Joint organisers: OECD, all EUKN members

This online event brought together international experts and policymakers to discuss how the New Leipzig Charter (NLC) can support more just, green and productive National Urban Policies (NUPs).

The NLC is a unique EU-level policy document that supports developing NUPs as key instruments to advance sustainable, resilient cities. As a roadmap for integrated urban development, it promotes urban policy for the common good, participation and co-creation, multi-level governance and a place-based approach.

Featuring four tailored sessions that were open to the public worldwide, this Policy Lab explored the role of NUPs in implementing the NLC, and how NUPs can support social cohesion, environmental sustainability and economic development across Europe.

Sessions take-aways

Green dimension

  • Co-creation, capacity-building and response to local stakeholder needs is key to activating communities through collective actions
  • Platforms for data visualisation and interpretation are vital for municipalities to be able to use the data collected
  • (Inter)national cooperation between cities for knowledge exchange can be extremely helpful and should be facilitated by national governments
  • Outdated regulatory barriers need to be removed when they are blocking change
  • Raise awareness of the climate crisis among the public and policymakers, and highlight the intersection between urban and climate policy
Open the presentations

Productive dimension

  • COVID-19 presented opportunities for national authorities to diversify local urban economies, and increase their resilience
  • Regulation can stifle innovation: maintaining the urban experimentation and creativity seen during COVID-19 is key for thriving urban centres
  • Creative and cultural industries are key urban economy drivers, so recognising their value should be central
  • Digitalisation can improve opportunities in smaller (peri-urban and rural) towns via reliable IT infrastructure and public transport to larger cities
Open the presentations

Just dimension

  • Increasing access to public services, providing jobs and equal opportunities for all social groups and minimising territorial segregation fosters the common good
  • Focus on subjective elements is key, e.g. citizens’ sense of belonging and personal and sensorial experience of city life
  • A place-based, holistic and integrated approach should be taken
  • Tailor-made solutions are needed, considering links and differences between urban, peri-urban and rural settings
  • Affordable housing policies are key to mitigate urban socio-economic injustices across the EU
  • NUPs should (in)directly address various policy areas, to support their development
Open the presentations


  • To make the NLC as influential as the SDGs, commitment, communication and active ownership are needed from national urban policy-makers
  • Urban policy-making should include all government levels and be co-created with public and private stakeholders
  • NUPs should be driven by local authorities, be applicable to cities of all sizes, break silos and connect cross-sectoral policies
  • COVID-19 has stimulated shared responsibility by creating space for tactical urbanism, bottom-up approaches and low-cost sustainable solutions


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