4.1 Cities as actors of open innovation: accelerating sustainable urban transformation
In collaboration with the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission and The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), European Commission
Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Cities are where most people feel the impacts of climate change, disasters, air pollution, migration and other major global challenges. Mayors from cities in Europe and worldwide are confronted with the need to adapt and plan for resilience and sustainability. However, cities and metropolitan regions are also centres of economic growth, prosperity and increased resource consumption. A global “business as usual” scenario will drive up the demand for water, energy and food by 30-50% by the year 2030. This rapid urbanisation requires an integrated perspective on urban planning, design and finance which is able to create synergies between systems.
Investing in EU R&I to foster the urban nexus approach is an urgent must to integrate many successful but still fragmented examples of Smart and Sustainable cities. Such a systemic vision puts emphasis on co-design, co-creation and co-implementation of different solutions at the intersection of digital, social, cultural and nature-based innovation.
Open innovation for and with cities is at the heart of Horizon 2020 large, multi-stakeholder demonstration projects for Smart and Sustainable Cities, which act as 'living labs' and combine the power of ideas and knowledge from different players while promoting a citizen and user-centric approach.