2023 Annual POLIS Conference

The Annual POLIS Conference 2023 will take place on 29-30 November in Leuven, Belgium.

The Annual POLIS Conference is Europe’s leading sustainable urban mobility event, providing an opportunity for cities and regions to showcase their transport achievements to a large audience of mobility experts, practitioners, and decision-makers from both the public and private sector.

After a record-breaking edition in 2022, the POLIS Team and our Conference host and current President City of Leuven are glad to welcome you to another fantastic Conference.

The registrations and draft programme for the Annual POLIS Conference are finally available dive into our new digital platform and register before 30 September 2023!

The registrations for the Annual POLIS Conference 2023 are now open: visit our registration page to secure your spot at the early bird rate of EUR 310 — an offer valid up to 30 September 2023.

And what if you are a POLIS member? You will be pleased to know that three of your representatives may register for free for the Conference!

Discover all our ticket options and register below:

32 thought-provoking sessions, 2 unique plenaries

Across two days, the Annual POLIS Conference will offer a mix of plenaries, parallel sessions, and interesting site visits — we are once again bringing together the brightest minds, policymakers, industry leaders, and city and region representatives from around Europe and beyond to engage in 32 thought-provoking sessions and 2 unique plenaries.

For the latest PDF version of the programme, click here.

12 site visits to discover our host, Leuven

As part of our conference, our host city is offering a range of site visits, showcasing Leuven’s state-of-the-art urban mobility solutions as well as cultural highlights. These will take place on 30 November 2023.

From mobility hubs to the iconic Stella Artois brewery, do not miss this chance to be enthralled by Leuven’s urban mobility and cultural heritage!

Leuven, Belgium, is a mission-driven city that excels through inspiring governance models and the systems put in place for the public to innovate and get involved in critical decision-making processes.

Dynamic and diverse, Leuven is at the forefront of innovation: indeed, the European Commission awarded the city as the 2020 European Capital of Innovation for its unique cooperation model one that unites residents, institutions, and organisations and allows them to co-innovate, test, and apply groundbreaking solutions to fight climate change, foster the quality of life and education, and promote a sustainable, accessible, and inclusive mobility system.

Because of its cooperation model, the Belgian city and POLIS President has also received many accolades for mainstreaming accessibility.

“Our cooperation model, Leuven2030, is how citizens, companies, as well as research institutes, commit to sustainable mobility and focus on inclusive mobility”

— Deputy Mayor David Dessers.

Leuven 2030 is a non-profit organisation which convenes 600 local partners and civil society representatives, all working towards the goal of climate neutrality through small and large-scale actions and projects. An active Advisory Group also supports the organisation for disabled users and advises on the different mobility rights and supporting measures for disabled people.

Still curious about Leuven?

Read our interview with David Dessers and Tim Asperges on Thinking Cities. Read our latest interview with Tim Asperges along with other representatives from the Cities Mission POLIS members of Groningen, Gothenburg, and Ljubljana in our brand-new magazine Cities in motion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where and what can I find in the programme?

Our programme is available here. In it, you will find our complete and updated agenda for the 29 and 30 November, as well as information about venues, transport options, and accommodations.

Will bike rentals be available?

All participants will be able to rent a bike at a reduced price for 28, 29, and 30 November. The costs for renting a bike will be 15 EUR for a traditional bike and 25 EUR for an e-bike.

How will we reach the venue of the Conference from Leuven?

All conference participants will be offered a free direct bus shuttle service from Leuven’s railway station to Brabanthal, the conference venue, throughout the conference.

Are there available accommodations?

You can book your stay for #POLIS23 using the booking link provided by our partner RoomTrust. Alternatively, you may use the following Visit Leuven‘s resources: Hotels & similar accommodation, B&Bs & guesthouses, Hostels, Holiday rental, and Group accommodation.

I am a POLIS member — can I participate for free?

Only 3 of your representatives can participate for free — anyone else joining should pay EUR 310 before 30 September (early bird rate deadline) and EUR 410 after!

I am a journalist — are there Media tickets?

Journalists can join the POLIS Conference for free as long as they provide a copy of their press card or proof of profession to Alexia at acollignon@polisnetwork.eu.

I am a student — can I join the conference?

The Annual POLIS Conference is for everyone, and if you are an undergraduate student, you can benefit from our special student ticket rate (EUR 75). Send your student card to Alexia at acollignon@polisnetwork.eu!

How can I become one of your Sponsors?

Our Sponsorship package is available here. For further questions, please contact Alexia at acollignon@polisnetwork.eu.

I’d like to be kept in the loop on all things #POLIS23?

If you wish to receive updates about the conference directly in your inbox, contact Alessia at agiorgiutti@polisnetwork.eu.

Where is the #POLIS23 Style Guide?

You can find the POLIS and #POLIS23 Style Guide here. For inquiries about the Annual POLIS Conference Media kit  and communications, contact Alessia at agiorgiutti@polisnetwork.eu.

Become a Sponsor or Exhibitor for the Annual POLIS Conference

For the upcoming Annual POLIS Conference 2023, you may enhance the visibility of your organisation or initiative through one of our 12 Sponsorship and Exhibition packages: indeed, our Call for Sponsors and Exhibitors is now open – check it out and download our Sponsorship form to apply, too! 

We are happy to accommodate individual needs and develop a tailored sponsorship package that meets your expectations: do not hesitate to contact our Event Manager Alexia Collignon (acollignon@polisnetwork.eu) to find your perfect match!

