Organised as part of the French EU Council Presidency 2022 with the French National Agency for Territorial Cohesion (ANCT), in collaboration with ICLEI Europe, URBACT and the OECD. 

This Policy Lab series consisted of three events: Just-Green, Just-Digital and Just-Productive City-Making. Building on the four dimensions of the New Leipzig Charter, the French EU Presidency.

The events explored how to create just cities in a green, productive, and digital manner, emphasising the relevance of integrated approaches towards sustainable urban development. Besides being a platform for exchange and learning, The Art of Just-City-Making contributed to the creation of guidelines for policymakers on how to create a ‘just city’. 

With experts from Erasmus University, ICLEI and OECD introducing the themes, speakers from national, EU and local levels engaged in comprehensive discussions and gave concrete examples of actions already in place and aiming at just, green, digital and productive cities, as well as opportunities and actions which can, and should still be undertaken.

The three Policy Labs

Just and Green

Organised in partnership with ICLEI Europe

Can a city be sustainable without also being just? The simple answer is no.


The Just and Green Policy Lab explored the critical tension between urgent climate action and the need to address intersectional inequalities, inviting experts to reflect on the scope for (urban) policy to integrate these dimensions.

An inspiring panel of speakers included Benjamin Caspar, Team Leader of Urban Environment Policy, DG Environment, European Commission; Zala Jerman, Senior Adviser, Spatial Planning, Construction and Housing Directorate, Slovene Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning; Celine Deslattes, Municipal Councillor in charge of extreme precarity, city of Grenoble, France with an expert and discussant: Flor Avelino, Theme-lead Sustainable Just Cities, Erasmus University Rotterdam, UrbanA Expert.

Just and Digital

Organised in partnership with URBACT

How can policymakers facilitate digital transformations based on the values of inclusivity, human-centeredness, and transparency?

The Just and Digital Policy Lab focused on this, and more questions, providing a platform for policymakers to reflect on adequate policy frameworks to seize the potential of the digital transformation while addressing the risks it entails.

With an expert introduction from Alison Partridge, URBACT Lead Expert of the Tech Revolution 2.0 Network, and an introduction of the French EU Presidency from Éric Briat, Head of Department, Deputy Director of the City and Urban Cohesion, General Commission for Territorial Equality, panellists included Maria Yeroyanni, Senior Policy Officer – Innovating Cities, DG RTD; Pierre-Louis Rolle, Director Strategy and Innovation, French National agency for territorial cohesion (ANCT) and  Nicolas Castet, Lead partner of the URBACT Active Citizens network, City of Agen.

Just and Productive

Organised in partnership with the OECD

How can urban policies and city-making ensure a balance between the productive and just dimensions?


The Just and Productive Policy Lab focused on labour market and discussed strategies to diversify economy and introduce varied activity into the urban fabric, providing wide-ranging job opportunities to existing and new populations with a wide set of skills, based on local assets.

The speakers included Tilman Buchholz, Head of the Urban Development Policy Unit, German Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Building; Karel Vanderpoorten, Policy Officer – Social Economy, DG GROW, European Commission; Vincent Fouchier, Deputy Director General, Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis,  former chair of the OECD working party on urban policy (2011-2021) with an expert introduction from Amal Chevreau, Policy Analyst, Social Economy and Innovation, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD and concluding French Presidency introduction from Éric Briat.

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