5th Informed Cities Forum

Over 120 of the people working on making Europe's cities sustainable, inclusive and ready for the future came together in Dresden for the 5th Informed Cities Forum!

On 16-17 June 2016, city governments, researchers, artists and activists, educators and entrepreneurs, experts and policy specialists converged for an intensive 2-day programme featuring hands-on field workshops and insights from a diverse range of voices active on the urban transition scene.



conference review

On 16-17 June 2016, the 5th Informed Cities Forum explored ways to co-create sustainable cities of the future with a focus on People, Partnerships and Power.

City governments, researchers, artists, activists, entrepreneurs, experts and policy specialists  converged  for  an  intensive 2-day  programme featuring interactive field workshops and insights from a diverse range of voices active in the urban sustainability transition scene.

Session 1: People

Session 1 looked at the people behind transformative processes, setting the stage for looking at real-world examples of transition initiatives.

It encouraged a broad view of sustainability transitions by highlighting diversity and the potential for social innovation and bottom-up initiatives, but also the need for empowerment and social and environmental justice.


Graphic notes: Session 1

Session 2: Partnerships

Session 2 introduced and explored the various acceleration mechanisms and discussed recent findings from the ARTS research project.

Examples from Dresden, Stockholm and Genk exlpored how to upscale and replicate transition initiatives, as well as how to embed them in governance models.


Graphic notes: Session 2

Session 3: Power

Session 3 invited the audience to explore the ways in which transition initiatives challenge existing practices, norms and institutions. An example of transition practices in Barcelona was shared, demonstrating the challenge of shifting power relations and how to build radical democracy to empower people.


Graphic notes: Session 3



"There is a tendency to depoliticize issues even though they are inherently political. Decisions made under euphemistic headers such as “smart” might reinforce unsuitability.”

Derk Loorbach


"It is not about money, and you might not need politicians. You need to find people that believe that change can happen and dare to do it!"

Liselotte Noren


Ricard Gomà

Professor of Political Science, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

Kristin Kaufmann

Mayor for Work, Social issues, Health and Housing of the City of Dresden, Germany

Derk Loorbach

Professor of Socio-Economic Transitions and Director of DRIFT - Dutch Research Institute for Transitions

Niki Frantzeskaki

Associate Professor - DRIFT, Erasmus University Rotterdam


ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat, Leopoldring 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany


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