Summit 2021

Summit 2021 in Copenhagen - Denmark

After the Covid-19 pandemic, the Smart Cities & Sport is delighted to resume its activities. The eighth edition of the Smart Cities & Sport Summit will be held  on November 22-24, 2021, in Copenhagen Denmark. In order to guarantee your active participation, you will be able to register for the on-site or online Summit.

The Summit is a unique conference targeting representatives of cities and regions across the world willing to develop smart strategies that connect sport and cities.
This is an exclusive opportunity to learn from industry experts, share best practices and connect with the international sports world.

The Smart Cities & Sport Network provides a high-level and prestigious platform for the exchange of ideas and experience among cities of all sizes.

Register now

November 22-24, 2021

Information about Covid-19 pandemic

This year is very particular and therefore, due to the current circumstances, the Smart Cities & Sport will offer many options to take part in the 2020 Summit. If you have already registered for the on-site Summit you will be fully refunded. Do not hesitate to contact you :

Programme Summit 2021


After a difficult time for all of us, we are very excited to meet again, in person. For discussing projects, inspiring one another, sharing ideas and working to build the cities of today and tomorrow, there is nothing better than coming together at the Smart Cities & Sport Summit! 

Hosted in Copenhagen, an inspiring, pioneer city in terms of sport, the 2021 Smart Cities & Sport Summit will focus on strategies that encompass all policies in alignment with one vision: Building cities together through sport. From sport policy to urban development through health improvement and social integration, Copenhagen widens our field of possibilities!

Tuesday, November 23

Morning session 9:00-12:30 CET

Welcome Words

Welcome to the 8th edition of the Smart Cities & Sport Summit to be held for the first time in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Session 1 | Building Healthy Communities

Health has been at the top of all agendas for the last eighteen months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although an end to the crisis is hoped for and expected, health remains a major challenge for cities. Sport contributes to building the healthiest people and communities, both at individual and collective levels. How can cities, thanks to the close proximity with their inhabitants, activate a virtuous circle between sport and health?

The Toolbox | How can Cities Help Make Their Citizens Physically Active ?

Cities share concrete and inspiring experiences on how they managed to engage and maintain their population in sport and physical activity through innovative solutions, unexpected programmes or traditional methods.

Coffee & Networking Break 10:45 - 11:15 CET

Session 2 | Building Inclusive Cities

Cities are more than just individuals living next to each other or distinct areas positioned on a map. Cities are about social interaction, and even more, about integration and social cohesion. How can cities offer a level playing field for everyone and provide access to sport activities and facilities for all in order to generate inclusion, fight against discrimination of all types and foster sustainable living together?

Networking Lunch 12:30 13:30 CET

Afternoon session 13:30-17:00 CET

Sessions 3 | Building The Next Generation

The youth are our future. Today’s youth are more acutely aware than previous generations about the challenges faced by our societies, and our planet as a whole, are facing, from health to climate. How can cities use sport to drive changes and to involve the youth?

The Voice of the Youth | Building Tomorrow’s Cities Through Sport and Youth Sport Events

The time has come to listen the voice of the youth and to understand their expectations for the sports policies of cities. A focus on youth sports events will provide insights into cities’ strategies for hosting youth sport events. This can include social, cultural, and art events organised by host cities, that promote mutual understanding, sharing of experiences and friendships that transcend borders and differences. 

Coffee & Networking Break 15:30 - 16:00 CET

Session 4 | Building Liveable Cities 

While a sedentary lifestyle causes increasing problems, buildings and other urban facilities such as stairs, sidewalks, cycle paths, streets and parks can be thought of and designed to promote physical activity. How can sport and physical activity be included within urban development plans to shape the city differently and consciously in order to offer pleasant and joyful sport opportunities?

Wednesday, November 24

Morning session 9:00-13:00 CET

Highlights on Tokyo 2020 | A Look back at an “Extra-ordinary” Olympic Games

Session 5 | Building Partnerships: IFs Have The Floor!

Cities are the treasure chests where most sports events are organised. Hosting sports events implies high-level facilities as well as a thoughtful events strategy linked with tourism, economic development, mobility policies, environment concerns and legacy objectives. But nothing is possible without strong partnerships with sports federations and event organisers. The recent period has deeply disrupted both the existing benchmarks and the anticipated schedules. In a post-Covid landscape, how do cities and IFs set up major sporting events according to the “new norm”? What is the future of major event hosting?

Market Place & Coffee Break 10:30 - 11:30 CET

Session 5 | Building Legacy

Events, either major or of a smaller dimension, are not a “one-shot” for cities even if they happen only once. Through events, cities aim to build a long-lasting legacy for their citizens. How can sport events boost the economy and tourism, contribute to improvements of facilities, be a driver for education, sensitization to health or environmental issues, and generate emotions and memories? 

