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Cities are places where global environmental challenges are focused, but at the same time they serve as centers for innovation. Fortunately, the care for the condition of the natural environment is becoming more and more often recognized as an important aspect of urban development, that is capable of contributing to both economic development and the growing satisfaction of residents. Good condition of the environment is one of the pillars of sustainable development, which was treated inadequately in cities for many years.

During the conference, we will try to prove that ecological solutions in cities do not have to be implemented at the expense of other aspects of urban development. We have to seek opportunities related with the innovation potential accumulated in cities. It increases chances for meeting the varying needs of inhabitants whilst respecting the demands and limited capabilities of natural environment.

The second edition of the INNOVATIVE ECO-CITY Conference 2018 is a two-day international event gathering experts in the field of sustainable development and innovative technologies, representatives of administrative authorities engaged in the process of socio-economic transformation in the urban area, representatives of international agencies and numerous Polish and foreign city councils, as well as business delegates.
The conference provides forum for showcasing latest research and best urban practices, and for exchanging experiences between guests, allowing for an identification of developmental trajectories for the cities, that would be optimal for both city inhabitants and natural environment.

Key components and their objectives:

Conference: including speeches and presentations, as well as questions and comments sessions with participants 

Good practices:invited representatives of larger and smaller cities of the pan-European region will present the achievements in the field of sustainable development, in particular the implementation of eco-friendly solutions

Debates:as suggested by the participants of the previous edition, after each of the detailed thematic sessions, a longer, dedicated time will be reserved for discussing the topic


Rates of the population residing in urban areas continue to rise in Poland. This tendency is consistent with a global trend.

The dynamic development of cities insufficiently takes into account the issues of the quality of life of residents, and also exerts significant pressure on the environment (unsustainable production and consumption, pollution and emissions. Hence, the challenges of sustainable cities have become a critical issue discussed in the most recent documents that define strategies for the world. The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015), as well, as the EU Urban Agenda (2016) acknowledge that cities will play a key role in achieving sustainable development on the global scale. The concept of healthy cities, green cities, and sustainable cities focus on holistic approaches, that include political commitment, institutional change, capacity building, partnership-based planning, reducing environmental pressure and innovative projects for improving urban environment and population health.

The conference will focus on the environmental determinants of sustainable development and their impact on how and in which direction cities are developing. Together, we will reflect how investments in the environmental dimension of sustainable development can have a positive impact on the future of the more and more inhabited urban areas.

We will try to focus attention of our participants on the following aspects:

  • pressure exerted on the environment by urban centers and the urbanization process,
  • the quality of urban ecosystems and their efficiency to provide important ecosystem services to residents,
  • the influence of urban centers on natural resources management and consumption.


The UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre was established 26 years ago as a member of the Global Resource Information Database (GRID) network developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for fostering sustainable management of natural resources, thus a promotion of sustainable development is one of the key statutory goals of the Centre. The Innovative Cities conference is being organised within a framework of the "Together for the Environment" Partnership, an initiative for common implementation of environment-related sustainable development goals. The Centre, officially registered as an NGO, is a branch of the National Foundation for the Environmental Protection. 

Warsaw is the capital and the largest city of Poland with population of 1.7 million. Warsaw is the political, economic, academic and cultural centre of the country. The CITY OF WARSAW has signed the Covenant of Mayors in 2009 and submitted the Sustainable Energy Action Plan in 2011. In the SEAP Warsaw committed to the target of 20 % reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020 compared to 2007. The continuation of the SEAP is the Low-Carbon Economy Plan. The budget of the City of Warsaw for 2017 alone includes 2 billion PLN to be allocated for environment protection, 1.1 billion out of which is allocated to air protection. Projects implemented through this financing include, inter alia, the construction (extension) of the second metro line and new tram lines, the purchase of low-carbon public transport fleet, the development of cycling infrastructure, connecting municipal buildings to the district heating and summer street cleaning.

The ECO-MIASTO project is being organised for the fifth time this year. The project involves a range of events including the Poland-wide competition for municipalities, a conference on environmental sustainability, and a number of associated activities, such as seminars and meetings for sharing best practices. The ECO-MIASTO Competition aims at promoting environmental sustainability by awarding those among large and small-sized municipalities in Poland, which are leaders in environmentally responsible sustainable development.

Go to the ECO-MIASTO website



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The conference is co-financed with The National Fund for Environment Protection and Water Management


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