Innovating cities

The EU's innovating cities initiative promotes an integrated vision of innovative urban planning and design that involves citizens as 'city makers' who innovate and participate in governance and policymaking. Cities are nodes that bring together global networks of skills, knowledge, capital, public and private value. This makes cities critical to innovation.

The EU approaches research and innovation on smart and sustainable cities in an integrated way. This helps:

  • better co-ordinate, streamline and focus the existing and future research and innovation activities and initiatives on urban issues across Horizon 2020 and future framework programmes
  • enable a sustainable and systemic approach to innovation, by fostering co-creation, co-development and co-implementation with different players in EU cities and worldwide
  • develop new business and governance models, mobilise new partnerships and investments, and foster market uptake of visionary solutions and approaches to enhance urban resilience
  • provide the knowledge and evidence base to inform decision on investments in key infrastructure for cities and urban regions as well as to inform policy-making, planning and land use management

The initiative supports cities in putting open innovation into practice and in replicating innovative multi-stakeholder solutions across cities. 

Sharing solutions is crucial to accelerating the transition to sustainable, climate neutral, resilient, safe, healthy, and socially innovative cities.

What areas does it cover?

Research and innovation can deliver holistic and innovative solutions across a broad range of interlinked areas. These areas include

  • climate-resilient urban areas
  • clean energy and energy efficiency in smart cities
  • urban mobility
  • culture driven urban regeneration and adaptive reuse
  • health and wellbeing 
  • innovative human-centred urban planning and design
  • social innovation and inclusion
  • circular economy in cities

Source: Innovating cities - European Commission

Afbeelding credits

Icon afbeelding: WUR - Innovating Cities