Introduction to UP2030 Project

Funded by the European Commission, UP2030 is an innovation actions to support the implementation of the Climate-neutral and Smart Cities Mission under Horizon Europe research programme. In 36-months, the project will support cities in driving the sociotechnical transitions required to meet their climate neutrality targets by 2030. The project looks for transformative changes by applying the 5UP approach to UpDate, UpSkill, UpGrade, UpScale, and Uptake in 10 pilot cities towards their climate neutrality journey. Through co-development and implementation of science-based methods and tools, this programme guides cities to deliver across the values of equity, resilience, neutrality, and sustainability.

UP2030 sets demonstrators in 8 European pilot cities: Milan (IT), Rotterdam (NL), Zagreb (HR), Thessaloniki (EL), Granollers (ES), Budapest (HU), Lisbon (PT), and Muenster (DE); 2 cities from associate countries: Istanbul (TR), and Belfast (UK); and 1 city from an emerging economy: Rio de Janeiro (BR).

The project identifies their needs, barriers, and drivers towards neutrality, in order to establish the baseline conditions for each city. Visions are co-designed to address innovation in three keys, and interrelated, urban planning and design domains: (i) connected, (ii) compact and (iii) net-zero cities. The cities are encouraged to develop and implement roadmaps to translate their visions into practical actions, including customization and evolution of existing tools and approaches.

Lessons from UP2030 are analysed, extracted, and offered in “replication and transferability packages” to cities outside the project. An open-access training program on “urban planning and design for climate neutral and smart cities” is included within the outcomes. The project also plans to create synergies with the EU Missions on cities and initiatives to optimise use of resources and maximise impact.

Citizen’s engagement is crucial for the success of the project, as they are an integral part of the transition’s pathways of the pilot cities. They shall become agents of change through their sustainable behavioural shifts and lifestyle decisions.

The consortium of UP2030 is led by Fraunhofer IAO and comprises a total of 47 partners from 14 countries. The project started on January 1st, 2023. The kick-off meeting of UP2030 was held on 1st and 2nd February 2023, in Thessaloniki, Greece. Within these two days, all partners contributed with their innovative ideas, expertise, and enthusiasm to establish a fruitful collaboration in all project activities.

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