City Networks

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Dirk Holemans & Kati Van de Velde:

Eurocities [1] for example, was founded in 1986 by the mayors of Barcelona, Birmingham, Frankfurt, Lyon, Milan and Rotterdam. It aims to put cities forward as drivers of quality jobs and sustainable growth, as inclusive, diverse and creative; as green and healthy, as smarter and innovative. To do so, it offers platforms for sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas (e.g. thematic forums, working groups, projects, activities, events) in domains like culture, economy, environment and mobility. Today, Eurocities brings together the local governments of over 140 of Europe’s largest cities and over 45 partner cities.

Energy Cities [2] is the European Association of local authorities in energy transition, representing more than 1,000 towns and cities in 30 countries. It aims to strengthen their role and skills in the field of sustainable energy, to represent their interests and influence the policies and proposals made by EU institutions in the fields of energy, environmental protection and urban policy. Furthermore, it strives to develop and promote their initiatives through exchange of experiences, the transfer of knowhow and the implementation of joint projects.

Another network example is Fearless Cities [3], a global municipalist movement that stands up to defend human rights, democracy and the common good. It organises international summits that allow municipalist movements to build global networks. of solidarity and hope in the face of hate, walls and borders. The first fearless cities event was organised by Barcelona en Comú in 2017. Through participatory methods, it aims to inspire people to reflect on democracy, and to create new synergies to take their efforts to the next level." (