About the Festival

About the Festival

The URBACT programme invites you to join us for a unique three day Festival of in-depth conversations and idea generation about the future of cities in Europe. 

About cities, for cities

The first ever URBACT City Festival will take place in Riga, Latvia on 6-9 May 2015. A multi format and multi themed event, the Festival will showcase urban knowledge produced by the URBACT II programme and kick start the initial exchanges of URBACT III. In true URBACT tradition, and in the spirit of co- creation, the URBACT City Festival will put cites, and the people who run them, centre stage.  In workshops and walkshops, in masterclasses and ‘meet the cities’ encounters, you will have the chance to talk about realities on the ground, and how complex challenges are being met in all corners of Europe. Each Festival session will be designed to facilitate questioning, discussion and shared reflection. Every festival participant will benefit from interactions that inspire fresh approaches and re-framing of ideas. On the final day we will work together in an Idea Factory to capture and consolidate Festival experiences and generate new thinking for action in our cities.

A rich menu of activities

Each day there will be a series of different interactive sessions, as well as opportunities for informal conversations, networking and partner search. At registration you will be asked to state preferences for several of the sessions, allowing you to choose the activities that best fit your interests and needs. Every participant will take part in one workshop, one walkshop, one masterclass, as well as Get Inspired!, an URBACT café, an Idea Factory and a host of social events. You will also be encouraged to document your own Festival experience in a personalised journal. The URBACT City Festival will provide the platform for you to collect and connect ideas, knowledge and people, to seek out the solutions and inspirations you need to transform your city.  All we ask of you is that you commit to full and active participation in the search for new sources on knowledge and inspiration from the Opening to the end of Festival Party.

Spotlight on Riga

The Festival will be anchored in the historic city centre of Riga, capital of Latvia, current President of the European Union. The iconic Riga Congress Centre will be the main venue, and throughout the Festival we will be venturing off site to explore the city and get to know its citizens and urban stakeholders. In particular during the pioneering URBACT walkshops on Thursday all participants will have the chance to tour Riga, to get to know its history, highlights and hidden corners, meet its policy makers and inhabitants, and experience the urban landscape. 

Open to all

If you are an urban practitioner, a policy-maker or an elected representative; if you work in a research institution or a civil society organisation involved in urban development; if you work in urban issues at local, regional, national or international level: you will find something in the Festival for you. 


CLosed registration