An Era of New Beginnings

In Espoo, we European cities will dream of what the city of the future will be like. We will act and share the best solutions to co-create a sustainable future. We will lead the fight against climate change. We will do all this together and be visionary. 

We have prepared a versatile, interactive programme that will inspire and strengthen the network. The conference will be a high-level opportunity to foster the dialogue between European cities and European institutions, as European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, President of the Committee of Regions Apostolos Tzitzikostas and many high-ranking EU-officials have confirmed their presence in Espoo. 

Download a PDF version of the schedule here

Keynote & Conference Speakers

Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the Commission

Frans Timmermans is Executive Vice-President of the Commission, leading its work on the European Green Deal – Europe’s roadmap to becoming the first climate-neutral continent.  

In this role, Frans Timmermans is responsible for implementing the European Green Deal and the first European Climate Law to enshrine the 2050 climate-neutrality target into EU law. He is in charge of stepping up the commitment to the 2030 emission reduction target, increasing it to at least 55% by 2030, and undertaking international negotiations on behalf of the EU to strengthen the ambition of other major emitters by 2021. He leads the Commission's work on extending the Emissions Trading System and coordinates work on the Just Transition Fund – a key progressive policy from the European elections. He is developing the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the Commission’s zero-pollution ambition, the circular economy and the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy, and many other initiatives.  

In 2019 Frans Timmermans was the PES Common Candidate in the European Elections to become the President of the European Commission, campaigning on the PES manifesto: A New Social Contract for Europe. At the election, Frans Timmermans’ national party – the PvdA – won the election in the Netherlands, doubling its share of the vote. Overall, the social democrats remained the second largest force in the European Parliament.

Frans Timmermans has been a European Commissioner since 2014. From 2014-2019 he was First Vice-President of the EU Commission, in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Prior to this, he was the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs (2012-2014) and Dutch Minister of European Affairs (2007-2010). He has also been a Member of the Dutch Parliament Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA) (2010 - 2012 and 1998 – 2007).  

Aside from his native Dutch, Frans Timmermans is fluent in English, French, German, Italian and Russian. 


Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth 

Please find more information about Mariya Gabriel 

Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions

Apostolos Tzitzikostas was born on September 2, 1978. He studied Government and International Relations at Georgetown University, in Washington DC. After graduating in 2000, he had his first working experience at the Office of the President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United States Congress. In 2002 he obtained a Masters Degree on European Public Policy and Economics from the University College of London. Following his studies, he created his own company on the field of production, processing and standardization of dairy products, based on organic standards. 

In 2007, he was elected Member of the Greek Parliament with the Nea Demokratia Party (EPP) in the First District of Thessaloniki. In the Regional Elections of November 2010 he was elected Vice-Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia and Head of the Metropolitan Area of Thessaloniki. On the Regional Elections of May 2014 he was elected Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia, and on the Regional Elections of May 2019 was re-elected Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia. On November 2019 he was elected President of the Association of Greek Regions.  

Since 2015 he is a Member of the European Committee of the Regions. In July 2017, he was elected Head of the Greek Delegation and Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions. He fluently speaks English and French and his articles are regularly being published in Greek and foreign newspapers and magazines. 

Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering 

Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen, M.A., born 1976 in Oulu, is a Member of Parliament from the Social Democratic Party. 

Tytti Tuppurainen was born into a family with five children. Her father is a retired violinist from the Oulu Symphony Orchestra and her mother is a homemaker. Tuppurainen’s first paying job was delivering newspapers. She became involved in politics through her work on environmental protection and recycling. Her position as Chair of Oulun Luontonuoret, a youth association focused on nature conservation, was an important means for the young Tuppurainen to influence matters concerning the local environment. She became a frontrunner in recycling work in Oulu when, alongside her studies, she founded the company Oulun Ekotuote Oy and worked as its Managing Director. 

Tuppurainen became a member of the Oulu City Council in 2000 and has held various leadership positions in the Regional Council of Oulu since 2001. Northern nature and safeguarding the everyday wellbeing of people in northern Finland have always been close to Tuppurainen’s heart. 

Tytti Tuppurainen first became a Member of Parliament after a successful run in the Oulu electoral district in 2011. She worked for eight years on the Agriculture and Forestry Committee and the Grand Committee. In the Grand Committee, where she served as Deputy Chairperson in 2015–2019, Tuppurainen was able to influence Finland’s EU policy. She has also worked to advance European affairs and cooperation as Chair of her party’s Europe Working Group and as a member of the Party of European Social Democrats’ Presidency. 

