Many of the challenges like economic, social and environmental that Europe is facing have strong urban aspect. The rapid population growth, climate change, loss of biodiversity, migration, unemployment and social exclusion are some of the major problems that are affecting the people living in urban environment such as the cities. Due to this very reason, the necessity of making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable is a global objective which requires innovative, holistic and people centred solutions.

In this regard, the European Commission has recently released a report “Innovating Cities Policy Report for EU R&I Sustainable Urban Development” which capitalises on 30 years of successful EU-funded research on sustainable urban development. The report relies on the analysis of a the knowledge, ideas and best practises from 41 EU-funded research projects.

The report also highlights the need for integrated policy research solutions to the existing societal challenges that can generate policy benefits and co-benefits simultaneously delivering socioeconomic, environmental, and political objectives for regional, local city authorities, civil society, political representatives, the private sector and industry.

In the report you can find highlights and outputs of 41 EU projects thematically structures according to the eight sections below:

  1. Climate adaptation and resilience.
  2. Sustainable land use and nature based solutions.
  3. Resource efficiency and circular economy.
  4. Air quality and health.
  5. Mobility.
  6. Energy transition including energy efficient buildings.
  7. Social cohesion, well being and diversity.
  8. Social innovation and citizen science.

At the end, the report presents the overall lessons learnt. Some of which you can find below:

  • Truly smart cities are reflections of the people who live, work, and create within them. Our cities and public spaces are integral to the arts, innovation, culture, democracy and sustainability.
  • There is also the need to recognise urban knowledge and social diversity as a capital.
  • Cities are the major contributors to challenges related to climate change, air quality, waste, health, transport, the economy, social cohesion, immigration, natural disasters and natural resources consumption.

To read the full report, click here.

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