CLIMATE-NEUTRAL AND SMART CITIES: A EUROPEAN POLICIES’ OVERVIEW
Free (open access)
3 - 14
ANDREA BOERI, DANILA LONGO, MARCO PALMA
Cities are increasingly defined as one of the most important actors in the transition to a climate-neutral Europe. The reasons are multiple, and some of them are the increasing number of inhabitants and the demographic trends; the percentage of emissions produced by the urban areas; the innovation potential, thanks to the concentration of creativity and knowledge; the political dimension that helps in involving the citizens; the economical role and the fact that cities and towns are transport networks’ hubs. Recognizing this crucial role, the European Union is updating its own policies on the matter, promoting challenging strategies as the Horizon Europe Mission on “Climate-neutral and Smart Cities”. This article analyses the European policies and strategies aimed at tackling the climate change in the urban areas. They are making the cities the forefront where to speed up the transition and promote flagship actions able to pave the way for reaching the European Green Deal goals. Moving from the main policies, this article investigates the overall ratio behind them and presents the tools and the actions promoted by the European Commission to support the local authorities in recognizing and facing the challenge, which is at the very core of the New Generation EU programme and a key enabler in designing the post-Covid Europe. On the other hand, this article briefly presents the main activities that cities are expected to develop in the next decade in order to fully contribute to the European ambition to be the first carbon-neutral continent on the planet by 2050.
Cities, citizens engagement, climate change, tools for transition, policies