is involved in the global agendas for a more sustainable world. It supports the Brussels-Capital Region's initiatives for the international promotion of cities and urban issues. Within its scope of activities, it also takes part in the international networks of cities along with the Brussels Region’s exchanges and international projects.

Global agendas in relation to urban development’ action is enshrined in the global agendas that provide cities with the guidance to be followed in terms of urban development:

  • The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), adopted in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and more specifically, Goal 11 ‘Sustainable cities and communities’;
  • The New Urban Agenda (NUA) adopted at the Habitat III United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (2016) which sets out standards for more sustainable cities in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal number 11;
  • The Paris Agreement on Climate, COP 21, approved in 2015, which establishes a framework to keep global warming below 2°C, with an implication for urban planning given the important role of cities (and particularly urban spread) in CO2 emissions.

International collaboration on statistics, through the Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA), works with its federal and regional partners on the statistical definition of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

The BISA also follows the work of the UN Statistical Commission, which brings together the directors of the statistical institutes of the Member States and thereby keeps abreast of international statistical standards and recommendations.

Participation in the Brussels Region’s bilateral cooperation

The Brussels-Capital Region has around thirty bilateral cooperation agreements with cities and regions across the world. These are managed by Brussels actively contributes to these agreements on the subjects of territorial development, urban planning and statistics.

Thus, for example, and the Brussels Regional Informatics Centre (BRIC) are supporting the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra Region (Morocco) to set up a new regional observatory of territorial dynamics. This cooperation with the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra Region is reflected through the organisation of workshops and training courses, providing technical assistance and sharing experiences.

Cooperation with Chile on school infrastructure is also involved, through its School Service, in a cooperation with the University of Bío-Bío (UBB) in Chile and the Chilean Ministry for Education in developing a new standards framework for the school infrastructure in Chile. This partnership includes various working and discussion sessions such as the international school lab, dedicated to the school of the future rooted in society.

Metropolis network's « Sustainable Cities Collaboratory » project is part of the Sustainable Cities Collaboratory pilot project. Launched as part of the Metropolis network and coordinated by Berlin, this project brings together 12 metropolis from five continents, including Brussels.

The objective is to test a methodology developed by the University of Western Sydney to improve the integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the principles of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) in urban policies.

In practical terms, the Sustainable Cities Collaboratory project aims to create a network of experts in terms of sustainability, establish the principles of sustainable urban development that are suited to different geographical contexts and challenges and draft practical guidelines for the implementation of such principles.

Exchanges with other cities and regions contributes to exchanges with other cities and regions worldwide through workshops or field visits, in Brussels or abroad such as in Guangzhou, Guangdong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Taipei.

It is also active at international conferences such as the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the Urban Future Global Conference, the Forum sur l’urbanisme scolaire de Montréal, the Child in the City Conferences and even the OECD Conference on National Urban Policy.

International networks is a member of several international urban development networks.

ISOCARP : has been a member of ISOCARP since 2017, a reference professional association in terms of urban development. Specifically, it held two ISOCARP workshops in Brussels (in 2015 and 2017) and attends the annual world congresses where it presents Brussels' urban projects and discusses planning issues with international experts. In 2016, the Brussels-Capital Region received the ISOCARP Award for Excellence in urban planning for the Region’s canal plan. In october 2022, Brussels will host the annual ISOCARP Congress.

Metropolis : the Brussels-Capital Region is a member of the Metropolis global network, which enables major cities and metropolitan areas to connect and share experiences so as to provide a better response to local and global challenges and act as a lever to promote urban and metropolitan issues at a global level. Within this framework, is involved in the Sustainable Cities Collaboratory pilot project, implementing metropolitan indicators as part of the Metropolis Observatory, training on the Sustainable Development Goals and attending various conferences.

Plateforme francophone des Agglomérations: takes part in the Platform’s annual symposium. It brings together researchers and urban planners from the French-speaking world for a better understanding of the issues and developments associated with urban areas.

IABR : in 2016 and 2018, was involved in the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), a platform that aims to generate real change in the world and society through architecture and design. In 2016, co-produced the ‘The productive City BXL’ workshop and the ‘A good city has industry’ exhibition; and in 2018, ‘The missing link: Brussels’ programme and exhibitions.

Guangzhou Award for Urban InnovationGuangzhou Award for Urban Innovation: within the framework of the Guangzhou Award for Urban Innovation, which recognises urban innovation for the benefit of more sustainable cities and regions, competed for an award (2016 and 2018), welcomed the award Secretariat on a field trip to Brussels (2017) and collaborated on a workshop on the theme of urban transport (2017). The Brussels-Capital Region was a finalist at the Guangzhou Award for Urban Innovation in 2016 with three projects (Territorial marketing of the canal, Greenbizz and Abattoirs 2020). In 2018, it reached the semi-final of the Ghangzhou International Award for the Canal Plan project.