Given that roughly 75% of Europe’s population lives in cities – according to Eurostat statistics - the EU’s urban areas are important contributors to the EU’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, which have a huge impact on climate change. At the same time cities are the main drivers of the EU’s economy, opening effective pathways to growth and jobs for Europe.
Several EU policies, proposals and initiatives promoting more attractive and competitive urban areas, healthier and more sustainable place to live in, while also tackling climate challenges, are in place:
- the energy union strategy sets out the targets and actions to transform the European energy system into the most sustainable in the world
- the Urban Agenda for the EU promotes better laws, easier access to funding and more knowledge sharing on issues relevant for cities, bringing together the Commission, national ministries, city governments and other stakeholders
- the energy performance of buildings directive (EPBD) promotes smart technologies in buildings to increase their energy efficiency
- the EU Covenant of mayors for climate & energy brings together thousands of local governments, voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives in cities
- the strategic energy technology plane (SET Plan) promotes research and innovation efforts across Europe by supporting the most impactful technologies in the EU's transformation to a low-carbon energy system
- the Smart cities information system (SCIS), which provides a lasting repository of information on smart city projects and serves as a knowledge platform to exchange data, experience and know-how
Smart Cities Marketplace
The Smart Cities Marketplace, formerly the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), is the umbrella project of the EU smart cities policy. It aims at delivering practical knowledge, capacity-building opportunities, access to finance, finding partners and more, to establish a European smart city market, as well as making European cities the most liveable places in the world, thus directly and very practically supporting the aims of the energy union and the Urban Agenda for the EU.