Networking Lunch 13:00 14:15 CET

Tuesday, November 23

Morning session 9:00-11:00 CET

Partnerships for the Goals: How can cities, international sports federations and international organisations work together to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

This kick-off session will aim to briefly introduce the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda 2030. It will also launch a discussion on the potential for sport and its stakeholders (mainly cities and international federations) to contribute to the successful achievement of these Goals. Finally, the development of solid and inventive partnerships will be addressed, as they will be key to the success of this ambition.

Peace and Sport: How to shape better cities through sport?

The role of sport in peace-building is one of the most highly debated areas in sport and development, as many limit its contributions to the post-conflict phase. However, the scope of action can be much broader, as sport has proven to be a genuine tool for social integration regardless of a country’s political stability.

How can cities build a better and more peaceful environment for their citizens through sport?

Afternoon session 13:00-15:00 CET

Cities & SDGs: What is the potential of sport in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?

National governments alone cannot achieve the ambitious goals of the 2030 Agenda – but cities and regions can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most people live and work in cities, and urbanisation continues to grow all over the world, with 70% of the global population expected to live in cities by 2050. Moreover, in many countries, cities and regions have core competencies for policy areas underlying the SDGs. What role can cities play in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through sport? And how can cities develop SDG-based strategies that increase revenues and brand awareness while contributing to the common good?

Youth Empowerment: How to best empower youth through sports events?

For some time, cities have been investing heavily in policy development for the education of young people through sport – often hosting sports events attractive to this segment of the population.

At the same time, many international federations are looking for new ways to engage young people; both through educational programmes and new formats for their events, while international organisations have lengthy experience in developing youth empowerment programmes. 

What are the best ideas for empowering the next generation through sport?

Evening session 18:00-20:00 CET

Innovation: How to facilitate a general increase in physical activity? 

In recent years, the way people engage in sports has changed. While in the past, sports clubs and associations were quite popular and regularly frequented, today people prefer the freedom to practice the sport they want, when and where they want – undermining the traditional model of sport developed by most cities around the world.

What are the avenues of innovation to be explored in response to people’s new way of engaging in sport?

Sport Events and Revenues: A new business model for the post-COVID-19 world? 

The sports events industry has historically proven to be rather recession-proof. Most major sports organisations weathered the economic fallout of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the financial crisis in 2008. However, the COVID-19 crisis has forced the cancellation or postponement of sporting events – and this extraordinary situation has had and will continue to have serious financial consequences for all parties involved.

Could this crisis be seen as an opportunity to conceive a new and more sustainable business model?

Wednesday, November 24

Morning session 9:00-11:00 CET

Sport During a Pandemic: How can we break down the barriers to sport?

At the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, more than three-quarters of the world’s population was confined to their homes. But this reality was not experienced in the same way by everyone. While many innovative solutions have enabled some people to maintain regular physical activity, others were forced to give up the practice of sport.

How can we reduce these inequalities of access to sport? And how can we encourage people to stay active, when sport can be an effective way to limit the impact of future health crises? 

The Toolbox: Smart cities in action

Three sports cities share inspiring stories.

Leadership Skills

An expert shares several hints for fine-tuning your leadership skills.

Afternoon session 13:00-15:00 CET

Keynote address

A leading figure in sport shares his view on the current state of sport in the world.

Sustainability & Legacy:  How can sports events help to mitigate short-term impacts on the environment and to leverage longer-term impacts for meaningful change? 

By their very nature, major sports events cannot be seen as positive for the environment. They typically involve large scale international travel, extensive use of energy resources and considerable on-site waste. However, over the last decade, many sports stakeholders have played an important role in minimising their carbon footprint and using their widespread influence to promote environmental causes and practices in the long-term.

While sport cannot be expected to completely close-up shop in the name of the environment, how can sports events innovatively  reduce their short-term impacts on the environment while leveraging their long-term positive impacts?

The Toolbox: Smart cities in action

Three sports cities share inspiring stories.

Leadership Skills

An expert shares several hints for fine-tuning your leadership skills.

Evening session 18:00-20:00 CET

Gender Equality:  Is gender equality in sport a new development in cities’ policies on sport? 

The COVID-19 crisis could lead to a paradigm shift for women’s sport. While some believe that women’s participation in sport will decline due to a potential drop in private financial support, others believe the opposite, as the crisis could lead to a shift in public investment towards sport for all.

What are the possible levers for action to ensure that women’s sport becomes part of the solution to the current crisis?

