The EU’s NetZeroCities Pilot Cities initiative recently announced the 53 cities that will participate in experimenting with new ways to rapidly decarbonize over the course of a two-year program. The Pilot Cities program is managed by the Mission Platform of the EU Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities (EU Cities Mission), and is an important part of accomplishing the objectives of the EU Cities Mission to have 112 climate neutral cities by the year 2030.
The cities will act as living labs for taking systemic, inclusive, and multi-level approaches to transforming city systems. The pilot cities’ activities will be supported by €32m in grants from the NetZero Cities project, which manages the Mission Platform. The grants are funded by Horizon 2020 – the EU framework program for research and innovation. The grants will complement the support provided already by the city advisors and the consortium partners of NetZeroCities.
“Congratulations to the 53 cities selected for the Pilot Cities Programme to contribute to the EU Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities,” said commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, Mariya Gabriel. “They will test new strategies to achieve their local climate goals. Their experience will serve as examples to all cities across the European Union and beyond. The Pilot Cities program is only one of many building blocks put in place by the EU Cities Mission. I encourage all cities to check out all future initiatives, and to engage now with their citizens and stakeholders and prepare their strategy for becoming climate neutral.”
The initiative received more than 100 applications, involving 159 cities from 33 countries across the European Union and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. The selected EU cities include: Aachen, Mannheim, Muenster (Germany); Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen, Helmond, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht (Netherlands); Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Zaragoza (Spain); Bergamo, Bologna, Florence, Milan, Padua, Parma, Prato, Rome, Turin (Italy); Budapest (Hungary); Cluj-Napoca (Romania); Dijon, Nantes (France); Galway (Ireland) Guimaraes (Portugal) Kozani (Greece) Krakow, Lodz, Rzeszow, Warsaw, Wroclaw (Poland); Kranj, Ljubljana, Velenje (Slovenia); Lahti, Turku (Finland); Leuven (Belgium); Liberec (Czechia); Limassol (Cyprus); Malmo, Umea, Uppsala (Sweden); Bristol (UK); Drammen (Norway); Istanbul (Turkey) Rivne (Ukraine).