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Smart / Green

Rethinking local policies

An Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform event
31 May - 1 June 2023 (registration closed)
In person | Zebrastaat | Ghent, Belgium
Ghent waterfront COPR

Consider an integrated approach for your local policies

Cities face pressing economic and societal challenges. Being in charge of the developement of local policies, you have an important role to play to ensure the transition to greener, smarter and more social cities.

With 'Rethinking local policies', and benefiting from all the knowledge from the Interreg Europe community, we will see the advantages of taking on board an integrated approach in policymaking. You have four 'entry doors' that will define your agenda for the day:

  • Spaces for innovation  
  • Spaces for entrepreneurship
  • Modern green districts
  • Bringing back nature to the city

Registration is now closed. For any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. 

People around a table sitting

Spaces for innovation

Do you wonder how to reduce the fragmentation, while better promoting the interaction among the  innovation actors in your regional ecosystem? Looking into the set-up of spaces for innovation might be the answer. 

These physical spaces aim to accelerate the innovation process and target many different users: start-ups, SMEs, private companies, students, researchers, citizens. They allow face-to-face contacts, open innovation, serendipity enocunters, co-presence while promoting a sense of belonging and proximity. They are proved to be stong, informal structures for the exchange of ideas and knowledge.

You will hear key-notes on FabLabs and innovation centers, you will participate to work in groups and get the occasion to visit some Ghent good practices on the matter.  

Room full of equipment

Spaces for entrepreneurship

Local administrations have a vital role to play in offering the 'pysical spaces' (FabLabs for example), as well as the 'policy space' in the form as support programmes to boost entrepreneurship.

And when entrepeneurship and economic developement find well their place in a urban integrated approach, great ecosystems can emerge. We will hear about how to 'build a start-up city' from Tartu, Amsterdam and Szombathely. 

Your event experience will be enriched with the possibility to visit and hear from local, Ghent policy initiatives in the field. 

Building made of red bricks and glass

Modern green districts

In the framework of the European Green Deal and the 2050 targets, European cities need to become climate-neutral, while also taking account of liveability and quality of life for citizens as the urban population grows.

We will explore how renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable mobility and smart technologies work together for modern low-carbon districts, exploring differences in:

  • Technical solutions
  • Business models
  • Governance approaches

Bringing back nature to the city

Do you wonder how to best approach the EU's Nature Restoration Law and how to achieve the aims of bringing back nature to your city? Around Europe we have several good examples that go in the direction of rewilding, returning trees, greening cities etc. 

Ghent offers a good background to see concrete examples (such as the Oude Dokken) and discuss nature restoration, while looking into:

  • How to restore urban nature
  • Find solutions to increase urban biodiversity
  • How to uncover urban rivers
View of a city from a parc on a hill

Practical information

To help you prepare for your upcoming trip to Ghent, we have prepared for you a guide with practical information.

You will learn all you need to know about the venue, how to get there and the accommodations we recommend. 

Zebrastaat'sinner courtyard

What is the Policy Learning Platform?

The Policy Learning Platform is the second pillar of the Interreg Europe programme. It aims to facilitate policy learning and the exchange of knowledge among regional and local authorities in Europe.

The platform provides a space for policymakers to share good practices, exchange experiences and work together to improve policies at the regional and local levels

The platform provides information on various topics through publications, events and direct communication with experts. Community members can use services for free if they need tailored advice on policy challenges

People walking through hallway