What makes Ghent different

Ghent is ready to reinvent itselve to achieve its shared goals: more green, more renovations, less fossil fuels. How? By working together!

Smaller than other cities, more ambitious than many... When it comes to its social & fair climate plan, Ghent likes to do things its own way, ready to forge our own path through a changing world. This will make it possible to work together, with citizens, businesses and the support of local, Flemish and European resources to achieve great things.

  • The power of our citizens

    Only 25 years ago, Ghent was a dull and grey industrial harbour town with a bit forgotten historic centre. Ever since, we have worked hard on city renewal, starting with the inner city. As a result, Ghent has transformed into a vibrant, pocket-size metropolis. Our city offers the rare combination of small-town intimacy and big-city openness.

    Today we are well on our way to become futureproofed: which does not only mean climate neutral, but also fit for life. In other words: we want to be a city, created by and with the power of citizens. Without leaving anyone behind. Our mission is to make Ghent the best city to live in.

  • Bottom-up and co-creation

    In Ghent, we believe in taking initiative and REALLY working together. Whether you are citizen, entrepreneur, visitor, student or start-up. Nobody is left behind. We believe that the next big thing will be a lot of small things. All these things combined will make the difference in becoming a smart, sustainable and livable city. We often underestimate the collective wisdom that is present in our cities. That’s why we embrace all kinds of initiatives. Whether you call it triple or quadruple helix, it comes down to using all societal actors – civil servants, entrepreneurs, researchers, students and NGOS.

  • Upscaling citizen initiatives

    As local government we do not only encourage large industrial projects and investments, we also support start-ups and citizen initiatives. When these small-scale urban experiments prove to be effective, we upscale them. This is typical for Ghent.

  • Ready for the future

    We believe we are ready for the future. Following the Paris agreement, we were one of the first cities to sign the new, integrated Covenant of Mayors. Needless to say, the City of Ghent has an ambitious climate policy. Like many other cities, we are striving for climate neutrality by 2050. And by doing so we are also working hard to create a city that is healthy and livable. In order to turn this ambition into reality, we have translated our goals into a set of hands-on action plans.