Connecting circles | 2 October

Join a circle, connect with peers

Circle 1: Co-creating adaptive and resilient cities and regions

A multi-level approach

11:30 - 13:30 | Room to be announced

The resilience challenge cannot be taken up by cities alone. For organisational, budgetary, geographical and competency-related reasons, local authorities must collaborate and connect with higher levels of government, with their residents and with other stakeholders in their territories. Only the co-creation of resilience strategies by a wide variety of actors will result in plans that are both effective and inclusive.

This session will explore how local authorities can cooperate with different sets of stakeholders at various levels in order to take action on adapting to climate change.


Circle 2: Energy transition in cities and regions

Implementing a local and people-driven energy transition

11:30 - 13:30 | Room to be announced

Local, participative energy production has manifold benefits. It mitigates emissions and makes energy both more sustainable and affordable. Participatory energy production on the local level is also one of the surest ways to change ingrained patterns of energy use. It gets people directly involved in their own local energy transition, empowering them as co-owners of the local energy infrastructure and making them increasingly aware of their own energy consumption.

This session tackles technological, financial and governance-related aspects of the energy transition with a focus on models of local energy production including public energy suppliers and energy cooperatives. Participants can expect hands-on, replicable examples and success stories from different countries.


Circle 3: Co-creating circular cities and regions

Local authorities at the centre of the circular economy transition

11:30 - 13:30 | Room to be announced

The concept of circular economy integrates economic activities and environmental welfare, representing a formidable approach to tackling climate challenges. A circular economy is a regenerative system much like natural systems in which waste is minimised and energy and material loops are optimised. Such economies can sustainably alter consumption patterns while stimulating sustainable innovation and business opportunities in both new and established sectors. Transforming cities into circular cities, however, will require radical changes to the DNA of our society, shifting from traditional silo approaches to strategies based on partnerships and co-development. 

This session focuses on the role of local authorities in the transition to a circular economy by exploring how they can become facilitators of cross-sectoral and multi-actor exchanges.


Circle 4: Water challenges in cities and regions

A circular economy approach

11:30 - 13:30 | Room to be announced

Looking at water challenges through a circular economy lens opens up a variety of opportunities for the local level. The approach spurs us to stop regarding wastewater as waste to be treated and processed and begin, instead, to appreciate it as a valuable source of renewable energy, raw materials, and clean water. Instead of managing energy, water and materials separately, the circular economy approach encourages an integrated view of water, energy and waste management. It pushes us to develop synergies across sectors and the champion closed-loop solutions.

  • Jordi Vinyoles, Companyia d'Aigües de Sabadell (CASSA) | Bio - Twitter
  • Richard Elelman, EURECAT-CTM
  • Manuel Suarez, Spanish Assoication for Water Quality
  • Selma Mergner, City of Worms (Germany) | presentation (pdf) 

This session focuses on an integrated nexus approach for supplying, preserving and saving water, energy and materials across sectors. In this light, participants will look at the role of both municipalities and their residents.