The URBACT City Festival 2018

will celebrate the rising influence of cities as leading actors of change, throughout the 2-day event

We will share stories of urban renewal rooted in URBACT exchange and testimonies to the increasing power of cities to drive change. Cities are hotbeds of innovation, creating local solutions to the global challenges of sustainability, integration and resilience that can lead to the successful achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The rate of progress is accelerated when cities work together. In URBACT, cities show that they are striving to be better, are open to learn from each other and are ready to influence national and international policy with concrete practices from the ground up.

Why Lisbon?

Like in previous editions, the Festival will be fully blended with the city that is hosting us – Lisbon! A unique and dynamic city, Lisbon provides urban practitioners with innovative, vibrant practices and many cases of participative interventions. The city is as much a feature of the Festival as the programme itself. Delve under the skin of one of the most dynamic cities in Europe to understand how economic development, citizen participation and innovative local governance combine to promote integrated urban development.

Pátio da Galé is the main Festival venue, an iconic landmark in terms of the city’s urban rehabilitation. Located in the Terreiro do Paço and in front of the Tagus River, this building once housed the Royal Palace and the India House, until the 1755 earthquake. In 2010 a modern renovation was undertaken which took into consideration all the patrimony’s original details. The spacious cloisters and the use of Portuguese limestone create an atmosphere full of character. Finally, the square that surrounds the venue, and the building itself, represent a great part of the city’s history.

See full programme

Why attend?


meet with cities of all sizes, some facing similar issues to you, others who will broaden your horizons. Make connections and build a network that will propel you forward.


get inspiration from URBACT cities,change makers, lead thinkers and experienced practitioners to take real actions.


find out about a successful programme, methodology and practice all over Europe, and how your city can benefit.

What to expect?

Meet and learn from over 200 cities whose results have been designed and tested by the first wave of URBACT exchange-action networks

In addition, 2018 is the year URBACT celebrates 15 years of European cooperation for city learning. We’ll take the opportunity to look back at how URBACT has helped cities instigate sustainable changes; and more widely how the role of cities has changed in that time to become actors on the European and international scale. Naturally, we will look forward to the next 15 years and help cities make the changes they need today to prepare for the future.