Go to expert opinions


‘Mission of Cities’, climate-neutral cities by 2030

Misión de Ciudades

The Missions are an ambitious and innovative initiative of Horizon Europe that seeks to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, in line with major European priorities, such as the European Green Deal, Europe fit for the Digital Age, Beating Cancer or the New European Bauhaus.

One of these Missions, Smart and Climate Neutral Cities, aims to transform life in European cities. It seeks to support 100 European cities in their systemic transformation towards climate neutrality by 2030, turning them into centres of experimentation and innovation.

This ambitious Mission is endowed with a budget of more than €350 million until 2024. In the work programme for the period 2021-2022, several calls and initiatives are presented that focus on improving the fundamental aspects of quality of life in cities. Among others, the ‘Mission of Cities’ aims to obtain results that solve some cities’ most important problems, through specific themes:

  • Transport, mobility and logistics.
  • Waste management and circular economy.
  • Energy, energy efficiency, renewable energies, self-consumption and heating.
  • Industrial processes.
  • Agriculture, green spaces and spatial planning.

In addition, this Mission will commit to include a cross-cutting, social perspective. To this end, it is expected to be coordinated with some calls of the New European Bauhaus initiative. This proposal aims to create more inclusive and friendly spaces in European cities and buildings, by combining architectural and technical aspects with other social disciplines, including art.

Expression of Interest

Cities interested in joining the select group of “100 climate neutral cities by 2030” must first submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) by 31 January (more than 400 have already registered). After expressing their interest, they will be required to complete an online survey on their city’s current status, ongoing work and future plans for climate neutrality. The eligibility conditions that will lead to the selection of 100 cities, among those applying to the EoI, are the following:

  • Applicants must be European cities.
  • Have a population of at least 50,000 inhabitants (large cities are encouraged to participate).
  • Demonstrate high ambition for climate neutrality, although all kinds of starting points in this field will be accepted.
  • Promote diversity and inclusion of citizens and other stakeholders.
  • The selected cities are expected to be announced in March 2022[PC1] . At least one city from each EU country will be chosen, and small cities that do not reach the minimum population can form alliances with nearby towns.

What are the benefits for selected cities that participate in the Mission?

  • Additional funding opportunities for the realisation of projects through a mission.
  • Opportunities for selected cities to be part of major innovation actions, pilot projects and demonstrations.
  • Support through a national and international coordination network.
  • Opportunities for networking, learning and exchange of experiences among cities.
  • Support for citizens’ participation in decision-making.
  • A pool of experts to support them in planning key strategies, reforms and investments.
  • High visibility: increased political profile and attractiveness for investment and skilled workers.

At Zabala Innovation we help you

The ‘Mission of Cities’ is an opportunity to transform European cities, especially medium (150,000-250,000 inhabitants) and large ones, making them smarter and more sustainable by 2030 and 2050.

At Zabala Innovation, with our Regions and Energy areas of expertise, we can help you participate in the Mission, in all its phases: at an early stage, with the presentation of the expression of interest and the preparation of the necessary survey of your participation, to the preparation of the projects within the mission.

We have extensive experience in Smart Cities and Communities projects since the 7th Framework Programme, and one of our differential values is the wide variety of disciplines present in our team. This enables us to understand the ‘Mission of Cities’ from several interconnected points of view: social, digital, environmental, energy and mobility, which will contribute to the success of proposals.

Expert person

It's not about the sector, it's the about project

The important thing is not to keep moving, but rather to know in which direction to go. Our 37% success rate proves that we know how to guide our clients.

Areas of specialisation