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Sweco attends the European Urban Resilience Forum

Published on: October 24, 2023

Sweco´s international knowledge initiative Urban Insight was invited to participate in the European Urban Resilience Forum. The Forum discussed a shared vision to implement a European resilient transformation. The event was a European initiative driven by ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability and the European Environment Agency (EEA) and, for 2023, co-organised together with the City of Cascais. Gain insights from the Forum from the Sweco experts who were onsite.

The European Urban Resilience Forum provides a unique 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.

Learn more about the acceleration of Europe´s resilient transformation

The Forum addressed key topics such as evaluating the impact of resilience trends and policies on European cities and regions, identifying best practices in governance, finance, nature-based solutions and innovation for climate adaptation, and identifying built capacities but also missed opportunities and challenges.

Key takeaways from the Forum:

  1. The Green Deal is the response of the EU to climate change and environmental degradation. The current main focus of the Green Deal is climate mitigation, which aims to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. This has been translated into an ambitious ‘Fit for 55’ package to help cities, industries, and households succeed in the green transition. Additionally, climate adaptation, circular economy, and the preservation of biodiversity are quintessential to building resilience in Europe.
  2. The EU recognises the need for a full transition, which requires innovation in technology but also partnerships and governance. The EU also recognises the importance of action at a city level and private sector engagement. Examples include several Horizon research projects, the LIFE programme and pilot missions like the NetZeroCities initiative, Driving Urban Transitions (DUT).
  3. The newest EU mission on climate adaptation will support 300+ regions and cities in becoming climate resilient. It is clear that investing in resilience saves money and generates business.
  4. For cities, resilience requires a continuous risk assessment in order to be able to address changing challenges in the light of climate change and social needs.
  5. In urban areas, the importance of understanding local needs when designing resilient societies requires technical and architectural expertise to identify priorities for a just transition.

Sweco actively contributed to the discussions by sharing its expertise and insights in these areas.

Isabelle Putseys, Sustainability Manager at Sweco

“The biggest challenges our clients are seeing now in terms of resilience are the increasing impacts of a changing climate, multiplied by other crises. The ‘perfect storm’ has become reality for many businesses. For example, a business dependent on distant resources that was affected by turbulence during the Covid pandemic, or a company dependent on water logistics and water supply affected by long periods of drought, as well as energy-intensive industries affected by energy prices hitting the ceiling due to the war in Ukraine. To address these multitude of challenges, what we do and how we do it has become more important for the future.”

Jens Aerts, Team Manager, Climate Resilience Planning at Sweco

“The European Urban Resilience Forum gathers institutions at European, national and local level that collectively want to speed up resilience planning and required investments. We are here to show that Sweco is committed to promoting resilience through circular infrastructure, sustainable transport and green solutions from planning to implementation. Our efforts to develop the Urban Insight knowledge platform provide an excellent opportunity to discuss key solutions and challenges in building European resilience with existing and new partners.”

Sweco is advisor to European cities and delivers climate-risk assessments, strategies for emergency resilience including social impact assessments, planning of resilient infrastructure, and advising on green financing.

Urban Insight by Sweco encourages all resilience-makers, innovators, providers and supporters to contribute to shaping a climate-resilient future for our cities and regions. Discover our insight-reports and advice on how to take action towards resilience.

Discover the reports

About Urban Insight and our attendance at the Forum

Sweco’s Urban Insight initiative was invited to take part in the 10th European Urban Resilience Forum as a platform to share its insights and knowledge on resilient urban development. The Forum took place 18-20 October in Portugal.

Urban Insight is an international knowledge initiative where Sweco brings together experts to develop insights, new ideas and solutions about how to plan and design resilient cities and societies. Since its launch in 2018, the initiative has released more than twenty-five reports covering themes such as sustainable mobility and transport, the energy transition, climate action, health and well-being, circularity and resilience.

The platform enables Sweco to share the knowledge it has acquired and the lessons learned through the development of towns and cities throughout Europe. The activities and reports inspire and open up discussions about the best solutions and how to take action together.

Sweco was excited to contribute to the Forum through its Urban Insight platform and continues to work with clients and partners to create a more resilient future.