On May 22, the Director of The Institute of Reference in Europe on Forests, which is based in Finland, gave a lecture in Valldaura Labs about the potential of forests to be the material and conceptual origin of future cities developed around the Bioeconomy. The European Forest Institute is an international organization formed by European States, which conducts research and offers support policies on issues related to forests, and connecting knowledge with action.

During the conference, Marc Palahi began with an introduction to the history of cities as reference, and the need to develop an economy and a post-carbon urban model based on new principles and materials. Marc expanded on the opportunities of employing materials such as biofuels, textile fibers, nanocellulose, biochemicals or carbon fibers from linen to develop and sustain a more ecologically aware economy. Companies and organizations related with forests, innovation, energy, and urban development attended the talk, notably, the Consortium of Forest Science and Technology of Catalonia, the Consortium of the Collserola Park, The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, Endesa and the Smart City Expo.

During his talk Marc noted that there is a need to shift towards BioCities, because, just as we shape our cities, our cities also shape us. Understanding our forests, a vanguard pillar in the bio-economy, is the first step towards this. Accordingly, forests are a case study of the circular economy, from management of resources to the use of waste. Marc Palahi is an expert on these topics and has written many influential articles about adapting forest management to climate change, as well as ways to strengthen national forest policies and how forests serve water-related ecosystems.