December 28, 2022. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, will be celebrating its 700th anniversary next year. Therefore, to kick off the festive year, the city will host mayors of European and other world cities as well as other city officials and experts at an international conference, Champion Cities Summit 2023: Champions Think Bold, scheduled for January 24th, 2023, one day before the official anniversary, which will take place on January 25th.
“The 700th anniversary of Vilnius is important not only to Lithuania but the entire region of Europe, where cities are united in their support for democratic values, human rights, equal opportunities, innovation, and, most importantly, the fight for freedom, which Ukraine is currently fighting,” said Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius. “Many people talk about global challenges, and yet only real bold actions will bring change. Therefore, the summit will focus on leaders and how to learn from them, at the same time strengthening international partnerships and dialogue, sharing knowledge and best practices.”
The summit will offer a platform for city leaders to share their know-how on urbanism, green cities, intelligent mobility, diversity, and education. As well as to strengthen international partnerships, inspire bold ideas and urban visions, and engage in fruitful dialogues.
The event, launching the festive week, will be held in cooperation with Eurocities, a network of over 200 cities in 38 countries. The first part of the summit will follow the showcase of presentations, where leaders can share their outstanding good practices and success stories about their city transformations regarding climate change, youth involvement programs, education, and diversity.
Following the conference, attendees will be invited to discuss means to support Ukraine including helping the war refugees and rebuilding the destroyed infrastructure. Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv, is also expected to participate in the discussions.
Vilnius will also start celebrating the anniversary year with the annual Vilnius Light Festival on January 25th. The city will be lit with interactive installations by Lithuanian and international artists. The Old Town, the city center, squares, parks, bridges, and even churches will come alive with unique light designs. Therefore, the summit participants will be invited to enjoy the festival, tour Vilnius, and discover how the capital has transformed its urban spaces, implements environmentally friendly practices, and prepares for birthday celebrations.