In addition to her political career, Tuppurainen has been active in a variety of civil society organisations. She chaired the Finnish 4H Federation in 2012–2016 and the Finnish UN Association in 2018–2019. As a feminist and advocate for gender equality, Tuppurainen has also been involved with women’s organisations. She has served as Leader of the Social Democratic Women in Finland since 2014, and chaired the Board of the Coalition of Finnish Women’s Associations (NYTKIS) in 2018 and the Women’s Network in the Parliament of Finland in 2018–2019. 

Along with her native Finnish, Tuppurainen speaks German, English and Swedish and has basic skills in Russian. Besides serving in politics, Tytti Tuppurainen is a mother and a wife. Her blended family consists of her husband, one upper secondary school student, three adult children and a Belgian Shepherd named Rosa. Outside work, Tuppurainen enjoys looking after the family dog, reading, Nordic walking and sauna bathing. 

Timo Harakka, Minister of Transport and Communications

Timo Harakka was born on 31 December 1962 in Helsinki. In Finland he is known for his active participation in public debate and involvement in society, and as a person with a keen interest in cultural matters. Prior to his political career, Harakka worked for over thirty years as a journalist, author and television producer. Harakka grew up in a working-class family in Äänekoski, a small town in Central Finland. His parents were deaf, which is why his mother tongue is sign language. He took his matriculation examination in 1981 and continued his studies at the Universities of Jyväskylä and Helsinki and at the Theatre Academy, from where he graduated with the degree of Master of Arts in Theatre and Drama. He has not yet completed his doctoral dissertation at the Institute for Advanced Social Research (IASR) at the University of Tampere. During his journalist’s career, Harakka served as a columnist for Helsingin Sanomat, Suomen Kuvalehti and Talouselämä. In 1997–2014, he worked as editorial coordinator for  

Ylioppilaslehti magazine and as editor-in-chief of Vihreä Lanka magazine. His most well-known TV productions are the shows Musta laatikko (Black Box) and Pressiklubi (Press Club) and the 10 Books series, for which he earned the Golden Venla award in 2011. Harakka has written five books, the last two of them concerned with international economy. Luoton loppu (The End of Credit) was published in 2009 and Suuri kiristys (The Great Extortion) in 2014. Harakka was elected to Parliament for the first time in 2015. He represents the Uusimaa electoral district, and as an MP he is known as an expert in economics and taxation. He has been a member of the Finance Committee (most recently its chair), a member of the Grand Committee and a deputy member of the Committee for the Future. In the Government led by Prime Minister Antti Rinne Timo Harakka served as the Minister of Employment, and now in Sanna Marin’s Government he serves as the Minister of Transport and Communications. The key themes for Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka are fast and reliable connections, both in transport and online. Transport becomes a service and digitalisation is at the heart of everything. The keys to Finland’s success are the 5G and 6G networks, cyber expertise and world-class IT skills. Rail investments are needed to expand the commuting areas and secure a sustainable growth. Harakka lives in Helsinki with his wife Anu Laitila and their three children. Literature, architecture, other arts and basketball are close to his heart.

Jyrki Katainen, former EU Commissioner, President of Sitra

Jyrki Katainen is President of Sitra. His main objective is to lead the future-oriented work at Sitra in such a way that Sitra will be able to generate new ideas to aid decision-makers in society and private companies, and to try and test new operating models. Jyrki wants Sitra’s ideas to reach a wider international audience since many of the phenomena that Sitra studies are not national but global. He has a special interest in transforming the market economy so that it complies with the principles of circular economy and sustainability. Katainen also wants Sitra to stimulate debate concerning the forces that will shape our future. 

Katainen’s career has been focused on analysing change in society, searching for solutions and making decisions. Before his appointment as President of Sitra, Katainen was European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. Prior to that, he has held the positions of Prime Minister of Finland and Finance Minister. During his 15 years as a Member of the Finnish Parliament he was Chair of the Committee for the Future, among other appointments. 

In his free time, Katainen enjoys taking part in sports on his own and with his family. He plays tennis, jogs and walks the family dog. Other activities close to his heart are hunting and cooking for his family and friends. Jyrki is married, has two daughters and a working cocker spaniel named Sisu. 

