In the summer of 2022 Helsingborg invites the world to be a part of their H22 City Expo, and Urban Future will kick off the Expo 1–3 June 2022. The mid-sized Swedish city of Helsingborg is one of the most innovative and fastest transforming in Europe. A radical reorganisation of their internal structure has enabled them to race forward with innovation and sustainability at full speed. Urban Future is proud to kick off Helsingborg’s H22 City Expo, where the city will showcase its work so far and open up the city as a testbed and platform for collective global action.

Preparing for the summer of 2022

“We want Helsingborg and the H22 City Expo to be the obvious international meeting place, where actors who work to make cities more sustainable meet and exchange experiences to accelerate this work globally. Therefore, we are incredibly happy that Urban Future sees Helsingborg and H22 City Expo as the natural arena for all CityChangers in the summer of 2022”, says Lars Thunberg, Deputy Mayor, City of Helsingborg.

Helsingborg – small but bold

Gerald Babel-Sutter, CEO and Co-founder of Urban Future: “By sheer citizen numbers, Helsingborg will be our smallest ever host city. But at the same time, it will be one of the most innovative! Rarely do you find cities that are able to transform themselves so fast and so radically as is the case with Helsingborg. Thats why were so excited to bring the City Changers community here, as the message for the world is clear: you dont need to be a big city to drive change successfully! Everywhere in Helsingborg, you can see and feel the passion for driving change and innovation – so what better place could there be to meet and inspire open minds?”

Urban Future Helsingborg 22 anticipates the participation of international decisionmakers, influencers, and change agents who all work tirelessly to make cities more sustainable the world over.

Co-creating a city that puts people and planet first

In recent years, the municipality of Helsingborg has completely changed its mindset and way of collaborating with citizens, businesses, innovators, academia and other stakeholders in order to make change happen. Through the massive H22 initiative, Helsingborg is working with like-minded partners near and far. A few facts:

  • Helsingborg has been named Swedens most environmentally friendly municipality for the fourth year in a row by Swedish media company Aktuell Hållbarhet.
  • Helsingborg, together with Valencia (Spain), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Espoo (Finland), and Vienna (Austria), placed second at iCapital awards, after the winning city Leuven (Belgium).
  • Helsingborg is reinventing city governance and has launched the first municipal innovation hub in Sweden, using Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide their actions.
  • Helsingborg established an annual vision fund of EUR 100,000 that allows any resident to realise their city development dreams.
  • Helsingborg is creating a testbed for urban solutions with IKEA. This collaboration aims to explore solutions to the challenges that come with urbanisation and make life easier for people living in cities.
Urban Future is building digital bridges

The recent months have proven that digital alternatives cannot replace the energy in a room full of game-changers, the moment when you randomely meet a speaker youre admiring over a cup of coffee, or when youre cycling the citys newest bike lanes with a group of cycling enthusiasts! Urban decision-makers especially need to see, feel, and get inspired by other urban places and neighbourhoods – live on-site.

But, in addition to the annual live event, building digital bridges will be a fantastic way to support urbanists from near and far over the upcoming months, where physical meetings are still challenging to organise while the pandemic rages on. Currently, there is a virtual event in the making that will be held by the end of September 2021. This virtual event will premiere a digital home base for the global community of around 50,000 City Changers. The digital home base will provide the collective know-how and expertise of hundreds of experts – 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, free of charge. Users will also be able to generate and contribute their own content and connect with like-minded change-makers from hundreds of cities.

About Urban Future

Urban Future is the worlds largest meeting place for City Changers, people who strive to make their cities more sustainable with passion and commitment. They implement tangible projects, thus vastly improving life in their city. Urban Future brings together our brightest minds, presenting itself as a neutral platform without any political agenda. The conference was co-founded in 2014 by Gerald Babel-Sutter and has taken place in a different European city every year. Since 2014, visitor numbers have tripled. The 2020 edition in Lisbon had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. 2021 will see the first fully-virtual event and will launch a new digital home base for CityChangers around the world.

Upcoming Urban Future Live Events
  • Helsingborg, Sweden | June 1–3, 2022
  • Stuttgart, Germany | June 21–23, 2023

Read more about Urban Future Helsingborg 22.