Year 2020 is rather a strange year due to enormous impact of COVID-19 crisis that has changed the way of living of most people around the world. At the same time, the question of adequate housing became “a must” and moved to the center of many discussions around the globe which is overall a positive sign. Since in-person conferences are still not in the foreseeable, the discussion moved to the online space. Even though the online versions of conferences do not bring the benefit of personal meeting with various specialists and stakeholders, the conferences and enriching presentations, on the other hand, become more accessible for anyone who is interested in the topic. And so, there are many opportunities this month to learn more about energy efficiency and housing from different perspectives since many leading housing organizations considered October as the best time of the year to organize at least online form of their, some already postponed, events.
Sustainable Cities Week
The first week of October 2020, UN-ECE organizes exceptionally an in-person event Sustainable Cities Week in Geneva, Switzerland. The first day of this event is dedicated to discussion of SDG 11, its successes and challenges in implementation process. The second day belongs to The Forum of Mayors bringing together city leaders from Europe, North America, Central Asia and Caucasus under this year’s topic “City action for a resilient future”. Next two days are reserved for the 81st Session of the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management to discuss the implementation of key international agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the New Urban Agenda and the Geneva UN Charter for Sustainable Housing. The last day belongs to the annual meeting of Sustainable Smart Cities.
FEANTSA Online Conference
FEANSTA Conference 2020 is another event held online in the first week of October. This is an online version of their annual conference that usually takes place in June. This online event will be composed of series of webinars running throughout the whole week. For each day, they prepared series of three one-hour webinars. The topics cover homelessness in various perspectives, talking about specific groupings of people, such as LGBTIQ, asylum seekers and refugees, working poor, women, youth… COVID-19 and its impact on the homelessness will be discussed as well, together with social enterprises, eviction prevention, housing first initiative and usage of EU Funds to combat homelessness.
Housing Europe Annual Conference
HOUSING EUROPE’s Annual Conference has been, too, moved to online world. The narrative of this high level event will be a bit unusual, ceasing from the price tags and financial issues connected to housing in big cities. Instead, it will be leading the focus toward much-neglected social value of housing.
The 15th Annual Session of Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards Ceremony
Another online event is organized between October 15 and 16, 2020 by Global Forum On Human Settlements as The 15th Annual Session of Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards Ceremony. The main theme of the event is Post-Pandemic Recovery and Transformation: Resilient Cities, Healthy Planet. Thematic Forum 2b will be on energy-efficient and sustainable housing prepared and hosted by UN-ECE.
The 18th European Week of Regions and Cities 2020
The last, but definitely not the least, October event is the three week series of online events under the 18th European Week of Regions and Cities 2020. Each week is dedicated to different topic, first being “Empowering citizens”, second on “Cohesion and Cooperation”, and the last on “Green Europe”. On Monday, 19 October, there will be a session on Energy efficiency: low-income households where Brussels-Capital Region, Ghent, Lille Metropole and Vienna will share their actions in upgrading the energy efficiency of existing buildings and alleviating energy poverty for low-income households.