Antti Vasara, President & CEO of VTT Ltd

Dr. Antti Vasara is the President & CEO of VTT Ltd since 2015. VTT is a visionary research, development and innovation partner with over 2000 people and turnover exceeding 250 MEUR. He is president of EARTO (European Association of Research and Technology Organisations) and a non-executive director of Elisa Oyj (largest communications operator in Finland). He has served on several high-level groups on industrial and innovation policy of the European Commission in addition to several groups in Finland on artificial intelligence and research policy. Previously, he has worked in the private industry for close to 25 years at Nokia, Tieto, SmartTrust and McKinsey & Company. Earlier in his career, he was a researcher in optical communications with 20+ peer reviewed articles and one international patent. Dr. Vasara holds a Doctor of Science (Technology) degree from Aalto University in Finland. 

Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo 

Jukka Mäkelä (b. 1960) has served as Mayor of Espoo since the beginning of 2011. As Mayor, Mäkelä wants to keep aiming high: The city’s strategy, the Espoo Story, sets the goal of ensuring that the city’s growth is economically, socially, environmentally and culturally sustainable. Mäkelä has been a pioneer in utilizing story format in creating the city strategy, which is a result of a participatory process involving thousands of citizens and stakeholders. Espoo is a resident- and customeroriented community that is used to solving the challenges presented by growth together with the local residents, businesses, universities and other educational institutions. Based on his experience, Mäkelä knows that Espoo will achieve the best results when people, communities and companies all work together.  

Mäkelä was a Member of Parliament for the National Coalition Party (EPP) from 2007 to 2010. He has been involved in Espoo’s local politics since 1997. Cooperation between the public and private sectors is key in making the change happen. Mayor Mäkelä has been in an active role in Helsinki Metropolitan Smart and Clean Foundation and in Climate Leadership Coalition, the leading climate business network in Europe. 

Dario Nardella, Eurocities president, Mayor of Florence 
Dario Nardella was born in Torre del Greco (Naples) on November 20th 1975 and he is married with Chiara and father of 3 children. Graduated in Law with first class-honours at the University of Florence, where he got a Ph.D. in Public Law and construction and Environmental Law, he is also a graduate in violin from the “Conservatorium Cherubini” in Florence. Professor at the University of Florence where he teaches Cultural Heritage Law, he started his political career in 2004 when he was elected Councilman for the City of Florence. He served as legal advisor to the Minister of Institutional Reforms during Romano Prodi’s premiership (2006-2008).
In 2008 he was selected by the U.S. State Department as young Italian politician to attend the International Visitor Leadership Program. In 2009 he was once again elected to the Florence City Council and appointed Vice Mayor in the City Government. In February 2013 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament and Member of the Commission for tourism, industry and trade. After winning primaries, in May 2014 Nardella has been elected Mayor of Florence with 59,16% of preferences and as a consequence from January 2015 became Mayor of Florence Metropolitan City. In the same year, Dario Nardella has been also elected as ANCI (the national association of Italian Municipalities) coordinator for the metropolitan cities. In 2017, he was Representative of the European Regional Sea – ICLEI. Member of the Eurocities Executive Committee since 2015, in 2018 Dario Nardella was elected Vice President of Eurocities and in 2020 was elected President of Eurocities, after being re-elected as Mayor of Florence for the second term at the first turn.

Mikko Kosonen, Chair of the Aalto University Board  

Mikko Kosonen, Ph.D. (Econ.), worked as President of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, in 2008-2019, and earlier he had leadership positions at Nokia, for example Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Infrastructure. Kosonen is member of the Board of Technology Academy Finland, the Supervisory Board of Smart & Clean Foundation and the Delegation of the Foundation for Economic Education’s Supporters’ Association. Kosonen has an Honorary Professorship of Budapest Business School. He has published books and articles on strategic leadership.  

Baba Lybeck, Moderator 

Baba Lybeck is a very well known and experienced reporter, news anchor, producer and scriptwriter from Helsinki, Finland. Influencing the national media industry since 1985, Baba Lybeck has been hosting countless national TV programs, events and galas. 

Jani Toivola, Host of the Gala Dinner & Eurocities Awards 

Jani Toivola is a writer, actor and performer based in Helsinki Finland. He served as an MP from 2011 to 2019. He is the first black member of the Finnish Parliament. He continues to work on a number of diversity and inclusion related projects for both public and private sector clients. He is also a sought-after speaker. 

He has hosted the Finnish version of American Idol and many other entertainment and comedy shows. He has appeared on stage at the National Theatre and Helsinki City Theatre.  In addition he has appeared in several films and TV shows. He has published three non-fiction books for adults and two books for children. He is currently hosting his own podcast and is a resident at the KOKOTheatre performing his popular one man show ` About love`. 
With a mother from Finland and a father from Kenya, Jani Toivola was born and raised in Helsinki Finland. In 2002 he moved to New York, USA to study acting at the HB Acting Studio. He is a proud father of a 8-year old.


