EC Logo

Popular objectives, controversial measures – increasing the acceptance of ambitious measures in cities

Reducing pollution and improving air quality in cities is an objective usually finding widespread support across policy levels and in the population. The question of which measures and actions to take to move towards this objective on the other side are frequently leading to heated debates and even sparking opposition from different actors in form of protests, legal procedures and other means aimed at stopping measures from being applied.

This session will take up the question of “how to get all responsible actors on board effectively and increase public acceptance of change in public spaces?” with city representatives from urban planning and public relation offices. Introducing recent successful or contested examples ranging from measures such as extending biking lanes and car-free zones to renovation and refurbishment of buildings or waste and plastic regulations, cities will share recent experiences in short pitch presentations before diving into what successful mediating and conflict prevention strategies that are getting everyone on board for important changes to public spaces and habits effectively could look like.


  • Luis Tejero Encinas, Engineer, Directorate of Sustainability and Environmental Control, City of Madrid
  • Alpo Tani, Climate Change Mitigation Specialist, City of Helsinki, Finland
  • Giorgia Rambelli, Coordinator, Sustainable Resources & Climate Resilience, ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability European Secretariat)
  • David Joyce, Director of Services,  Roads and Environment Operations Directorate, Cork City Council
  • Agnes Schönfelder, Spokesperson Local Green Deals, CEO Climate Action Agency, City of Mannheim
  • Willem-Jan Renger, Citizen engagement & co-creation manager, IRIS Smart Cities project, Utrecht University of the Arts


Session 10.4
Start Date
End Date
Main programme
Room 4