FOCUS ON: Site visits

Capacity: 60 (4 groups)

Duration: 2,5 hours

Organised by: Mobility and Public Works departments, City of Leuven

In 2016, Leuven rolled out an ambitious traffic circulation plan in the city centre, in combination with an impressive upgrade of its public space. This resulted in an increase of cycling in the urban core from 34% to 48% of all trips. This tour will show you Leuven’s complete makeover of urban space, with both temporary and permanent measures for traffic circulation. It focuses on the Leuven approach to reallocating space in favour of sustainable transport modes (walking, cycling, public transport) with traffic safety through traffic calming as a cornerstone.

Capacity: 20

Duration: 2,5 hours

Organised by: Mobility Department, City of Leuven

In the cycling city of Leuven, the basis for more cycle use is increasing bicycle ownership. A diverse range of high-quality bicycle parking facilities supports this goal and will be visited on this tour. Leuven also offers high-quality (e-)shared mobility services, including carsharing, cargo bike sharing and bike sharing, at more than 40 mobility hubs (Hoppin Points) all over the city.

Capacity: 40 (2 groups)

Duration: 2,5 hours

Organised by: Province of Flemish Brabant

Leuven is located in the heart of the cycle highway network in Flanders, with connections to all surrounding cities. Together with the province of Flemish Brabant, the city is developing cycle highways to form the backbone of the cycle network in and around the city. During a bike ride along the F24 cycle highway, you will experience top-quality cycling infrastructure and witness the integration of a cycle highway in an urban environment. Cycle tunnels, cycle bridges and cycle streets connect infrastructure along the railways, bringing cyclists straight to the heart of the city.

Capacity: 40 (2 groups)

Duration: 2,5 hours

Organised by: The New Drive

This technical visit will take you on a discovery tour around Leuven’s station area. Using a serious game, you will get to know MaaS and (shared) mobility in Leuven in a smooth and accessible way. The Mobility Safari gives you the chance, with a specially compiled toolbox with maps and apps, to ‘hunt’ for different types of shared mobility: spot them, use them and photograph them! There are also missions concerning other mobility solutions. How does bicycle parking work? How do you buy tickets?… The aim is to observe, feel and use the MaaS ecosystem.

Capacity: 40 (2 groups)

Duration: 2,5 hours

Organised by: Mobiel 21, Telraam.net, Transport & Mobility Leuven

During this walk or bike tour, locals will guide you through the bustling city of Leuven. You’ll encounter state-of-the-art infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. You’ll interact with citizen scientists who count traffic in their street and meet novices who are taking their first cycling classes. You’ll discover how Leuven, through technology, infrastructure and social programmes, embraces sustainable mobility and turns climate ambitions into action. Join us to get inspired!

Capacity: 40 (2 groups)

Duration: 2,5 hours

Organised by: Mobility Department, City of Leuven, Cargovelo, Ninatrans

This visit will show which initiatives are running and in the pipeline to consolidate and green urban city logistics. This includes  Leuven’s Ecozone, the parcel lockers at MobiHubs, the city distribution centre CityDepot, future dynamic access control and flex curb management initiatives, and Stella Artois brewery’s green logistics interventions.

Capacity: 45 (3 groups)

Duration: 2,5 hours

Organised by: Departments of Neighbourhood Development and Public Works, City of Leuven

The city of Leuven is running a citizens engagement programme ‘Kom op voor je Wijk’, in which citizens are guided through a co-creation process. When redeveloping urban space, we also try to make room for nature-based solutions in relation to mobility interventions. In the Constantin Meunierstraat, a temporary installation is testing what implications mobility changes can have for the neighbourhood, whilst making room for green spaces. During this tour, you will explore various realised (temporary) redesigns of streets and squares as a prelude to the future.

Capacity: 45 (3 groups)

Duration: 2,5 hours

Organised by: Urban Planning and Sustainability Department, City of Leuven

Sustainable urban development in Leuven is visible throughout the city. This technical visit will take you on a walk through the lower town. The area is an old industrial site that over the last two decades has been transformed into a residential district, paying particular attention to sustainable mobility, energy, greening, biodiversity, etc.

Capacity: 100

Duration: 1,5 hours

Leuven has all the vibes of a big city diverse and creative, trendy and full of life, with a world-renowned history and university. But Leuven is also pleasantly small. This makes it really easy to explore the city on foot and experience it to the fullest. This tour will take you along the must-see highlights of the historic city centre, not only including the fairy-tale city hall, but also many other gems and hidden corners.

Capacity: 25

Duration: 2 hours

Leuven is completely intertwined with beer given its numerous pubs and cosy restaurants, as well as local breweries. Beer connoisseurs will take you on a unique beer walking tour etc., including some local beer tasting. As a beer enthusiast, you will not be left thirsty in Leuven.

Capacity: 30

Duration: 2 hours

The M Museum Leuven is hosting a major international retrospective exhibition starring Dieric Bouts. Never before have so many works by this Flemish Master been brought together in his hometown. What’s more, you get a whole new perspective on an oeuvre of over five centuries old through a radical encounter with today’s visual culture. Guided tour.

Capacity: 60

Duration: 2 hours

Stella Artois is part of the world’s largest brewery concern, AB InBev, and is still firmly rooted in its home base Leuven. Take part in the new interactive guided tour, experience the brewery in action, and enjoy a tasteful Stella Artois after your visit. In short, experience beer in its purest form!


Diamond Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors