A small tour of Europe – the lenses of Green Cities


The Green European Foundation's side event under the title "A small tour of Europe - the lenses of Green Cities" took place on the 16th September in-person from 12:30 -13:30pm CET. Participation at the event was open for all participants of the Budapest Forum. The number of participants at the event varied between 15-20 people.

Despite the rise of authoritarian forces on national scenes, many European cities are pursuing a green-progressive vision. For the Green European Foundation, these cities are a substantial source of inspiration for developing a positive narrative on the future of Europe. In this event, we take you on a small tour highlighting a few frontrunner cities that show that a transformation towards a socio-ecological society is possible and happening.

During the side event, participants had an opportunity to learn more about the Green European Foudation and its project "Cities as Places of Hope" with first hand examples of transformative local policies that offer us hope in the time of health, environmental and social crisis.

Dirk Holemans, Co-President of the Green European Foundation and Director of Oikos, talked about the history and development of the GEF project "Cities as Places of Hope" and showed us a European Union in which the nation states try to work together, with success in some areas and confrontations in others. But at the same time, Europe appears as a landscape full of progressive cities that are developing truly tranformative policies in order to face the current challenges. Most importantly, these cities are no longer isolated but working in networks, collaborating and sharing knowledge and experiences.

Lana Pukanic, Member of Institute for Political Ecology (IPE), a research and educational organisation in Zagreb (Croatia) which aspires to shape alternative development models and innovative democratic solutions for political and economic transformations of society. Lana introduced to the audience the concept of the Degrowth Doughnut which IPE developed based on the Economist Kate Raworth's Doughnut Economics model. The Degrowth

Doughnut is a reshaped doughnut visualization that reflects the constraints of a safe, just, and sustainable degrowth transition by rethinking the idea of thresholds and planetary boundaries.

During the event 3 inspiring video presentations from Spain (Logrono), Belgium (Ghent) and North Macedonia (Skopje) were played as part of the GEF Partners documentation of transformative frontrunner Cities across Europe. The videos will be available on GEF's YouTube Channel in October/ November 2021.

(This side event was organized by the Green European Foundation)