Is gender equality in sport a new development in cities’ policies on sport?

Event Hosting:  How to leverage sport events for the development of ‘active’ tourism? 

Over the past decade, a new type of tourism has emerged.  People want to be physically active while traveling, whether going for a Sunday morning run or enjoying a full week of sports activities. As a result, cities around the world have begun to use sporting events to market themselves as “active” in order to attract sports tourists.

How can cities best use sporting events to attract active tourists – whether before, during or after the event? 

Call for projects

Around the world, cities are finding new, ingenious ways of making sports accessible to their populations during these unprecedented times. What projects is your city implementing which feature sport as a catalyst for positive change?
We want to hear from you and share your story in order to inspire other cities to make a difference too!

Take the opportunity to be featured in our monthly newsletters or quarterly publications, and to present your project on stage at our Summit next October by contacting us at or on our social media channels!


The Summit will provide a high-level and prestigious platform for the exchange of ideas and experience among cities of all sizes.


With the full package, you will enjoy the following benefits :

Early bird fee: 650 CHF
Available until September 27th, 2021

Online registration: 99 CHF
Only streaming conferences and Delegate App

Become a Member

The Smart Cities & Sport Network is growing! Become a Member and get 50% discount on on-site registration fee and 3 free accesses to the online Summit.

Membership fee: 250 CHF/year

Get a discount!

Register now and benefit
from an early bird discount at the 2021 Smart Cities & Sport Summit

Full registration fee for only 650 CHF

The 2020 Summit in Lausanne is quickly approaching!

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Lilamani de Soysa

IWG Board

Lilamani De Soysa is located between Tokyo, Japan and Lausanne, Switzerland and she is highly involved in the work for the Women in Sport movement. She implemented the International Table Tennis Federation’s Women’s Development Programme, which later won a Sport Accord Award and she also initiated a Women and Sport Management seminar, held in Lausanne. Lilamani holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Lausanne. Currently, she is Co-Opted Expert on the IWG Global Executive specialising in international sport relations and development.

Dejan Crnek

Deputy Mayor, City of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Dejan Crnek was born in Ljubljana and he discovered his personal life motto mostly through sports and working with people. At the age of fifteen, he had already become a guide at the oldest sports association in Slovenia, the Narodni Dom, and later on managed groups at summer and winter field trips to nature. Mr. Crnek studied at the Faculty of Sport in Ljubljana and worked as an elementary and secondary school teacher. Later, he founded a company together with a friend – he still works there.

Felicite Rwemarika

IOC Member, Member of Sport and Active Society Commission

Felicite Rwemarika is the First Vice-President of the Rwandan Olympic Committee and a Member of Sport and Active Society Commission since 2017 where she advises on all activities of the Olympic Movement that are related to using sport to improve physical activity in the population. With a background in nursing, business and hospitality from Rwanda, Felicite is highly engaged in sports on the national and international level. Besides her engagement as an IOC member, she organises international conferences on gender equality through sport for social change and represents the AKWOS (Association of Kigali Women in Sports) as Founder, Chair and legal representative.

Daichi Suzuki

Commissionner, Japan Sports Agency

Daichi Suzuki is a former elite swimmer having won – among others - an Olympic Gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. He also holds a Ph.D. in Medicine and worked as a professor in the Department of Health and Sports Science at the Juntendo University in Japan. From 2013 – 2015, Prof. Suzuki was the President of the Japan Swimming Federation (JSF). Since 2013, he is the President of the Olympians Association of Japan (OAJ) and his currently working as a Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency.

Host City - Copenhagen 2021

Copenhagen – Denmark

Host City of the Smart Cities & Sport Summit 2021

Copenhagen, the cultural capital of the North.

With an abundance of world-renowned museums, music venues, festivals and historical sites, Copenhagen is full of character. And among the picturesque cobbled squares, canals and copper spires, the city boasts the best shopping, restaurants and nightlife in Northern Europe.

With a metropolitan population of 1.3 million, Copenhagen is the most populous city in Scandinavia.

For more information about Copenhagen and things to do in Denmark, check out here.

Smart Cities & Sport Summit Venues

Official Hotel

Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center ****

The Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center, designed by the architect Kim Utzon, is conveniently located in central Copenhagen within walking distance of the city’s many attractions, like Tivoli Gardens and the Harbour.

Tivoli Hotel & Congress website

Welcome Cocktail

Copenhagen City Hall

The building is situated on The City Hall Square in central Copenhagen. It is – with its 105,6 meters to the top of the tower – one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen, and offers a great view over the city.

