What started as an idea for a workshop in 2014 in Graz, Austria, is now Europe’s biggest conference on sustainable cities and still an inspiring place to get together, but it is also a global community of urban CityChangers who have the ambition to make the cities around the world more sustainable.
This year’s Urban Future Conference took place in Helsingborg. The city is dreaming big. Not only does it want to become one of the most innovative cities in Europe, but it also strives to transform its entire DNA and inspire co-creation in a more sustainable, thoughtful city. By putting collaboration as the key drivers of change, Helsingborg is trying to reinvent city governance and has launched the first municipal innovation hub in Sweden, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide its actions.
The conference was a hot spot of urban brilliance and sustainability packed with a tight program of workshops, discussions and excursions, attracting a wide range of global and Nordic city planners and practitioners to inspire, get inspired, and personally connect with the most active people leading transitions in cities. Austria was well represented with the city of Graz and the city of Linz, both eager to show their innovative side and best-practice examples for sustainability. Linz was part of the Urban Brilliance innovation area, where six cities from across Europe were invited to showcase their best practices and solutions for the challenges of today. The pavilion focused on creative digital ideas, a.o. showcasing an artistic research project “Fashion and Robotics”, that is bringing together the fields of fashion, creative robotics and biomechatronics from the Johannes Kepler University to look for innovative, sustainable and bio-based approaches to develop new alternatives in the fashion industry. Furthermore, several Austrian speakers were part of conference program, presenting Austrian excellence in sustainability.
Among the interested visitors was the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria, who was given a private presentation of the robot dog Spot by Mayor of Linz.