NEW DELHI: Hundreds of international decision-makers, influencers, and change agents who all work tirelessly to make cities more sustainable the world over, are expected to participate in the Helsingborg’s H22 City Expo to be held from June 1 to 3 next year. This was announced today in Graz/Helsingborg, the mid-sized city of Sweden, by the organizers of the show, City of Helsingborg and Urban Future.
“We want Helsingborg and the H22 City Expo to be the obvious international meeting place, where actors who work to make cities more sustainable meet and exchange experiences to accelerate this work globally. Therefore, we are incredibly happy that Urban Future sees Helsingborg and H22 City Expo as the natural arena for all ‘CityChangers’ in the summer of 2022”, says Lars Thunberg, Deputy Mayor, City of Helsingborg.
Gerald Babel-Sutter, CEO and Co-founder of Urban Future said: “By sheer citizen numbers, Helsingborg will be our smallest ever host city. But at the same time, it will be one of the most innovative! Rarely do you find cities that are able to transform themselves so fast and so radically as is the case with Helsingborg. That’s why we’re so excited to bring the CityChangers community here, as the message for the world is clear: you don’t need to be a big city to drive change successfully! Everywhere in Helsingborg, you can see and feel the passion for driving change and innovation – so what better place could there be to meet and inspire open minds?”
In recent years, the municipality of Helsingborg has completely changed its mindset and way of collaborating with citizens, businesses, innovators, academia and other stakeholders in order to make change happen. To mention a few: Helsingborg has been named Sweden’s most environmentally friendly municipality for the fourth year in a row by Swedish media company Aktuell Hållbarhet; Helsingborg, together with Valencia (Spain), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Espoo (Finland), and Vienna (Austria), placed second at iCapital awards, after the winning city Leuven (Belgium); Helsingborg is reinventing city governance and has launched the first municipal innovation hub in Sweden, using Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide their actions; Helsingborg established an annual vision fund of EUR 100,000 that allows any resident to realise their city development dreams; Helsingborg is creating a testbed for urban solutions with IKEA. This collaboration aims to explore solutions to the challenges that come with urbanisation and make life easier for people living in cities.
The recent months have proven that digital alternatives cannot replace the energy in a room full of game-changers, the moment when you randomly meet a speaker you’re admiring over a cup of coffee, or when you’re cycling the city’s newest bike lanes with a group of cycling enthusiasts! Urban decision-makers especially need to see, feel, and get inspired by other urban places and neighbourhoods – live on-site.
So, in addition to the annual live event, Urban Future is building digital bridgesw to support urbanists from near and far over the upcoming months, where physical meetings are still challenging to organise while the pandemic rages on. Currently, there is a virtual event in the making that will be held by the end of September 2021. This virtual event will premiere a digital home base for the global community of around 50,000 CityChangers. The digital home base will provide the collective know-how and expertise of hundreds of experts – 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, free of charge. Users will also be able to generate and contribute their own content and connect with like-minded change-makers from hundreds of cities.