Article originally posted by the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation on the European Commission website.

The kick-off meeting of the Urban Transitions Mission Centre took place on 12 December 2022 in Brussels. The centre will make available evidence and good practice for urban climate-neutral transitions globally and facilitate capacity building, knowledge exchange and moderated learning for cities and key stakeholders. Funded under Horizon Europe, it will be set up by urban expert teams from JPI Urban Europe, ENoLL, Eurocities, the Global Covenant of Mayors, ICLEI and LGI Sustainable Innovation.

Cities are hotspots for climate mitigation and have ambitious visions to reap the multiple co-benefits of climate action, yet gaps still persist between local action plans and the pace of current transformations.

The Urban Transitions Mission Centre will help bridge these by linking cities with policy, implementation and funding solutions via exchanges that transcend national and world region borders. Building on the European Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities and supporting the activities of the Urban Transitions Mission of Mission Innovation, the centre will set up a wide international knowledge and practice network that will help drive urban transitions globally.

The activities of the centre will focus on three impact pathways:

  • Mainstream knowledge and good practice to accelerate urban transitions: by making available international solutions and good practices and promote financing and funding opportunities to implement integrated urban climate action
  • Offer advanced frameworks and moderated learning across governance levels to raise awareness of and capacities for climate neutrality policies: by supporting capacity building and promoting mutual learning to drive systemic change
  • Establish a forum for international exchange and cooperation on climate-neutral urban transitions: by organising global and regional events accompanied by comprehensive dissemination measures to raise visibility of EU and international good practice and strengthen international cooperation, including at its Annual Innovation Summit

In particular, the Urban Transitions Mission Centre will support the activities of the Urban Transitions Mission launched at COP26 under the framework of Mission Innovation. This global Mission is a joint initiative by the Commission (DG Research & Innovation), the Global Covenant of Mayors and JPI Urban Europe. Its first cohort of 48 cities from 24 countries was announced at COP27. By 2030, the Mission aims to mobilise 300 cities worldwide to advance their climate and energy action planning and implement systemic and innovative approaches for net-zero, resilient and people-centred transitions.

The centre will also coordinate the international outreach activities of the EU Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission, thus complementing the geographical scope and reach of the NetZeroCities Mission Platform.