Thursday, 9 June 2022
Panel debate: City of the Future
  • Mathias De Clercq, Mayor of Ghent
  • Belit Onay, Mayor of Hannover
  • Ritva Viljanen, Mayor of Vantaa
  • Future Mentors

Thursday, 9 June 2022
Mayors panel debate about Public-private partnership
  • Diana Pretzell, Deputy Mayor of Mannheim
  • Raymond Johansen, Mayor of Oslo
  • Jacek Jaśkowiak, Mayor of Poznan
  • Mikko Kosonen, Chair of the Aalto University Board

Friday, 10 June 2022
Panel debate: Climate Leadership
  • Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham
  • Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence (tbc)
  • Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Helsinki
  • Katrin Habenschaden, Deputy Mayor of Munich
  • Cecilia Brinck, President of Stockholm City Council
  • Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam
  • Tuuli Kaskinen, CEO, Climate Leadership Coalition

Friday, 10 June 2022
Panel debate: Innovative cities for climate neutrality

    Study Visits

    Espoo was nominated the most sustainable city in Europe in 2016 and 2017. Come find out how the sustainable city is built on different fronts. Sign up to the theme of your liking. More detailed description of the visits will be available closer to the conference. All visits will start at 14.30 at Dipoli conference center.

    1. Climate Neutral Espoo 2030 a growing and developing city where the nature is always near 

    Come and find out how the City of Espoo is engaging stakeholders in building a strong overall vision and commitment to systemic change towards the goal of climate neutral city by 2030. We will share insights based on 10 years of collaboration in delivering Sustainable Espoo Programme with universities, research organisations, innovation actors, businesses, and citizens.  

    Collaboration includes finding the most impactful ways to cut CO2 emissions at a rapid pace while building an innovation ecosystem for piloting emerging smart and sustainable solutions and maintaining natural environments for the wellbeing of our citizens and the nature.

    Download programme here

    2. Espoo Innovation Story – the kind of innovation the world needs  

    Espoo is where Finland's most valuable corporations, startup hubs and sustainable innovation actors are located. Espoo's Otaniemi area is also home to Aalto University, the epicenter of Finland's startup buzz. Besides being an active student entrepreneurship hub, 70% of the Otaniemi-based companies utilize or develop sustainable technologies. The area is also the innovation and R&D center of Finland. Finland has the highest number of international patents per capita globally. Nearly 50 % of the Helsinki Stock Exchange turnover is created in Espoo, and together with the larger Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Espoo and its neighbor cities form one of the world's top startup ecosystems.  

    Learn the best-kept secrets behind Espoo's success story, as well as how the Aalto University community enables radical and systemic entrepreneurial innovation while promoting sustainable growth for the future.

    Download programme here

    3. Leave no youth behind – Espoo and partners joining forces to empower youth 

    The coronavirus pandemic has rapidly fuelled exclusion and unemployment of youth in Europe. Explore how the city of Espoo joins forces with partners to empower young people and promote equal opportunities for all. 

    Visit Ohjaamotalo One-Stop Guidance Centre, which supports residents under 30 to find their path in life by offering social, health, employment, and education services under one roof. Learn about the awarded concept Activating Days, which reaches out to young people at risk of falling behind and offers them multiprofessional support tailored to their needs (Mayor’s Innovation Award 2020).   

    The tour is complemented by a visit to Pointti, where library and youth workers provide accessible support and host meaningful activities for and with 12-20 year-olds. You might even get a chance to meet the reading dogs of Sello Library.

    Download programme here

    4. Culture bursting the bubble and shaping the community 

    The city of the future is created not only with, but through culture. Learn how Espoo aims to create a sustainable and innovative city by tapping into the cross-cutting power of culture. The CultureEspoo 2030 strategy presents a plan on how to enhance the presence of culture in the spirit of the city, the daily lives of the residents, the physical urban environment, and the Espoo identity. The strategy is approved and monitored by the city council.  

    The new Lippulaiva library continues the valued work of Espoo City Library, awarded Best Library in the World in 2019 and annually ranked as one of the most valued city services by residents. Opening in spring 2022, the district library integrates secondhand furniture into communal spaces. The services of the library are developed together with the local community. Located within a modern energy-efficient shopping centre and public transport hub, Lippulaiva library makes public services an accessible part of the daily life of residents.

    Download programme here

    Co-creation workshops

    How to create a sustainable city? 

