Unite! stands for the future of Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities

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On May 17th, Politecnico di Torino hosted in its historical venue, Castello del Valentino, the Unite!Widening workshop: “Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities European EU Mission” . The event was conceived in the framework of the “Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities” Horizon EU Mission, which aims to reach 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030. The ultimate goal is for these cities to turn into experimentation and innovation hubs leading all European cities to become climate neutral by 2050. 

Speakers and audience gathered both online and on-site, generating a rich debate among institutional representatives, policy makers, researchers, experts and admin staff. Leading topics were the current EU policies, programs and open calls, together with the concrete outcomes of the “Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities” Mission and additional considerations on budget issues and challenges. Regional and local policies were also presented, with a key focus on the city of Turin, also including an overview on research groups, hubs and networks which are actively involved in restructuring our cities in a greener way.

All speakers emphasized the necessity of well-structured, multi-level cooperation among cities, universities, institutions, networks, and research initiatives to achieve the mission’s objectives. They underscored peer learning processes and community engagement as pivotal strategies toward creating fairer, more equitable, and transformative urban spaces. The workshop shared a collective vision that cities are pivotal in shaping the future, advocating for collaborative efforts integrating research, strategic planning, and policy-making.

The event concluded with a dynamic Q&A session that sparked vigorous debates among experts, researchers, and institutional leaders on actionable steps, strategic approaches, and collaborative opportunities.

“The Unite! partners have shown today to be very active in the multi-disciplinary arena of the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission and, indeed, 7 out of the 9 Unite! cities where they are located are among the 100 selected cities. Unite! could therefore eventually provide a very natural framework for sharing the experiences of the different cities, as their contribution to the Mission proceeds and evolves. Continuing on a line of collaboration with the Municipalities, which was inaugurated at the Torino Dialogue in 2022, we have now proposed to the Unite! Steering Committee the idea of planning an event on the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission at the first 2025 Dialogue in Barcelona”

Professor Roberto Zanino, PoliTO Key Liaison Officer for Unite!

As part of the Unite!Widening project, Wroclaw Tech is currently planning a conference on the EU Mission: Adaptation to Climate Change, to be held next June

The EU Horizon Europe Missions 

Conceived in the framework of Horizon Europe, the ambitious five EU Missions are meant to bring concrete solutions to some of our greatest challenges, supporting Europe’s transformation into a greener, healthier, more inclusive and resilient continent. They are expected to deliver concrete results by 2030, and namely are: 

  1. Adaptation to Climate Change: support at least 150 European regions and communities to become climate resilient by 2030 
  2. Cancer: working with Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to improve the lives of more than 3 million people by 2030 through prevention, cure and solutions to live longer and better 
  3. Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 
  4. 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 
  5. A Soil Deal for Europe: 100 living labs and lighthouses to lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030 

More information about Unite!Widening
Unite!Widening brings together the 9 Unite! partner universities plus 4 scientific ​​associations and technological hubs. Launched in January 2024, the project aims at strengthening the R&I dimension of our Alliance, along the main directions already pursued in the Unite.H2020 project which was completed last year, including: sharing of research infrastructures, developing best practices for early career researchers, collaborating with other European University Alliances to increase our competitiveness.   

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