Aarhus Centres have enabled the development of a new model and understanding whereby public institutions, local administrations, civil society organizations, and the private sector jointly address environmental challenges in their localities and seek solutions. The Centres have become a bridge between citizens and authorities. They work on a wide range of activities, including raising public awareness of environmental issues, disseminating environmental information, organizing public hearings, monitoring local environmental hotspots, providing legal advice to citizens and NGOs on environmental matters, and engaging youth and women in environmental initiatives. The specific priorities of each Aarhus Centre vary depending on the local needs - see bellow for a list of the main thematic areas.

Moreover, they are also more and more engaged at the regional and international level, through their active participation in international meetings, and transboundary consultation and decision making processes.