The Conference Series

Over the last 25 years the ESCT has been a cornerstone of sustainable urban development in Europe, vitally important to advancing the local sustainability agenda. The three main milestones reached in the conferences in 1994, 2004 and 2016 show the series' leading role, and forward thinking approach often year's ahead of its time. 

So far European Sustainable Cities & Towns Conferences were held in Aalborg, Denmark (1994, 2004), Lisbon, Portugal (1996), Hannover, Germany (2000), Seville, Spain (2007), Dunkirk, France (2010), Geneva, Switzerland (2013) and the Basque Country, Spain (2016).


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The #Basque2016 Report

Local Sustainability Milestones

Aalborg Charter, 1994

Inspired by the Rio Earth Summit’s Local Agenda 21 plan, it was developed to contribute to the European Union’s Environmental Action Programme, ‘Towards Sustainability’. More than 3,000 local authorities from more than 40 countries have signed the Charter. This has resulted in the largest European movement of its type and started the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign.


>> Read it here

Aalborg Commitments, 2004

The commitments lay out a framework to be used at the local level that lays out how to embed sustainability across municipality sectors. The comitments encompass a list of qualitative objectives organised into 10 holistic themes signifying a structured holistic and ambitious approach, which allows decision-makers to adapt them to meet their own local conditions. So far over 700 cities and towns have signed the commitments.


>> Read them here

Basque Declaration, 2016

The Basque Declaration outlines new pathways for European Cities and Towns to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities for a liveable and inclusive Europe. The document aims to support and accelerate socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation. The Basque Declaration aims to inspire cities and towns to develop and create their own local transformative actions.


>>Endorse the Declaration

Past Conferences