The human centred city

Opportunities for citizens through research and innovation

Today, more than half of the world’s population live in urban areas. This is projected to increase to 80% by 2050. Cities and metropolitan regions are centres of encounter and economic activity, but also major contributors to global challenges. In this sense, European cities and cities around the world have a critical role to play in enabling humanity to meet the goals and targets set out by international policy frameworks such the COP21 Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Habitat III New Urban Agenda.

To do this, European cities will have to take prompt action and adopt just, equitable and fair transformational strategies and solutions. This High-Level Expert Group report provides a vision for European cities of the future and recommends how EU-funded research and innovation can assist cities in their transition towards a resilient, climate-neutral, smart, inclusive, prosperous and sustainable future. Across its four core chapters, ‘People’, ‘Place’, ‘Prosperity’ and ‘Resilience’, and its two cross-cutting ones on ‘Governance’ and ‘Measurement‘, the report emphasises the need for citizens to be involved in the conceptualisation, design and execution and dissemination of any research and innovation action. Such involvement will ensure a human-centred city transition that will provide equal opportunities for citizens and leave nobody behind. The report aims to trigger discussions among policy makers, EU institutions, the scientific community and society at large, and inspire strategic planning and investments within Horizon Europe and its dedicated Mission on ‘Climate-neutral and Smart Cities’.

Source: The human-centered city: Opportunities for citizens through research and innovation. 2019. Directorate-general for Research and Innovation (European Commission)