    As we are striving towards more sustainable city living, we face many challenges that need to be solved to ensure ecological, economic, social, and cultural sustainability in cities.  

    We’ll organize four parallel thematic co-creation workshops. The aim of these co-creation workshops is to find concrete solutions for some of these issues - together. We’ll organize one co-creation workshop which theme is SDGs as strategic tool. This workhop has a different stucture and we don't organize a call for challenge suggestions for the SDG workshop. 

    We will collect challenge suggestions from cities and invite companies and R&D organizations to co-create together with participating city representatives concept ideas that could offer new solutions to the challenges.  

    The youth representatives of the Future Mentors programme will take part in the workshops, providing their important perspective as citizens of now and the future.  

    Furthermore, we won’t leave it there, but we’ll co-create a development and implementation plan and continue working on the solutions for the created concepts to ensure that the ideas will take on and live beyond the meeting room walls. 
    Why join? 

    • Hear the sustainability challenges of other cities and share experiences and solutions 
    • Take part in co-creating new concepts and solutions for a sustainable city 
    • Take home new contacts, and development and implementation plans for the concepts to spread the ideas in your city.  
    • Learn the basics of the co-creation method and get active solving challenges of European cities in the new Working Group of Innovation and Enterpreneuership (EDF) 

    Leave your challenge suggestions on Tuesday, 5 April

    Apply to speak in Eurocities 2022 Espoo Co-creation workshops on Thursday 9th of June

    1. New European Bauhaus – Co-creating inclusive, aesthetic and sustainable cities   

    The New European Bauhaus initiative is providing cities with fresh aspects on sustainability, inclusiveness and aesthetics, all approaches supporting European efforts to fight climate change, create a green transition and a more sustainable future together, for everyone. This session will focus on challenges of bridging the European Green Deal to our daily lives and living spaces, and taking residents on board in creating safe, beautiful and sustainable urban spaces.  

    What does it take to bring citizens, businesses, and institutions together to reimagine sustainable living in our cities? How can we build together a sustainable and inclusive future and address complex societal problems? How can the New European Bauhaus transform not only our cities but also our thinking/actions/ everyday living? This workshop is co-created with Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, an official NEB partner.

    2.Economic sustainability – Co-creating sustainable growth in cities

    This workshop will take place at VTT’s Bioruukki, a piloting centre for new bio-based products and circular economy solutions. Economic sustainability refers to practices that support long-term economic growth without negatively impacting social, environmental, and cultural aspects of the community. What challenges need to be solved to create economic sustainability in the city? How are growth aspiring ecosystems, living labs and innovation platforms created, developed and maintained? How to solve to the mismatch of the skills of the workforce and the needs of the growing industries? How to attract and retain talent? This workshop is co-created with VTT Technical Research Center of Finland Ltd.   

    Food for thought:  
    Urban studies theorist Richard L. Florida claims that whilst cities in the past aimed at attracting companies and industry, cities of today need to focus more on attracting and retaining creative and skilled people. In the information-intensive society of today, talented people have the opportunity to choose where to live, and they can create their own, or bring in profitable innovations and business to their chosen place of residence.  

    3. Social sustainability – Co-creating inclusive cities for all

    In this workshop the focus is on leaving no-one behind. Social sustainability refers to a society where everyone has equal opportunities to prosper and have a meaningful life. How to create a city where all citizens can fulfil their potential, and enjoy a good and healthy life? How to create a city where everyone can contribute to a larger purpose and feel they belong to the community? How to create inclusive cities for and with youth, newcomers, or minorities? In this workshop, we have an opportunity to reflect on the valuable learnings we have gained during the pandemic as we work towards creating more inclusive European cities.   

    The challenges can relate for example to citizen participation and community ownership, youth empowerment, social inclusion, anti-racism, homelessness, poverty, loneliness, sustainable wellbeing and mental health, or jobs and education for all.   

    Food for thought:   
    International adviser on the future of cities Charles Landry emphasizes citizens’ experiences of participation and communality. An inclusive city offers options and opportunities for its residents. It invests in diverse places and spaces for continuous learning, creativity, and encounters. New residents can make their voices heard and be part of the solidarity of the community.

    4. Cultural sustainability – Co-creating innovative and creative cities

    This workshop is all about how to enable and use the creativity and innovation of citizens in designing a future-proof city. A creative city enables and values expression, diversity, and active participation. It brings people from different walks of life together and gives them room to live out their dreams and fears. It encourages innovative thinking, supports start-up and pop-up culture, and understands that success is born from the courage to try and fail. Creative ideas are implemented through the process of innovation. How to co-create an innovative and creative city? How to mainstream creativity and innovation in cities and city administrations? How to tap into the cross-sectoral power of culture?  

