EU Cities Mission selects 28 POLIS members among its cities

The list of cities selected for the Cities Mission is out - starring 100 cities coming from 27 EU countries and 12 additional ones coming from Horizon Europe associated countries, the list features 28 POLIS members!

Matthew Baldwin, DG MOVE

From POLIS president, Leuven, to their predecessor Gothenburg - and of course our UK member (and host of our upcoming Leadership/Political summit) Glasgow, POLIS is excited to see many of its members and associated cities winning this important bid - one we have been looking forward to since its announcement.

Indeed, in December 2021, POLIS' Director Policy & Projects - Coordinator Access Ivo Cré and Senior Policy & Project Manager - Coordinator Governance & Integration - Coordinator Safety & Security Pedro Homem de Gouveia sat down with Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director-General for DG MOVE, European Commission, to talk about the Mission, its connection to urban mobility, and cities' role in helping the EU achieve its goals.

A mission - and an opportunity not to miss

The EU Mission for climate-neutral and smart cities will involve citizens, businesses, investors, and local, regional, and national authorities in delivering 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 to pioneer new European urban scenarios.

To do so, the Mission will receive 360 million euros of Horizon Europe funding covering the period 2022-23: the research and innovation actions will address clean mobility, energy efficiency and green urban planning, and will offer the possibility to build joint initiatives and ramp up collaborations in synergies with other EU programmes, as well as receiving tailor-made advice and assistance from a dedicated Mission Platform run by NetZeroCities.

It is then easy to imagine how the Mission represents a tangible and important opportunity for cities.

POLIS features show the wide spectrum of modern urban mobility

The successful POLIS applicants prove that size is no object when pursuing sustainable mobility goals. Groningen - where an astonishing 61% of trips in the city are made by bicycle, has been ahead of the curve when it comes to reallocating space for active travel for many years - its Traffic Circulation Plan was indeed implemented more than 40 years ago. What is more, the city will host our upcoming Small and Medium-sized City Platform meeting, where it will share its secrets with other POLIS members.

Meanwhile, the chair of the Urban Freight Working Group, Madrid, has also made the cut - alongside Budapest - our Active Travel Working Group chair city.

Next steps for our cities

The Commission will invite the selected cities to develop Climate City Contracts; these will include an overall plan for climate neutrality across all sectors together with related investment plans.

Moreover, in light of the overwhelming interest from 377 cities to join the mission, the Commission is also putting in place support for cities that were not selected, including support through the Mission Platform and funding opportunities under the Cities Mission Work Programme of Horizon Europe.

“In their quest to become smart and climate-neutral by 2030, the 100 EU cities announced today will be natural “test beds” for innovative integrated solutions to many of the issues facing our citizens today, including urban mobility.

Drawing on our New Urban Mobility Framework, they have the tools to making interurban and urban mobility healthy and sustainable [...].

I am sure they will succeed, and I encourage other cities across Europe to follow their lead.”

Adina Vălean, EU Commissioner for Transport