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EU Mission on Climate-neutral and Smart Cities

This mission wants to help 100 cities from all corners of the EU to become fully sustainable and smart

Programmes Climate, Energy, Mobility   Missions  

Published on | 1 year ago

Last updated on | 1 month ago

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Image of Sarah Stroobants
Sarah Stroobants

What the Mission deals with

Cities all over the world are growing in size and numbers which means more pollution unless we take action to reduce noise and environmental emissions. This way we can create cities with better quality of life through reduced urban environmental footprints, enhanced urban greening, reduced soil sealing and improved water management. In addition to these benefits, this mission also contribute to the overal target of 55% CO² emission reduction by 2030. 

Objectives of the mission

The Cities Mission is not just about the city council but also requires engagement and input from citizens, businesses, investors as well as regional and national authorities to achieve these 2 main objectives:

  1. Deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 
  2. Ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050 

As foreseen in its implementation plan, the Cities Mission takes a cross-sectoral and demand-led approach, creating synergies between existing initiatives and basing its activities on the actual needs of cities.

To deliver on the Mission's objectives, the EC will launch many other calls for proposals on innovative urban solutions which are open to everyone. This means that companies, academic organisations and researchers, non-profit organisations and so on can also take part. Additionally, the EC intends to facilitate synergies between the different European programmes. These synergies could be within Horizon Europe (such as between missions and clusters) as well as outside Horizon Europe (such as the Cohesion Fund or the ERDF-fund).

Cities Mission Implementation Plan

The Cities Mission Implementation Plan aims to be the operational blueprint for how the Commission will deliver on the main goal and the objectives of this Mission, providing an operational course of action.

100 selected cities

There was a general call published in 2021 for cities to show an expression of interest in becoming a climate-neautral and smart cities. Out of the 377 applications, the Commission announced on 28 April 2022 the 100 cities that will participate in the Cities Mission. The 100 cities come from all 27 Member States, with 12 additional cities coming from countries associated or in the process of being associated to Horizon Europe. 30 of these cities are considered to be the frontrunners and will receive extra attention from the European Commission.

The 100 selected cities are now being invited to develop Climate City Contracts. Climate City Contracts will be co-created with local stakeholders and citizens, with the help of a Mission Platform (managed by the project NetZeroCities). This Mission Platform should collaborates closely with existing initiatives, such as the Covenant of Mayors, JRC, and the Covenant Community Group of Cities Practitioners.

Open & Forthcoming calls

The calls for proposals are not only aimed at local authorities. Companies, universities, organisations can also be part of a consortium submitting a project. The open & forthcoming calls are available on the Funding and Tenders Portal. The Commission organised EU Missions Info Days on 17 & 18 January 2023. More information here.

What are Missions?

Find it out here.


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image of PBNv2 - a MSCA ITN in the field of automotive R&D

PBNv2 - a MSCA ITN in the field of automotive R&D

The Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Action (MSCA) European Innovative Training Network “PBNv2 - Next generation Pass-By Noise approaches for new powertrain vehicles” started in May 2017. Their research has the shared objective of investigating the possibilities to decrease pass-by noise of vehicles.

The project is a collaboration between 17 research institutions and companies in the European automotive R&D and provides a learning environment for 14 PhD fellows. The Belgian partner is the Noise and Vibration Research Group of KU Leuven, and this project is one of the many Horizon 2020 MSCA Innovative Training Networks that the KU Leuven research group participates in.