It was built in the years 1892-1905 and was designed by the architect Martin Nyrop in the National Romantic style, drawing inspiration from the Siena City Hall, Italy. 

City Hall website

Gala Dinner

Langelinie Pavillonen

Langelinie Pavillonen is situated next to the Little Mermaid in beautiful surroundings. The listed building holds Danish architecture icons such as Henning Larsen and Arn Jacobsen.

The venue offers the best of Copenhagen food and drink with a unique location by the water. Summit participants will arrive by boat. 

Langelinie Pavillonen website


Participants flying to Switzerland are recommended to Geneva Airport. 

It is possible to transfer from the airport to Lausanne with the train or taxi. Tickets can be purchased directly at the airport.

For more information, please visit here.

Lausanne is a key station in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, located on the Geneva-Zurich line. Two trains an hour run to these cities, and there are also services to Bern, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Sion, Bienne and Basel.

SBB | Swiss Railway
DB | German Railway
SNCF | French Railway

Metro (M2) will take you from the Lausanne railway station to Délices in 3 minutes. Then, you need to cross the street and the Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa is located just in front of the metro station.

Map of the Smart Cities & Sport Summit Site
Lausanne public transport online timetable

Lausanne is the point where the motorway networks meet up in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa are ten minutes from the freeway exit “Lausanne Maladière” and have parking spaces for 846 vehicles.

Routing to Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa
Car Parks Ouchy

Information about Copenhagen

Travel to Copenhagen

With non-stop flights from 190+ international destinations, 41 intercontinental routes and more than 4,900 weekly departures and arrivals*, Copenhagen Airport is Scandinavia’s largest airport and accessible from anywhere in the world.  

Copenhagen airport has a terminal exclusively for low-cost carriers that services 10 low-cost airlines. Together they offer 96 low cost routes that account for approximately 20% of total scheduled services*. 

Copenhagen Airport has both metro and train stations conveniently located in the arrival hall.  

Trains run to Copenhagen Central Station every 10 minutes at a travel time of 14 minutes. The Copenhagen Metro runs around the clock and gets you from the airport to the city centre in just 12 minutes. 

If one prefers staying on the ground, Copenhagen is well-connected to the rest of Europe through the extensive European highway network and the Öresund Bridge, which provides easy road and train access to Sweden. 

On this note, we encourage the reduction of carbon emissions through railway travel as Copenhagen is well-connected to the rest of Europe by train.

Visa and entry requirements

Denmark is a member of the European Union, which means travel to and from the country is governed by EU law. Therefore, different entry requirements may apply for delegates depending on travel origin and nationality. However, most event participants will not need a visa to visit Denmark. 

If you are travelling to Denmark from a European country, it usually does not require a visa. However, there are few exceptions. As such, we recommend that you consult the website of the Danish Immigration Service to verify if you are exempted from the visa requirements or if you need a visa to enter Denmark.  

If you are visa exempt, you normally have the right to spend a maximum of 90 days in Denmark without contacting the Danish Immigration Authorities. If you need a visa to enter Denmark, it is recommended that you lodge your application as early as possible. The application cannot be submitted earlier than three months before the expected date of arrival in Denmark.  

You can apply for a short term visa in Denmark here. 

It is the responsibility of the participants to obtain a visa if needed. If the visa is not granted on time, the cancellation policy will be applied.


November temperatures range from 4°C (39°F) at night (minimum night temperature) to 7°C at daytime (44°F) (maximum day temperature).

For the current weather forecast, please click here.

Time Zone

Copenhagen Standard Time Zone


Electricity / Plugs

Denmark uses the two-pin continental plug and operates on 230 volts and 50Hz (cycles) AC.

Entrance authorisation for Denmark related to the health conditions

Entry into Denmark is allowed if the purpose is to attend a business meeting. The visitor must be able to present written evidence and, in some cases, a proof of a negative COVID-19 test. 

Keep updated on the current restriction for travel to Denmark here.

Discover our new publication!

Sport Tourism (R)evolution

In line with Smart Cities & Sport’s role as a knowledge exchange platform and catalyst for change, this new publication aims to shed light on how best to combine sport and tourism as a catalyst for cities to achieve their goals, be they economic, social or environmental.
The publication starts with key facts and figures on the industry from the tourism sector including sport tourism. It also defines sport tourism – “leisure-based travel participate in and/or watch physical activities or to visit attractions associated with physical activities” – and the role cities canplay in this sector.

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Previous editions of the Smart Cities & Sport Summit

2020 Summit

Virtual Event

2019 Summit

Tokyo – Japan

2018 Summit

Lausanne – Switzerland

2017 Summit

Montréal – Canada