EMA Porto 2021

Around Europe, EMA's forum brings together metropolitan areas and cities to discuss the main challenges of metropolitan governance aiming to define the basis for collaboration between European metropolises and their relations with European institutions and national governments.

This year the sixth edition of EMA's annual forum took place in Porto during November 11th and 12th. This edition focussed on the metropolitan financial recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and the transition towards more sustainable and smart cities, with a special mention to transport and mobility.

November 11th

16:30 Visit to urban projects
The visit to urban projects will be defined according to the required security measures against COVID-19.

19:30 Welcome dinner

November 12th

08:30 Registration and welcome coffee
Forum facilitator:
Estela Machado, Porto Canal

09:15 Welcome and greetings
Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto
Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, President of Porto Metropolitan Area
Ernest Maragall, Vice-President of International Relations and Cooperation of Barcelona Metropolitan Area

09:45 Keynote Speaker: How to Boost Climate Neutral Metropolitan Areas: Green, Smart and Resilient
Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms. European Commission

10:15 Signature of the EMA political declaration / Photo session

10:45 Coffee break and press conference

11:00 - 12:15 h
Panel Discussion 1 - The New Metropolitan Agenda: (Re) Think, (Re)Design, (Re)Act

Metropolitan areas are the home for the largest share of the EU population, hosting the main economic, employment, cultural activities and key players in the identification of solutionsfor the new challenges and their impact on the life of millions of citizens and visitors.

The Covid-19 pandemic confronted politicians with new challenges, exposing some contradictions and vulnerabilities in the traditional models, but the day after opens large opportunities to (re) thing and (re) design our cities and to recover the economy.

Metropolitan areas can be game changers for the new sustainable, smart, resilient, and green recovery: urban public space, tourism, social life are all pieces to transform and to imagine our metropolitan areas of the future. The key question is simply whether to go "back to normal" or to use this moment to define the new metropolitan agenda.

Moderator: João Paulo Lourenço, Jornal de Notícias

Panel speakers:
Alison Gilliland, Lord Mayor of Dublin
Ossi Savolainen, Metropolitan Mayor of Helsinki-Uusimaa Region
Jean-Claude Dardelet, Vice-President for International Relations of Toulouse Métropole
Thijs Kroese, Board Member of Metropole Region Amsterdam

12:15 - 13:30 h
Panel 2: Green and Smart Mobility: There Is No Turning Back

Transport is one of the sectors that were hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. MaaS, urban logistics and green deliveries, tourism, new mobility services, shared mobility, city information platforms, e-governance and other emerging solutions are more and more present in our life.

Can we find a way out of the crisis and boost sustainable mobility for cites? Which policies responses can we provide? Is digital transformation the way to restore confidence in the system? Is access to digital infrastructure inclusive or will it exacerbate the persisting inequalities?

Moderator: Abel Coentrão, Jornal Público

Panel speakers:
President of Lisbon Metropolitan Area
Roger Ryberg, County Mayor of Viken (Oslo)
Héléne Dromain, Vice-President for European and International Cooperation and Tourism of Lyon Métropole
Omar Al-Rawi, Member of Regional Parliament and of the City Council of Vienna

13:30 - 14:30 h Lunch break

14:30 h
Cities, Metropolitan Areas and the Twin Transition in Europe
Manuel Pizarro, Member of the European Parliament

14:50 - 16:15 h
Panel 3: Recovery & Resilient Metropolis: The Financial Challenge

Pushing for climate friendly citiesis largely connected to the capacity to adapt to the changing economic conditions and to rebuild trust. The new multiannual financial package and the Recovery and Resilient Funds open large opportunities for this adaptation while challenging the current financial and business models.

Although providing a boost to the economy, EU funds are just a part of the solution and key persistent challengesremain: How to addressthe financial gap at a metropolitan level? Which financial model should be adopted by metropolitan areas? How to involve citizens as a part of that model? Is financing the real game changer?

Moderator: Luisa Pinto, Jornal Público

Panel speakers:
Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, President of Porto Metropolitan Area
Ernest Maragall i Mira, Vice-President for International and Cooperation of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area
Micha? Olszewski, First Deputy Mayor of Warsaw
Pascal Smet, State secretary in charge of international relations and urban planning of the Brussels-Capital Region

16:15 h
Conclusions/End of the session:
João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister of Environment and Energy Transition

Announcement by Kazimierz Karolczak, Chairman of the Board at Metropolis GZM of the EMA 2022

Download program
Policy brief and declaration