Europe’s largest conference for sustainable cities UFGC comes to Rotterdam


URBAN FUTURE Global Conference (UFGC), Europe’s largest event for sustainable cities is coming to Rotterdam in 2021. This was announced by the organizing committee at UFGC in Oslo on Thursday May 23. UFGC is the place to meet the most passionate and inspiring CityChangers from all over the world. UFGC has chosen Rotterdam as host city because of the match between UFGC’s goals and the future oriented drive and innovative spirit of Rotterdam.

Cities are key to a sustainable future of our planet. Massive changes are necessary to fight climate change and adaptation, and social inequalities. Much attention is still focused on technological solutions. UFGC believes, that what is most important for solving the urban challenges are the people driving positive change. The event brings together passionate people with the drive, knowledge and power to bring about change and to dive sustainable urban development.

Rotterdam: living lab pursuing solutions for global challenges

As host city, Rotterdam fits the ambitions of UFGC perfectly. Rotterdam is a young, dynamic metropolis that keeps developing at speed. Over the past 70 years Rotterdam has reinvented itself and developed its own signature, with city, port, and metropolis all going through a myriad of improvements and innovations. The transitions are helping Rotterdam develop into a resilient city and society that keeps on anticipating the future. Rotterdam is a living lab where local government, knowledge institutes, corporates, innovative start-ups and scaleups all actively work together to develop and implement solutions to global issues like energy transition, circularity, inclusiveness, smart urban mobility, climate change and adaptation and digital transition.

Gerald Babel-Sutter, founder and CEO of UFGC, is convinced that Rotterdam is the logical choice to be a next host city: “We are the largest event for and about sustainable cities. The CityChangers that come to UFGC are all doers and shakers who are driven, passionate and effective in making their cities more resilient and sustainable. Exactly this type of people we have found in Rotterdam. They are busy improving their city. ”

Rotterdam Alderman Arno Bonte (Sustainability, Air Quality and Energy Transition) about UFGC: “The scale of the challenges and the speed in which Rotterdam is tackling energy transition and sustainability requires innovative thinking and decisive action. UFGC 2021 in Rotterdam creates the perfect stage for thought and action leaders to meet and to learn from each other.”

UFGC coming to Rotterdam is also testament to Rotterdam as congress city. The appeal of Rotterdam as host city for international (scientific) conferences has been steadily increasing over the last years, as is the number of conferences and business events organized in the city. Just recently Rotterdam was announced 2nd congress city of the Netherlands by ICCA for the 12th year running.

Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre

UFGC21 will take place 18-20 May 2021 at Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre (RACC), which by then will have completed its renovation and expansion, making it one of the largest, most modern and well equipped events and conference venues in the Netherlands.  The expansion of Rotterdam Ahoy is part of the Hart van Zuid (‘Heart of South’) project, which is one of the lighthouse projects of the European smart city program RUGGEDISED. This is a collaboration of six European cities with Rotterdam in coordinating role, testing and implementing smart solutions in the fields of energy, transport and digital technologies in large urban testing grounds with the overall aim to help Europe become smarter, resilient and more sustainable.

About the URBAN FUTURE Global Conference

UFGC is a three day event, including a two day conference and one day packed with field trips to local projects and programs. Each edition of UFGC concentrates on themes that may vary per edition, but are always related to relevant topics for the future of cities, like urban mobility, built environment and architecture, leadership, green business and innovation. Participants of UFGC are CityChangers and professionals of all levels from municipalities, businesses, research, innovation and science, regional and national governments, architecture and urban planning agencies, NGOs, start-ups and scaleups.

More information about UFGC is available at

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