The URBAN Intergroup of the European Parliament has met on 22nd March 2019 to discuss the European Union’s Research and Innovation for the Cities of the Future.
During the debate most of the speakers stressed the need to advance towards the smart specialization at local level and the need to involve cities and their citizens to achieve it.
For this purpose, two are the key elements: transport and urban environment, as the Urban Intergroup president, Jan Olbrycht, has stressed. Therefore, cities needs to invest in high skilled jobs linked to new technologies and energy efficiency to create climate neutral cities.
To advance towards the city of the future within a sustainable and innovative development framework, our cities need to boost innovation clusters, development of green jobs, smart mobility, circular economy that involves reuse of resources, as well as involve citizens through cultural and creative innovation tools. Moreover, it is crucial to develop international cooperation and exchange of best practices.
To achieve this goal, are presented as a key element the following European Union funding programmes: Horizon 2020 program, the European Regional Development Funds – ERDF (with a special envelope addressed to sustainable urban development) and the European Social Fund – ESF. A European investment strategy that focuses on supporting the market through integrated strategies.
It should also be noted, Charles Landry, chair of the Commission of the High-Level Experts Group on “Innovating Cities” stated they are working in a draft report on “Innovative Cities” which will be published in July 2019 and which will serve as a good basis for the negotiation of the future Horizon 2020 program.