    This workshop welcomes challenges related to for instance designing places and spaces for creativity, enhancing innovation capacity in city administrations, the role of art and culture in promoting health and wellbeing, culture as a factor in attracting talent, art in the public sphere, or utilizing the cross-sectoral power of culture in cities.  

    Food for thought:  
    A sustainable city needs culture to thrive. For instance the Culture for Cities and Regions project led by Eurocities in 2015-2017 built ample evidence that investing in culture pays off. According to UNESCO, culture enables and drives the social, ecological, and economic dimensions of sustainable city development. For instance the evidence of culture promoting health and wellbeing is stronger than ever, as is the evidence that cities with a rich cultural life attract skills and talent.

    5. SDGs as strategic tool – Co-creating a dialogue-based process 

    This Workshop has a different structure and we don't organize a call for challenge suggestions for the SDG workshop.

    The United Nations Agenda2030 and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) can be used as a framework to understand sustainable development challenges across the planet, and measure how nation states and other institutions such as cities are progressing towards their associated targets and indicators. The Agenda2030 can also be used as a vocabulary to communicate essential goals, rights, and objectives agreed by all nations in the UN system.  

    The aim of the workshop is to present a dialogue-based analyses process, which explains how someone's work in each local context relates to and advances the SDGs. The SDG Sensemaking Tool is a process that results in new, localised SDG indicators clearly linked to both local goals and global targets and indicators. The SDG workshop is organised as a collaboration between the six largest cities in Finland.

    Gala Dinner & Eurocities Awards ceremony ▼

    For the Gala Dinner, our conference site, Dipoli, will be transformed into a festive and elegant evening venue. The dinner guests will get to sample delicacies of Scandinavian cuisine and enjoy performances and music by Espoo-based artists. The main stars of the Gala Dinner will be the successful projects shortlisted for the Eurocities Awards, the best of which will be rewarded during the evening.

    Side events ▼



    Tuesday 7 of June 2022, 16:00-18:00 
    UserCentriCities Awards 2022 ceremony 

    Cities are at the forefront of delivering digital government in Europe, but they are not sufficiently involved in the policy debate and do not encounter sufficient support and comparison tools. UserCentriCities is a Horizon 2020 project committed to extending the reach of the Tallinn Declaration on e-Government priorities to the city level and supporting local authorities in delivering digital and user-centric services.

    To raise awareness and recognise the efforts made by European cities and regions in delivering user-centric services, UserCentriCities will award the “Best user-centric service in European cities and regions” on 7 June 2022 in Espoo. The award aims to reward outstanding digital public services developed by European local authorities with user-centricity at its core and to encourage the operationalisation of the Tallinn Declaration at the local level. To know more about the UserCentriCities Awards, visit the page.

    The awards ceremony will serve as an opportunity to celebrate the “Best user-centric service in European cities and regions” finalists and winner, as well as for networking.
    16:00 -17:00: UserCentriCities Awards ceremony (on-site)
    17:00 – 18:00: Networking cocktail (on-site)

    To register, fill this Excel sheet (column regarding the Awards.)


    Wednesday 8 of June 17:15-18:30  
    Welcome to “UN Agenda 2030 in European Cities - Side event”  

    WHY: UN Agenda 2030 implementation is all about cities working together  
    WHAT: Eurocities -conference provides a forum for European cities and SDG activists to ideate, plan and create “The role of European cities in Agenda 2030 implementation - and beyond”. Organized by the SDG network (SDG46) which comprises six largest cities in Finland (Espoo, Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere, Turku, Vantaa) and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. 
    TO WHOM: to city representatives, SDG enthusiasts, and anyone interested and active in sustainable development and looking for opportunities and learning in the context of UN Agenda 2030 and the SDGs in Urban environments 
    HOW: Structured yet open networking event acting as a kick-off for “Eurocities in Espoo” -experience. 


    Wednesday 8 of June 17:15-18:30  
    IURC SIDE EVENT Brainstorming on International Urban Cooperation: are you ready for a step beyond Europe?  

