EU Mission: 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030

 EU Mission: 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030

EU Missions are a new way to bring concrete solutions to some of our greatest challenges. They support Commission priorities, such as the European Green Deal, Europe fit for the Digital Age, Beating Cancer and the New European Bauhaus For instance, Mission Climate is already a concrete element of the new Climate Adaptation Strategy, Mission Cancer of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the Mission Soil is a flagship initiative of the Long-term Vision for the EU’s Rural Areas.

In this edition, we will give an overview of the ‘100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030’ EU Mission.

What this EU Mission deals with

The Importance of Climate Neutral and Smart Cities

Cities play a pivotal role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the goal of the European Green Deal. They take up only 4% of the EU’s land area, but they are home to 75% of EU citizens. Furthermore, cities consume over 65% of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. 

Since climate mitigation is heavily dependent on urban action, we need to support cities in accelerating their green and digital transformation. In particular, European cities can substantially contribute to the Green Deal target of reducing emissions by 55% by 2030 and, in more practical terms, to offer cleaner air, safer transport and less congestion and noise to their citizens. 

Aims of the Mission

The Cities Mission will involve local authorities, citizens, businesses, investors as well as regional and national authorities to

  1. Deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 
  2. Ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050 

As foreseen in its implementation plan, the Cities Mission takes a cross-sectoral and demand-led approach, creating synergies between existing initiatives and basing its activities on the actual needs of cities. 

Europe’s 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Announced

Funding Opportunities

Image credit: Freepik

Co-designed Smart Systems and Services for User-centred Shared Zero-emission Mobility of People and Freight in Urban Areas (2Zero, CCAM and Cities’ Mission) (2023)

Open Call Reference: HORIZON-MISS-2023-CIT-01-01

Description: Urban mobility is a key sector that cities need to address for accelerating their transition to climate neutrality: citizens, freight forwarders, urban planners, transport operators as well as technology providers should jointly exploit the combined potentials of electric, automated and connected vehicles as well as integrated and shared people mobility and freight transport in their planning and actions. This requires a mutual understanding and alignment of the opportunities for technical solutions from the CCAM and 2Zero partnerships and of needs identified by users and cities striving for the Mission target of climate neutrality.


  • Mobility solutions that respond to people’s and cities’ needs, co-designed with local authorities, citizens and stakeholders, tested and implemented in cities to achieve climate neutrality by 2030     
  • Transferrable solutions for the mobility of people and goods exploiting the combined potential of electrification, automation and connectivity to significantly and measurably contribute to lower energy demand, improved air quality, less noise, reduced congestion, more reliable predictive travel times and more efficient transport operations, improved safety particularly for vulnerable road users, improved inclusiveness   
  • Implementation plans for local and regional transport authorities to replicate the roll-out of innovative smart mobility solutions and related infrastructure (in particular for charging and/or connectivity) in cities beyond those involved in the project

Opening date: 30.09.2023

Image credit: Freepik

Positive Clean Energy District (PED) Digital Twins – From Modelling to Creating Climate-Neutral Cities

Open Call Reference: HORIZON-MISS-2023-CIT-01-02

Description: The Cities Mission’s 1st central goal is to deliver 100 climate-neutral European cities in the EU by 2030. This is a highly complex task and cannot be tackled through separate silo approaches. It is crucial to look at a system of systems and the complexity of a climate-neutral city as a whole. In order to be still manageable, this should be approached first from the smallest representative scale, i.e. the District scale. Measuring, analysing, understanding and subsequent modelling of the potential Positive clean Energy District (PED) is necessary to get the best possible picture of the status quo and the extent of the challenge. The digital twin will help to find the most effective integration of solutions and to manage the system in real-time and adapt/optimise the real system over time.


  • Increased number of (tangible) city planning actions for positive clean energy districts using the (proto-)PED design, development and management digital twin tools (based on pre-market research learnings) using open-standards-based components which can be reused elsewhere      
  • Enhanced data gathering approaches with identification relevant (standardised) multi-dimensional data set and relevant forecasting data, drawing also on the work of common European data spaces, including the smart communities data space     
  • Consolidation of city sensor network specifications (based on optimal density necessary), complemented by appropriate data gathering approaches for soft data      
  • Improved performance of AI-based self-learning systems for optimization of positive clean energy districts and bottom-up complex models

Opening date: 30.09..2023

‘Climate Neutral and Smart Cities’ Webinar Recap

This summer the Netherlands Space Office together with Groundstation.SPACE launched the Open Calls Network. As part of the network, we are presenting pre-selected Horizon Europe and other funding calls that are relevant to space and space data applications. The Open Calls Network also consists of a dedicated LinkedIn page, as well as a series of webinars.

In the first edition, we focused on funding opportunities that are already open or about to open soon, around opportunities related to Climate Neutral and Smart Cities.

Featured image credit: Freepik

Kacia Rutkoŭskaja

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