satta, Project Coordinator, ANCI Toscaan

Matteo Satta is a consultant specialized in Smart Cities and EU Affairs (Horizon Europe, Interreg, Urbact, C4C). He started his adventure in the world of cities, joining in 2014 the City of Issy-les-Moulineaux, to manage and develop the its participation at EU and international level, with a particular interest on Digital Innovation. Today, Matteo is a member of with Major Cities of Europe and, in collaboration with the association, he founded and he leads a group of cities called The CommEUnity. He is the writer and Scientific Coordinator (for ANCI TOSCANA) of the "100 Climate neutral and smart cities" mission project CLIMABOROUGH.

Efrén Feliu

Climate Change Adaptation Manager, TECNALIA Research and Innovation

Efrén Feliu, Climate Change Adaptation Manager, TECNALIA Research and Innovation

Holds a Building Engineering Degree as well as different postgraduates including spatial planning and territorial development. Has a relevant professional background in consultancy and capacity building for public administrations and utilities. He is currently Climate Change Manager at the City Territory and Environment Area of Tecnalia, coordinating applied research projects for the development of Decision Support Systems in the fields of sustainable spatial development, nature-based solutions, regional-urban resilience and sectoral climate change adaptation. Worked in Central America for over 4 years and is involved in international and European initiatives for more than 20 years, including several Horizon Europe projects, ESPON and Copernicus contracts, as well as standardisation activities at ISO and CEN, or the Spanish Mirror Group for the EU Mission Adaptation to Climate Change.

Stella Psaropoulou

Chief Resilience Officer, Thessaloniki

Stella Psaropoulou, Chief Resilience Officer, Thessaloniki


Mrs Stella Psarropoulou is an officer at the Municipality of Thessaloniki 18 years and in recent years, she has been working on the city’s Resilient office as the Deputy Chief Resilience Officer. She has been team member of a number of European funded projects such as the Horizon2020 Food Trails, coordinator for Thessaloniki's participation in NetZero Cities EU Mission and Mission Adaptation and contact person for international partnerships. Her background is in Financial Studies, she holds a Master’s degree in “European Integration & Governance”, University of Macedonia, & a second Master’s degree in “Spatial Planning for Sustainable and Resilient Urban Development”, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Faculty School, where she also started her PhD research on SDGs. Recently she has started her political experience as member of Volt Europa and spokesperson for Volt Greece, while in 2023 run for city councilor in Greece's local elections.


Elena Petsani

Officer, Urban Resilience and Climate Adaptation, Sustainable Resources, Climate and Resilience, ICLEI Europe

Elena Petsani, Officer, Urban Resilience and Climate Adaptation, Sustainable Resources, Climate and Resilience, ICLEI Europe

Elena Petsani is an Urban Resilience & Sustainability Planner (MSc & MEng.). She has professional background with over five years of experience in inclusive and climate-resilient urban development, sustainability strategies, policy-making, and academic research at the national and local government level. She has supported strategic urban planning and territorial development, climate adaptation policies, and spatial tools for multi-stakeholder engagement in the decision-making process. Elena is involved in EU funded projects focused on adaptation to climate change and Nature Based Solutions such as REGREEN, proGIreg, REGILIENCE, and MULTISOURCE.

Nilofer Tajuddin

City Advisor and Programs Manager, Resilient Cities Network

Nilofer Tajuddin, City Advisor and Programs Manager, Resilient Cities Network

Nilofer Tajuddin is an urban planner whose experience working on projects in urban resilience and adaptation, water, and energy is strengthened by a focus on inclusive and participatory development. At Resilient Cities Network, her role is focused on working with interdisciplinary programs at the city level, capacity building and stakeholder engagement. As a Climate-Neutral City Advisor, Nilofer collaborates with cities within the EU's flagship Mission – ‘100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030’ as part of the ‘NetZeroCities’ project.