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Urban Future Global Conference 2018

28 Feb - 02 Mar 2018

3,000 participants, 57 sessions and 1 premiere 

UFGC GmbH is a Graz based start-up – organizing one big conference a year. Starting with Vienna in 2018, the event will move on to a different European city each year.

The URBAN FUTURE Global Conference 2018 

Around 3,000 participants from over 400 cities, 50 countries and four continents gathered in Vienna at the URBAN FUTURE Global Conference, the world’s largest conference for CityChangers held at Messe Wien. In 57 sessions on topics ranging from climate protection, sustainable building and mobility, to “making change happen” and “leadership in cities”, city officials and experts shared personal stories, experiences and failures with like-minded people. The City of Vienna hosted the conference for the first time. The signing of the Covenant of Mayors was one of the highlights of the URBAN FUTURE Global Conference (UFGC), which moves to Oslo for 2019.

Vice-Mayor of Vienna, Maria Vassilakou, and 36 other mayors from across Europe who represent more than ten million citizens signed the agreement to increase energy efficiency and the use of sustainable energy sources. The aim of the Covenant of Mayors is to support the European Union’s energy policy targets for reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 as well as to develop joint strategies for dealing with the consequences of climate change. In signing the covenant the cities sent out a strong message, showing their commitment to increasing sustainability. For the City of Vienna, this agreement is another step towards being a Smart City. With this in mind Vassilakou also referred to the recent results of the monitoring of the Smart City strategy. These were published at the same time as Urban Future and provide a summary of the areas in which the City of Vienna is already smart and where there is still room for improvement.

People who drive change 

Around 230 speakers from all over the world presented specific projects and shared their partly very personal experiences, such as Rui Moreira (Mayor of Porto), Jennifer Keesmaat (Former City Planner of Toronto), Rajendra Singh (“Waterman of India”), Andrea Reimer (City Councilor of Vancouver) or Gil Penalosa (Founder of the NGO 8 80 Cities).

Highlight „Cities FuckUp Night” 

As part of the UFGC, the world’s first FuckUp Night for city leaders took place. CityChangers from Ghent, Oslo, Stockholm, Vancouver and Vienna showed that projects are not always successful and what can be learned from “failing”. Vienna’s Vice-Mayor Maria Vassilakou also drew on a personal summary of the three-year remodelling of one of the longest shopping streets in Europe, Mariahilferstraße. Vassilakou took an open and self-critical look back at the ups and downs in the implementation of the controversial, but ultimately very successful project and addressed specific points which she would approach differently today. In doing so, the UFGC brought this format to the public sector for the first time, thus contributing to a new culture of learning in which mistakes are not only allowed but actually serve as catalysts to foster change to more sustainable cities.

Strong network – 100 international partners 

The UFGC has a network of around 100 international partners, including the European city network EUROCITIES, the Covenant of Mayors, the research institute LSE Cities, the UN Cities Programme, but also dedicated companies such as EY, Saint-Gobain and MHP.



More information at www.urban-future.org

Follow URBAN FUTURE global conference on Twitter: @UrbanFutureConf

Follow URBAN FUTURE global conference on Facebook: @urbanfutureglobalconference



In 2019 Urban Future will be held in Oslo, the European Green Capital 2019. 


PEOPLE CHANGE CITIES! Cities are key to a sustainable future of our planet. But massive changes are necessary to fight climate change and social inequalities. Much is talked about technological solutions. We believe, that what is most important for solving the urban challenges are the people driving this change. The URBAN FUTURE GLOBAL CONFERENCE is the world´s largest meeting dedicated exclusively to CityChangers – decision makers who actively, passionately and effectively make cities more sustainable. 


Oslo has been named European Green Capital for 2019, and the city has many ambitious plans in the pipeline that confirm its status as a pioneer in sustainable development. Oslo is proud to be a city that puts the environment first.

  • Oslo will reduce greenhouse gas emissions with 95% by 2030
  • The City Government has launched climate budgets for 2017–2020 as a part of the Financial Budget “We’ll count carbon dioxide the same way we count money.”
  • 30% of new cars sold in Oslo in 2017 were electric vehicles, which makes Oslo the electric vehicle capital of the world
  • By 2025 60% of the bus fleet in Oslo will be electric
  • New public buildings shall generally be energy positive

In the last 30 years, Oslo has grown by more than 200.000 inhabitants. However, the population growth has not made the city less attractive – quite the contrary. Oslo has improved in almost every area: better air and water quality, better schools, better transport and a more active city life.

See you at Urban Future Global Conference in 2019!