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Programme

On Monday 23 and Thursday 26 September, we will go in depth. Visitors can participate in +/- 4-hour Workshops XL on a wide range of topics or go on Fieldtrips XL to other Dutch cities. On Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 September, the Beatrix Theatre will be the scene of a lively conference-in-festival format. Participants will put together their own programme from a wide choice of substantive topics and working methods. On Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 September, conference participation can be combined with a visit to the Vakbeurs Openbare Ruimte (Public Space Trade Fair).

During the day:

  • Workshops XL: four hours of in-depth discussions with each other and experts on topics such as energy transition, climate adaptation, water management, citizen participation, the connection between city and countryside, etc.
  • Fieldtrips XL: theme visits by train to cities no more than one hour’s travel time from Utrecht.
  • Special events
  • Start extreme makeover
  • ‘Before and after’ photo exhibition

In the evening:

  • Reception by City of Utrecht at the City Hall

During the day

  • Main stage: Opening Show
  • Press conference
  • Main stage: Masterclasses
  • Finale Future – Future Green City Student Challenge
  • Choice of 30+ substantive sessions
  • Urban trails: excursions around Utrecht
  • ‘Before and after’ photo exhibition

In the evening

  • Drinks & Streetfood in the city centre

During the day:

  • Main stage: Topcases in transformative
  • Presentation World Green City Award 2024
  • Choice of 30+ substantive sessions
  • Urban trails: excursions around Utrecht
  • ‘Before and after’ photo exhibition
  • Possibility to visit the Expo for Public Space
  • Drinks in Beatrix Theater (Mies Bouwman Foyer)

In the evening:

  • Gala dinner AIPH (invitation only)

During the day:

  • Workshops XL: four hours of in-depth discussions with each other and experts
  • Fieldtrips XL: themed visits by train to cities up to one hour’s travel time from Utrecht
  • ‘Before and after’ photo exhibition
  • Special events
  • Final extreme makeover
  • Possibility to visit the Expo for Public Space

In the evening:

  • What’s Cooking – Restaurant Tour along restaurants in Utrecht city centre

Workshops XL

Participate in several workshops.

How to become a National Park City

What if your town would not be considered to be a city with parks, but a 21st-century park? A National Park City. Take a look at nationalparkcity.com to learn more. Adelaide (Aus), Chattanogaa (USA) and Breda (NL) will take you on their journey. Bring your city map and start your own National Park City Movement with their support in this Workshop XL.

Equitable green(park) investments

Three cities with remarkable diversity in the heartland of America – Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Louisville – decided to create new comprehensive investment action plans for their park systems focused on driving equitable access to, and investments in, public parks and recreation services and systems for all city residents. To prioritize serving the people and neighbourhoods that have long been forgotten, underserved and marginalized. In the Netherlands the city of Rotterdam has some interesting experience in this matter. Upload USA an NL knowledge in this Workshop XL and work on your own equitable access.

What local food does for a healthy and liveable municipality

This Workshop XL focuses on an innovative approach with local food production in a context of green community policy. We make use of experiences in Great Britain (Manchester) and the Netherlands. Jean Eigeman, chair of the Dutch Knowledge Platform of Urban Agriculture, will present a state of the art (research results of November 2023) and make references to impact of qualified green policy on local health and on the social cohesion in neighbourhoods. Start growing your local food policy in this Workshop XL.

Daylight your rivers and creeks

A vivid green-blue infrastructure is the backbone of an attractive city. Engineers and green professionals all around the world work together to ‘daylight and re-nature’ covered up rivers and creeks. The Emschergenossenschaft und Lippeverband, Germany’s largest water board, and the city of Apeldoorn (NL) will share their challenges in this Workshop XL. Take them to your river or creek and they will help you out.

Building bridges: circularity as a default

Are the costs of renovating your town growing out of hand? And what about all the materials your public space already is a home to? The usage of circular materials needs to be mainstreamed due to scarce resources and pollution and big opportunities lie ahead. Our experts have worked on many projects. They are here to help you tackle your circular challenges and to show you waste does not exist.

Field Trips XL

Go on Field Trips XL to other Dutch cities.

Stormwater management created a new park in Nijmegen

Take a bike ride around and over the River Waal in the city of Nijmegen, the oldest city of the Netherlands. Due to climate change, the amount of water in the river has increased tremendously. Instead of creating bigger obstacles, an approach was chosen creating space for the water. A huge engineering job was done and a unique urban river park was created, offering endless possibilities such as recreation, housing and room for water and nature.

Explore resilient Arnhem (‘A bridge to far’) by bike

Arnhem is a city in a varied landscape. Adjacent to the centre the Rhine river flows through the city. Normally a river of 200 m width, but at high tide a river of up to 2 km wide. On the other side of the centre is Sonsbeek Park, a large green lung of Arnhem, close to the Veluwe nature reserve. Together with Wageningen Environmental Research you will explore projects in Arnhem on climate resilience, stormwater management, biodiversity and resident participation in green management. Cycle relaxed through Arnhem and enjoy the different projects visited and explained in this historic city.

