IOPD held its 20th Conference's Virtual Week

The IOPD organised the virtual sessions of the 2021 Conference from 29 November to 2 December.

In collaboration with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and IOPD promoting members, three sessions were held covering the main thematic priorities of our network, as well as the annual General Assembly.



The first session focused on the role of citizen participation in ecological transformation, one of the main lines of work of the IOPD. The meeting began with an official opening by the Deputy Mayor of Cocody Nelly Ouassenan, representing the Mayor and IOPD's President; Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of UCLG; and Marc Serra, Secretary General of the IOPD and Barcelona City Councillor. 


The Secretary General of UCLG moderated the first part of the panel in which different mayors such as José Manuel Ribeiro from Valongo or Peter Jansson from Åre, elected representatives and city officials presented their experiences and reflections on the importance of incorporating the citizen's view and collaboration in the ecological transformation of cities and territories. Mayor Ribeiro pointed out that "we cannot be afraid to involve citizens, more and more people need challenges, which are seen as dreams".


Rodrigo Messias, UCLG policy officer moderated the second part of the panel, in which other local government representatives and experts participated. Different experiences and models were presented, highlighting that citizen participation is indispensable to achieve a just and successful ecological transition.


Report on the session


Video of the session Citizen participation in ecological transformation:

The second session organised on November 30, revisited local democracy through the different strategies, mechanisms and plans to revitalise it. Mayors, councillors, local government representatives and experts shared their experiences to strengthen democracy, trust in institutions and civic dialogue from the local level. From participatory budgets to citizens' assemblies chosen by draw, through culture as a pillar of this democratic renewal, a variety of examples were presented.


In the words of Marc Serra, secretary general of the IOPD and Barcelona City Councillor, "at a time when difficult decisions have to be taken as a government, unpopular decisions or decisions that involve giving up, we can take out the decisions of the party system and bring them to citizens'."


Report on the session


Video of the session revisiting local democracy :


The session municipalism, social movements and feminist approaches, organised with the UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, took place on December 1st. Women mayors, councillors and other representatives of local governments and social movements shared in two panels on cities and municipalism from a gender approach and feminist municipalism. The importance of incorporating social movements in the new municipalism was also evoked.  


To quote Gissela Chalá, deputy mayor of Quito: "It is necessary to reorganise cities from a feminist approach, caring cities that guarantee rights, and raise the opportunity for the social construction of habitat, giving priority to the common good and good living".


Report on the session


Video of the session municipalism, social movements and feminist approaches :

The IOPD General Assembly chaired by Jean-Marc Yace, mayor of Cocody and Clara Brugada, mayor of Iztapalapa closed this week of virtual activities. Eric Piolle, mayor of Grenoble took over the presidency of the network and presented the 21st IOPD Conference which will take place from 7 to 10 December 2022 in Grenoble.


This internal membership meeting presented the management reports, discussed the work plan for 2022 and various governance issues of the network. The Tunisian city of Sfax joins the IOPD coordination committee with Barcelona, Cocody, Grenoble, Iztapalapa, Montréal and Valongo.


Finally, the city of Rio de Janeiro was elected by secret ballot through platform to host the 2023 IOPD conference.