23rd – 25th May 2018 | Utrecht, the Netherlands

sustainable citymaking in a disruptive world

All cities are under pressure – those growing and those shrinking, and all need to adapt to a world of escalating change. City makers everywhere want to create great, liveable places. But how can this be achieved? The UTRECHT SPRING CONFERENCE 2018: “Managing Urban Change; Connectivity – Lifestyles – Governance” seeks to provide answers, solutions and inspiration.

Three Great Places, Lyon Part-Dieu, London Kings Cross/St Pancras and the Utrecht Station District will share their experiences in a discussion with you, chaired by Charles Landry, an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. Professionals from major European Cities will discuss their challenges and during visits we meet change makers showing opportunities for a way forward.

We kindly invite you to take part. We look forward to your participation!

Get Inspired at #USpring2018


outline of the ProgrammE

We aim to draw out principles to approach the challenges of continuous urban change and growth, by looking at successes, failures and lessons learned during urban development.

One element of the Utrecht Spring Conference is to use our city as a canvas to explore what is happening in Utrecht itself, but crucially too to learn from several other European cities.

A major theme is how developments can become connectors and deal with separation both physically and in terms of bringing people together. Here the Utrecht Station District is instructive for others too. The level of change initiated was disruptive, yet it had the potential to create a climate of collaboration in a process of co-creation and co-production with the private sector, public transport companies and the local population. These partnerships have helped Utrecht to become the fastest growing city in the Netherlands, as well as the second Most Competitive Region of Europe.

The conference will include plenary sessions, flash visits to various sites, and breakout sessions where the following key themes will be addressed:

> Connectivity: Creating Space to build a Place
> Lifestyles: The Work Life balance
> Governance: Collaboration & an Inventive Bureaucracy

The conference will be arranged so participants, representatives, stakeholders and institutions from around Europe can share experiences and initiatives and to learn from each other.

Keynote speakers will come from all over Europe, e.g. France, Germany, Belgium, Finland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Healthy urban living

By putting health at the heart of our urban development, Utrecht creats a value based strategy and a purpose for the future of the city. Ecomobility is an indispensable part of this. A fundamental partnership approach enables us to pursue the ambition of healthy urban living with the knowledge, experience and creativity of all Utrecht people, professionals, companies and institutions. Showing that it ’s cities and their surrounding regions that are at the heart of the urban solutions needed today.


For whom?

This conference is meant for leaders, thinkers and practitioners engaged in the social, cultural, economic, political and physical development of our towns and cities:

Decisionmakers, strategists  and other representatives from departments of European cities and city regions, on mobility, urban planning, heritage, sustainability, housing, social and economic development.

Practitioners working for local, regional and national authorities, and working in the private sector, like advisors, consultants, architects.

Students and researchers from schools and universities

when and where?

The conference starts the 23rd of May 2018 in the early afternoon and finishes the 25th of May in the afternoon. The conference will be held in Utrecht (half an hour by train from Schiphol Airport). The venues will sit very near to the central railway station.


Conference participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Utrecht, and accommodation arrangements in Utrecht. Utrecht has a wide range of hotels offering accommodation at various rates. Click here for a list with preferred conference hotels. (in cooperation with Utrecht Hotel Service).


Registration rates will be € 695. When you book before March, 31st you will pay € 550.
Click here to register.