New Europe City Makers Summit

What happened these 4 days? Read more in this overview.

The Dutch Presidency of the EU, the first half of 2016, brought representatives of all thinkable governments, institutions and companies from across Europe to The Netherlands and particularly to Amsterdam. Meetings were scattered throughout the city, but especially the Maritime Museum and the new Europe-building on the old Navy grounds were places of encounter. To give the bottom up urban innovators, the City Maker, a voice in this story there was the New Europe City Makers Summit (27-30 May).

After the Pre-Summit (4 and 5 February), the Summit was the most important moment of meeting for City Makers from all over Europe. There came 600 of them from 150 cities to Amsterdam for these four days. Each of the four days had its own theme. Day 1 was all about meeting up again, day 2 to get more connected. Thereafter, the focus of day three was learning from each other and the fourth and final day was all about the actions that arise from this. An overview.

Dag 1 – WE MEET

The opening day of the Summit took place in Pakhuis de Zwijger and consisted of three parts. First there was the meeting of City Makers of the Nieuw Nederland and New Europe networks with an supporting program, after that there was a joint dinner and the day ended with the play of Lucas de Man.

Important part this opening day was also the presentation of the New Europe magazine # 1 to both Nicolaas Beets, Special Envoy of the Urban Agenda and Bert Koenders, Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Minister spoke also a fantastic speech in which he praised the strength of the City of Makers and their initiative mentioned as essential for the future of Europe.

City Makers


Day 2 was full of City Expeditions to Zwolle, Rotterdam, EindhovenUtrecht, Lelystad, Zaanstad, Den Haag and Maastricht. With help from the local City Embassies the local City Makers took us to some of the most inspiring initiatives in their own city.

The City Expeditions brought delegations from City Makers from The Netherlands and Europe to a wide variety of projects. Stories about design and architecture in Maastricht and Zaanstad, to a talk about co-creation and democracy in Zwolle and the search for social cohesion in Lelystad. In The Hague there was big attention for green, and in Eindhoven we visited a number of upcoming incubators.

In Rotterdam the program was curated by the re:Kreators network and the expedition in Utrecht went to the Campus Party and VerchtclubXL. Prominent participant on these two expeditions was Markku Markkula, the President of the Committee of the Regions.

City Expedition in Rotterdam.


Sunday was the moment that City Makers from all over Europe got the chance to discover the best initiatives of Amsterdam and meet the driving forces behind them on one of the six routes in Amsterdam. From the upcoming Noord to the busy Centrum, from West to Oost and from Nieuw-West to Zuidoost, in every part of the city there is inspiration.

Also this day the program ‘We Make Europe: Cities and City Makers enhancing the (Im)Pact of Amsterdam‘ was held at FabCity. It was a co-production of URBACT, Eutropian, Agora Europe, Pakhuis de Zwijger and the Committee of the Regions. This session was held in the context of the the ‘Urban Agenda for the EU’. This agenda argues that the EU should support European cities better by working on better regulation, better workable financial instruments and better knowledge exchange between cities. The aim of the session was to connect the City Makers Movement in the elaboration of this Urban Agenda for the EU and an extensive reporting on this session can be found here.

City Expedition in Oost.


On the fourth day of the New Europe City Makers Summit it was time for action. Charlot Schans, project manager of New Europe, and Amalia Zepou, vice mayor of Athens, presented the City Makers Agenda (The (Im)pact or Amsterdam) during the informal ministerial meeting on the ‘Urban Agenda for the EU.

The last day of the Summit was also the time that hundreds of City Makers came to Pakhuis de Zwijger to learn from each other, get new ideas and start new alliances. Through workshops, discussions and games new relationships were established between City Makers from all over Europe. From talks about new forms of democracy to a place making game and from a session on civic initiatives in Molenbeek to a programma about new funding models. And much more, all reports of this last day can be found here.

Later that day the news reached Pakhuis de Zwijger that the ‘Urban Agenda for the EU’ was adopted and that the contribution of the City Makers Movement is attached as annex. A very nice result, where it is important to stress that the City Makers start with their small-scale practice from the same sense of urgency in which from above the agenda is put together. It is therefore important to continue to improve cooperation between the City Makers and institutions in order to connect the innovative power that lives in the City Makers Movement better to the institutional world.