The Seven City Project Rotterdam: creating publicly accessible greenery in a growing city

Growing from a small delta village to one of the largest ports in the world brings challenges for Rotterdam. During the corona pandemic the city realised that the current green structure is not future fit. The city decided to develop new green lungs, to create more green for everyone. An ambitious set of projects, preparing the city for what’s to come and to create more possibilities for the future. Join this Fieldtrip XL to see it happen.

Blue-green Amsterdam: innovation & living labs

There is no better way to explore our famous capital than by bike. During this tour we will show you all about climate adaptation in characteristic Amsterdam. Using living labs the city has been testing innovations such as stormwater management, urban cooling and biodiversity in public space. While enjoying the scenery, speakers from the City of Amsterdam, Permavoid and New Urban Standard will provide clear and interesting explanations.

Green innovation transforms business park Eindhoven

This field trip takes you to a former business park in Eindhoven, Strijp-S. Over 2,500 people happily live and work here in a green environment. Be inspired by the innovative techniques used and implemented in this Brainport concept

Spoorpark Tilburg: citizens’ initiative for a multifunctional park

How to transform, together with citizens, a former railway and industrial site into an attractive and interactive park? Spoorpark Tilburg provides the answers. Be invited to learn how a citizens’ initiative turns into a broadly supported project for and by residents.

Urban Trails

Check out different urban trails in Utrecht.

Singel round again

Some of our best examples are the hardest fought. The Singel is a 20-year project in the busiest part of the city, otherwise known as the open-heart surgery of the station area. How do you transform a 12-lane highway in the middle of the city into a green waterway? Where do the cars stay? What is involved in such a redevelopment? From its completion during the corona-lockdown, the Singel project was an instant success. Residents took the Singel into their hearts as if it had never been otherwise. With a boat tour, volunteers from the Vergroening Singel Foundation showed how city water was turned into a healthy ecosystem.

Wharves restoration

Utrecht’s 800-year-old wharves and canals require a lot of maintenance. How do you do that, and how do you do it sustainably? How do you manage the water and water quality? Over the next thirty years, Utrecht will invest half a billion euros in replacement and maintenance of the wharves.

Sponge City Leidsche Rijn

Urban expansion Leidsche Rijn, with 100,000 inhabitants, functions as a lesson in sustainability and climate adaptation. The Leidsche Rijn district has a virtually closed water system: virtually all clean rainwater returns to the soil and ditches via wadis, infiltration systems and above-ground drains. Learn how to optimize the sponge effect of your city. During a bicycle tour through Leidsche Rijn you will get to know the natural solutions in this residential area and see how people, plants and animals benefit.

Park and bicycle highway on old railroad track

The Oosterspoorbaan is an old railroad track that, together with residents, has been redesigned into a park with a bicycle highway that connects the city center with the Amelisweerd nature reserve. The Oosterspoorbaan project is part of Utrecht’s Green Sheep Leap: a population growth of 30 percent in 20 years. Never before has metropolitan densification occurred on this scale. An ambitious plan that assumes 440 additional acres of green space in the city. How do you do that? And how do you mobilize residents in this task?

Manhattan in Utrecht

Utrecht is getting a brand new district in the city center: the Manhattan of Utrecht. Inviting and challenging because of the mix of large and small crowd-pullers: green parks, squares and streets along with iconic high-rise buildings like Wonderwoods, Moreelsebrug, Jaarbeursplein and Croeselaan. All within walking distance of the historic city center and Central Station. A development with many challenges, many tasks come together here.

Máxima Park with green cathedral

Máxima Park is an example of quality improvement through cooperation of the park organization with residents. With 300 hectares, the Máxima Park in Leidsche Rijn is the largest city park in Utrecht. It serves as an inspiration for future park areas in cities. A green cathedral is being built in the park, restoring the Viking Rhine, a historic river course from Roman times. The park management is an example of public-private partnership. In this Urban Trail, you’ll find out why that’s important and what it looks like in practice.

Rijnvliet, edible neighborhood

15 hectares of food forest in a new neighborhood, that’s Rijnvliet, example of a residents’ initiative in public space. Rijnvliet is one of the pilot projects of Utrecht’s strategy for healthy urban living. This initiative won an innovation award for ecology in 2022. The new residential neighborhood has 1100 homes as an expansion area of Utrecht’s Leidsche Rijn district. Together with residents, the neighborhood is being designed as a productive landscape, created to support forestry and food production. The green management is not entirely in the hands of the municipality, but is a joint task for the municipality and residents. How do you motivate citizens in a social, inclusive way to become managers of public green spaces?

 

Roof park over highway

With the Willem-Alexanderpark, Utrecht created the largest and longest roof park in the Netherlands on top of highway A2. The park contains more than 1.5 hectares of planting beds with nearly 150,000 perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs and 250 trees.

City Island tour

Utrecht will grow by more than 100,000 inhabitants until 2040. Especially the western part of the city is growing fast. Therefore, more space is needed here for greenery, water and places for sports and games. That is why the city is developing the bank park Rondje Stadseiland along the banks of the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal and the Merwedekanaal: a long green ribbon that offers space for many different plants and animals and helps prepare for climate change. When the park is finished, you can walk or bike a 12-kilometer loop there. The park will be constructed in parts; the entire loop is expected to be completed in 2035.

Tickets

Do you want to be part of this great event? Buy your tickets now!

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