    The participation of European cities in programmes that facilitate international urban cooperation may pursue political and technical objectives related to international positioning, exchange of experiences, benchmarking, or the showcase of good practices. But what is really being achieved? what can be improved? Do you really need previous experience in European city-to-city cooperation before going abroad? What kind of good practices are worth it to showcase? Is it really an opportunity to open new markets and opportunities for your local stakeholders?
    A group of Eurocities members - also involved in the International Urban & Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme - will be invited to brainstorm on their experience: expectations, achievements, good practices to showcase, or opportunities for improvements. Cities joining the side event will have the opportunity to participate through interactive tools and direct Q&A.


    Friday 10 of June 14:30-18:30 
     Visit for the beautiful archipelago in Espoo 

    Tickets: 43,40€ 

    In the Friday afternoon after the official programme, you will have a change to visit the beautiful archipelago in Espoo. Espoo will provide a boat ride to Pentala Archipelago Museum, which is the perfect summer day destination. On Pentala Island, seaside Espoo shows its best qualities. Visiting the Archipelago Museum is a holistic experience combining sea travel, a museum visit and the unique nature of Pentala Island. The departure time back to Otaniemi Espoo will be approximately at 18:30. 

    Programme for Future Mentors during the conference ▼

    Wednesday 8.6. 

     Time  Programme  Location
    14.30 - Programme for Future Mentors Team building and getting to know Future Mentors from other cities. Discussion about the role of the Future Mentors during the conference. Snacks and beverages will be offered. Tapiola Youth Centre, Tapiontori 3 A, 02100 Espoo
    19.00 - Welcome reception Espoo culture centre Kulttuuriaukio 2, 02100 Espoo

    Thursday 9.6. 

     Time  Programme  Location
    09.00 - Event programme starts Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    10.30 - Coffee break Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    11.00 - City of the future - group discussions related to the Future Mentors programme Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    12.30 - Lunch Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    13.15 - Meeting with Future Mentors Agenda: Reflecting the previous City of the future –workshop. Work on 5 key recommendations on how to include the youth on local level. These will be delivered at the end of the conference. These will be delivered by one Future Mentor during the closing speech of the conference. Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    14.30 - Transfer to co-creation workshops – When doing the registration to the conference, you can choose which of the workshops is most interesting to you and sign up for it. Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    17.00 - Free time Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    19.00 - Gala dinner at Dipoli Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli

    Friday 10.6. 

     Time  Programme  Location
    09.00 - Event starts Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    11.00 - 12.00 Meeting with Future Mentors

    Continue the work on Five recommendations to youth involvement on local level. Preparing for the closing speech.
    Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    12.00 - Eurocities General Assembly Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    12.40 - Closing Session: Youth participation on local level in Europe Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli
    13.00 - Lunch and goodbye Dipoli, Auditorium Lumituuli


    Finland uses Eastern European Time (EET) during the winter as standard time and Eastern European Summer Time (EEST) during the summer as daylight saving time. EET is two hours ahead of coordinated universal time (UTC+02:00) and EEST is three hours ahead of coordinated universal time (UTC+03:00).

    Wednesday, 8 June 2022 

    An Era of New Beginnings is the future-oriented theme of the conference, and with the sections Dream – Act – Lead – Together we will guide the network into an interactive learning journey to future cities, co-creation tools and climate leadership.

     Time  Programme  Location
    12.00 -  Registration open  Congress venue Dipoli
    14.30 - 17:00 Study visits: Sustainable Espoo
    Meeting place: Dipoli
    14.30 - 19:00 Programme for Future Mentors (this programme is only for the youth delegades) Tapiola Youth Centre, address: Tapiontori 3 A
    17.15 - 18.30 Side event: UN Agenda 2030 in European Cities
    UN Agenda 2030 schedule here
    Exhibition Centre, WeeGee;
    seminar and reception space Aitio, address: Ahertajantie 5.
    17.15 - 18.30

    Side event: IURC

    Departure time from Dipoli at 16.45 o’clock and transfer to WeeGee museum

    meeting room Ruusuvuori, WeeGee’s basement floor
    19.00 -  Welcome reception
    Opening Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo
    Espoo Cultural Centre, address: Kulttuuriaukio 2
    21.00 - 23.30 Optional: Try the traditional Finnish sauna Rantasauna, address: Jämeräntaival 5

    Thursday, 9 June 2022 

    DREAM - What kind of cities do we and the future generations want to live in? What creates the value of future European cities? Participants will be invited to share ideas and together co-create how commitments made in the Agenda 2030 and the European Green Deal can catalyse change and make a difference. 
    ACT - Dreams do not come true unless we take action. Cities play a key role in shaping a more sustainable and inclusive Europe. Cities are ever-changing, diverse and complex political, ecological and social ecosystems. They host a myriad of actors ranging from universities, research institutions, companies, start-ups and creative industry operators, which contribute to the development of next generation solutions. Leading a complex ecosystem towards common goals requires an ability to make the most of the diversity, the capacities, and the networks. It also requires an ability to co-create a culture of trust. In this session we invite cities to share their solutions and challenges for the co-creation of a sustainable city.

