Climate change, urbanization, declining biodiversity, pandemics, extreme weather and increasing food production: these are just a few of the factors that challenge the future of our cities. There is growing evidence that nature based solutions can be sound investments for future urban challenges. Many investments in our cities of today are expected to last for generations, so there is a need to include long term thinking in our current decision making.

On this two days conference we look from different disciplines and five dimensions; nature inclusive product- and services design, nature-inclusive building, growing green neighborhoods and green spatial planning in urbanizing regions. Practitioners, researchers, policymakers and students gather to share good Dutch and international practices on how to evolve multi-disciplinary practices that develop longer term thinking and acting in our city- networks, policies and decision making.

10.00 - 11.30

Long Term Thinking in a Short Term World

There is a growing call for 'cathedral thinking' to tackle challenges like climate change. Like medieval cathedral builders, who knew that they would never complete the construction within their lifetimes, we need to start planning decades or centuries into the future. Does this also apply to the theme of the Floriade Expo: Growing Green Cities? Our keynote speakers share their views on why we look 100 years ahead for our cities.

Speakers line-up opening-session :


Ank Bijleveld

Acting Mayor Almere

Hugo de Jonge

Minister for Housing and Spatial Planning

Rafael Tuts

Director, Global Solutions Division at UN-Habitat

Tim Briercliffe

Secretary-General AIPH

Piero Pelizzaro

Chief Resilience Officer of Milano

Sabine O'Hara

Dean & Director of Landgrant Programs at CAUSES at University of the District of Columbia, Washington DC

Thomas Schroepfer

Professor at SUTD & Co-Director at Singapore-ETH Centre Future Cities Lab Global

Derk Loorbach

Director DRIFT

Natasja van den Berg


12.00 - 13.30

Urban Transition Challenges
When Looking 100 Years Ahead

We have seen several studies looking 100 years ahead for the Netherlands in the past years. What are their visions, and what do they see as the main challenges to getting from vision into city practice? In these interactive breakout sessions, we invite the leading networks to reflect on their ideas and identify the main challenges from ambitions to city practice.

This programme will have the following subsessions:

  • Session 1.

    Future Living: Inside Green Design

  • Session 2.

    Circular and Biobased Cities

  • Session 3.

    Envisioning Inclusive Green Cities

  • Session 4.

    Blue and Green Nature Based Solutions

  • Session 5.

    Digital Green City Development

  • 14.00 - 15.15

    Evolving 'Smart Green City Practices'

    Climate change and digitalisation are megatrends that influence the building of future society. How can digital solutions support the development of green growing cities? This session explores how new fields like the 'Internet of Nature' and Smart Cities can sustain long term thinking in today's city practice.

    Speakers line-up plenary session :


    Jan Hoek

    Alderman Floriade, Sustainability and Democracy

    Sanne van der Burgh

    Associate Director, Head of MVRDV NEXT

    Kari Aina Eik

    Secretary General United Cities Funds/OiER- U4SSC IP at OIER

    Jeroen Hoencamp

    CEO VodafoneZiggo NL

    Nadina Galle

    Ecological Engineer (Ph.D.) & Technologist

    Natasja van den Berg


    15.45 - 17.15

    Evolving Good 'Green City' Practices

    What can we learn from cities currently bridging the gap between green, long term ambitions and practice? Cities from various countries will share their experiences in different breakout sessions. In each session, there will be enough time for elaboration and discussion.

    This programme will have the following subsessions:

  • Session 6.

    Metropolitan Region Amsterdam x Copenhagen

  • Session 7.

    Singapore x Rotterdam

  • Session 8.

    Milano x Utrecht

  • Session 9.

    Washington DC x The Hague

  • Session 10.

    Almere Pampus x Hamburg

  • 17.30 - 18.00


    The Floriade Expo area is full of pavilions and exhibitions of countries showcasing green and sustainable future solutions. At the end of the first day, we invite participants to join guided excursions organised explicitly for this conference.

    Visit the following pavilions:

    4 / 7
    6 / 7
    7 / 7

    18.00 - 19.00

    Social Event

    The day is closed with a networking drink at the Natural Pavilion

    Growing Green Cities Conference partners