Reinventing Cities conference

11/19/2015 | Release

Reinventing Cities conference

WWF and its partner, Bouygues Construction, invite major players from the city to share current experiments on innovative solutions for sustainable cities

A COP21-accredited event, the Reinventing Cities conference will take place on November 23 at the Maison de la Chimie in Paris. Its aim is to take a further step towards a more sustainable city of tomorrow thanks to the involvement all the major players of the city. Local authorities, citizens, experts and businesses will be invited to question the role played by  cities in climate action, then given an opportunity to share experiments and experiences relating to sustainable neighbourhoods and innovative solutions in France and around the world.

Consult the full programme for the event here.

Cities and climate: from the energy-consuming city to the city of solutions

According to United Nations forecasts, the combined effect of urbanisation and growth will contribute  to an increase of 2.5 billion people in towns and cities by 2050. The urban population is exerting ever-greater pressure on its environment and the resources on which it depends. The consumption and exploitation of resources and the production of waste in cities weigh more and more heavy on the world’s ecological footprint.

A consumer of space, the city (or city life) is the principal consumer of energy and it accounts for 70%  of energy-related carbon emissions on our planet (source: UN-Habitat, 2011). This observation means that it is a player and an key driver in the fight against climate change. John Wilmoth, Director of the UN’s population division, recently acknowledged that “managing urban areas has become one of the most important development challenges of the 21st century.”

With 54% of the world’s population living in urban areas, a proportion which is set to rise to 66% by 2050, the city has now become the natural space of man. We have no other choice than to re-think our cities, to reinvent them so that year on year we take a further step towards energy sobriety and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Countless solutions exist; the aim of the conference will be to see how together, players from the city can implement them, not to say move them on towards new innovations and to create genuine momentum in actions for the climate and the well-being of everyone.

“The investments projected for urban areas over the next three decades, which are estimated at $250,000 billion, will determine the capacity of future generations to develop while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. They represent an opportunity to redirect financial flows towards the creation of healthy, sustainable cities. By making wise choices, we can claim to be improving the quality of life of hundreds of millions of people and massively reduce the footprint of our way of life,” said Isabelle Autissier, President of WWF France.

Many areas of innovation for more sustainable cities

Cities are ecosystems consisting of numerous multiples levers for self-reinvention. The Reinventing Cities conference, which is only available by prior inscription, will discuss many of these levers in themed including the (re)introduction of nature into the city, reducing and recovering waste, initiatives by citizens, smart cities, the changing energy mix, mobility services and urban resilience and agriculture. Depending on each person’s areas of expertise, participants will be invited to choose which roundtable session(s) they would like to join.

“Strong governance, the commitment of citizens and innovation are the basis for the positive transformation of cities. Every player has his or her part in this. Through their driving force and their financial capacity, businesses have a duty to become fully-committed participants in the future of cities. This conference aims to set in motion a spirit of emulation between the various players active in the regions,” explained Marie-Christine Korniloff, Head of Corporate Engagement at WWF France.

“As a global player in construction and services, we are particularly concerned by the challenge of energy and the climate. Construction is an economic sector that can already offer solutions to the challenges posed by the transition towards more sustainable cities by devising solutions to lower the consumption and the emissions of existing buildings and neighbourhoods. Innovation and sustainable construction have been at the core of our model for many years. We dedicate them to developing new responsible lifestyles,” stated Marie-Luce Godinot, Director of Innovation and Sustainable Development at Bouygues Construction.

Often presented only on the level of collaborative effort, the transition towards sustainable cities is, on the contrary, an extraordinary project in which everyone can become involved. The development of transport services, the eco-construction and eco-renovation of buildings, the installation of networks for transmitting and harnessing renewable energies are just examples of potential green employment both in France and throughout the world.

Registration form available on

Press contacts:
Annabelle Ledoux  (+33) 1 5525 7726 - (+33) 6 1456 3739
Marielle Chaumien (+33) 1 5525 8461 - (+33) 6 1539 2495
Jessica Swiderski (+33) 1 3060 2805 - (+33) 7 6164 41461

About WWF
WWF is one of the very first independent environmental-protection organisations in the world. With an active network in more than 100 countries and the support of 5 million members worldwide, the WWF works to halt the destruction of the planet's natural environment and to build a future where people live in harmony with nature by protecting global biological diversity, ensuring sustainable use of renewable natural resources and encouraging the reduction of pollution and waste.
Since 1973, WWF France has worked every day to ensure future generations enjoy a living planet. With the support of its volunteers and its 200,000 donors, WWF France organizes concrete actions to save natural ecosystems and their species, ensure the promotion of sustainable lifestyles, train decision-makers, help businesses reduce their environmental footprint and educate the young. But for change to be accepted, it must take place in a manner that respects each individual. That is why the philosophy of the WWF is based on dialogue and action.

About Bouygues Construction
As a global player in construction and services, Bouygues Construction designs, builds and operates high-performance, energy-efficient buildings and structures which improve the quality of people’s living and working environments. From property development to services for end users, we meet each of our customers’ specific needs by ensuring that every operation we carry out is seen in terms of the totality of a building or structure’s lifecycle. Always keen to spot emerging trends, we innovate alongside partners whose expertise complements our own and we increasingly make connections with our stakeholders to create the solutions that will become the standard practices of tomorrow. And because the construction process plays a large part in creating the future, we have a long-term commitment to helping our customers shape a better life.

Press contacts

Mathieu Carré

+33 (0)1 30 60 66 39

Jessica Swiderski

+33 (0)1 30 60 25 37

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