The Green and Thriving Neighbourhoods panel session during the UIA World Congress of Architects brought together mayors and urban stakeholders who shared pilot projects, best practices, and transformative initiatives. Their common aim is to accelerate climate actions, prioritise community health and well-being, and create sustainable, vibrant neighbourhoods that serve as models for urban development. 

Panel Discussion: Green and Thriving Neighbourhoods: Accelerating climate actions and community wellbeing

The impressive list of speakers included  Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, Lord Mayor, City of Copenhagen, Jan Gehl, Architect, Professor of Urban Design, The Royal Danish Academy, and Founding Partner, Gehl, and Carlos Moreno, Associate Professor at the Paris IAE – Panthéon Sorbonne University and Co-founder and Scientific Director of the ETI. There were also presentations from the cities of Paris, Melbourne, Milan and Santiago. 

Panellists stressed the need to move away from past urban development models that promote sprawl and car-oriented cities. They emphasised integrating urban planning with nature to create liveable, people-oriented cities. They also discussed the "15-minute City" concept, advocating for polycentric cities with multiple neighbourhoods that meet daily needs, offer people-oriented public spaces, and encourage healthier lifestyles.

During the session, Niels Lund represented Cities Changing Diabetes and spoke on the impact of proximity on health. It was an insightful and inspiring discussion, highlighting the power of collaboration and the potential for positive change in our urban environments.