Europe is an urban Continent. What happens in its cities is crucial to the success of the EU’s climate change agenda. Across Europe, more than 4,000 cities – large and small – have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors with the goal of reaching and exceeding the EU’s 2020 targets. Hundreds of imaginative and innovative low carbon projects are underway. Yet currently the general picture is that these projects remain isolated initiatives, lacking in strategic coherence and with no agreed perspective on where to focus investment and how to scale them up.
Transition Cities, funded by the Europe’s Climate-KIC initiative, aims to bridge the findings of these low carbon projects with wider European policy on climate change. Three key areas of activity, in energy, buildings and mobility, have been identified as areas where consolidating learning could really enable the change required to make significant emissions reductions within cities.
The Transition Cities project will undertake pilots and experiments in relation to the these priority areas; promote new start-ups; leverage in other EU funds; enable cities to explore new institutional and business models in order to maximise impact on carbon reduction; and disseminate its findings widely across major European networks. The innovativeness of this project comes through methodology and new ways of working, as well as product development. It is hoped that its findings will influence public policy and procurement across European cities and stimulate the transition to the low carbon society.