Following the unprovoked Russian war of aggression on Ukraine in February 2022, millions of people were forced to leave their homes and look for safety, assistance and protection in neighbouring countries and beyond. As a result of this crisis, many cities, organisations and initiatives from Europe and further stepped in and took action, including the Intelligent Cities Challenge which ignited the following supporting initiatives:
- A consultation survey with ICC cities to identify major city challenges, needs and measures to support refugees’ integration and mitigate the impact to the local economy and society was launched. The objective is to support both the refugees and the cities affected, through collecting intelligence on good examples, identifying potential gaps for policy actions and peer learning among cities. The report covers findings based on feedback collected from 12 participating ICC cities and desk research.
- A dedicated session looking at cities’ response to Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine was held at the 5th City Lab. This offered cities the opportunity to gather and hear from the ICC cities of Poznan (Poland), Aarhus (Denmark) and Leuven (Belgium) on the main challenges they faced, their responses and learnings.
- A space for cities to share their experiences and solutions for addressing this crisis. This includes a presentations from Poznan and Aarhus on work and integration in their respective cities and Leuven’s #FreeSpace initiative.