The European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns

The European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns (ESCT) is held every three to four years, marking milestones for progress and achievements in local sustainability in Europe.

Since the first ESCT was held in Aalborg (Denmark) in 1994, the conference series has led to remarkable landmarks in local sustainable development. It was at the first ESCT that Mayors of European cities and towns approved the groundbreaking Aalborg Charter.

Ten years later, at the fourth ESCT, the need for a clear reference framework including goal setting and progress measurement was acknowledged and reflected in the Aalborg Commitments.

The eighth ESCT conference, held in the Basque Country (Spain) in 2016, once again led to a seminal document in local sustainability in Europe: the Basque Declaration. The Basque Declaration outlines new pathways for European Cities and Towns to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities for a liveable and inclusive Europe. The declaration and its pathways were acclaimed by the participants of the eighth ESCT as an important step following the Aalborg Commitments.

The most recent conference edition took place from 30 September–2 October 2020 in Mannheim (Germany). Of particular note, this edition launched the Mannheim Message, a collective local response the European Green Deal.

Save the Date: the 10th edition of the ESCT will be hosted by the City of Aalborg (Denmark) on 1-3 October 2024.

Join over 800 participants from local and regional governments, European and international institutions, multilateral organisations, the research community, businesses, and civil society to be part of the movement for transformational change. Mark your calendars now!

Explore the event website or reach out to for more information.



ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg

Tel.: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 0
Fax: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 19



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