     Time  Programme  Location
    07.00 - 07.30 Morning Walk or run Radisson Blu Hotel Espoo
    08.00 -  Registration opens Congress venue Dipoli
    09.00 - 

    Official opening
    Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo
    Dario Nardella, President of Eurocities

    Congress venue Dipoli
    09.30 - 

    Opening session

    Intervention from Tytti Tuppurainen, FI Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering 

    Keynote by Jyrki Katainen, former EU Commissioner, President of Sitra 

    Congress venue Dipoli
    10.30 -  Coffee break Congress venue Dipoli

    11.00 - 

    Participatory session: City of the future

    Small group discussions led by future mentors

    Panel debate: City of the Future 

    • Mathias De Clercq, Mayor of Ghent
    • Belit Onay, Mayor of Hannover 
    • Ritva Viljanen, Mayor of Vantaa  
    • Future Mentors
    Congress venue Dipoli
    12.30 -  Lunch Congress venue Dipoli
    13.30 - 

    Keynote on co-creation, Mariya Gabriel,
    Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth (online)  

    Keynote on co-creation Antti Vasara, President and CEO VTT (Technological Research Center Finland) and Chair of EARTO (European Association of Research and Technology Organisations) 

    Mayors panel debate
    about Public-private partnership

    • John Jorritsma, Mayor of Eindhoven
    • Diana Pretzell, Deputy Mayor of Mannheim
    • Raymond Johansen, Mayor of Oslo 
    • Jacek Jaśkowiak, Mayor of Poznan 
    • Mikko Kosonen, Chair of the Aalto University Board 

    Programme for young Future Mentors (this programme is only for the youth delegades)

    Congress venue Dipoli
    14.30 - 17.00 Co-creation sessions, How to create a sustainable city? in five breakout sessions  Meeting place: Congress venue Dipoli
    14.30 - 16.30 Mayors' Meeting Meeting place: Congress venue Dipoli
    19.00 - 22.30 Gala dinner & Eurocities Awards ceremony Congress venue Dipoli
    22:30 -  Optional: Informal After Party Radisson Blu Hotel Espoo

    Friday, 10 June 2022 

    LEAD TOGETHER – Climate change is the biggest challenge of our lifetime. The European Union is committed to climate neutrality by 2050 and the cities are essential allies in reaching this goal. The leadership of cities in finding new solutions to reduce GHG emissions and inspiring communities, companies, R&D actors to cooperate for the same goal is key to achieving the targets set in European Green Deal. Many cities around the continent have committed to climate neutrality by 2030 and in this session the focus is on the solutions and challenges on the road to climate neutrality in cities and on the dialogue between the European Commission and the cities.  

     Time  Programme  Location

    09.00 -

    Official opening
    Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo
    Timo Harakka, Minister of Transport and Communications

    Plenary session, Climate neutral cities
    Keynote Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the Commission

    Panel debate: Climate Leadership 

    • Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham   
    • Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence 
    • Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Helsinki 
    • Katrin Habenschaden, Deputy Mayor of Munich   
    • Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam  
    • Tuuli Kaskinen, CEO, Climate Leadership Coalition

    Panel debate: Innovative cities for climate neutrality 

    • Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the Committee of the Regions
    • Cecilia Brinck, President of Stockholm City Council
    • Anna Lisa Boni, Deputy Mayor of Bologna
    • Robert Westerdahl, Director & co-founder Material Economics
    • Jorge Azcon, Mayor of Zaragoza
    Congress venue Dipoli
    10.30 -  Coffee break

    Congress venue Dipoli

    11.00 - 

    Speednetworking sessions 

    Programme for Future Mentors (this programme is only for the youth delegades)

    Congress venue Dipoli
    12.00 -  Eurocities General Assembly Congress venue Dipoli
    12.40 - 

    Closing Session: Youth participation on local level in Europe 

    Congress venue Dipoli
    13.00 - 

    Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo 
    Dario Nardella, Eurocities president, Mayor of Florence
    Young Mentor

    Lunch & Goodbye

    Congress venue Dipoli

    14.00 - 18.30 Side event:Visit for the beautiful archipelago in Espoo, tickets: 43,40€ 

    Meeting point: Meeting point at the Visit Espoo stand, 1st floor, near to the registration point.