Sustainable Cities Bulletin 1/2023

Dear UBC colleagues,

The first quarter of 2023 is almost over already, and we sincerely hope that you are all well and safe!

Our year here at the UBC SCC Secretariat started with busy preparations for the 2nd call of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme in mid-March, where we succeeded to submit one proposal as a lead partner and two others as project partner, together with numerous UBC member cities and many cooperation partners. Now we are eagerly awaiting the results in June!

We have also launched the first Annual report for the activities of our Commission in 2022 – there you can find the activities, events and projects that we launched and participated in to support our member cities with knowledge and practices on different sustainability topics.

We are also actively planning our next Commission meeting in cooperation with the UBC Planning Cities Commission taking place in Turku on 13-15 September as well as preparing one of the sessions at the XVII UBC General Conference in Palanga in October this year. In preparation to our session in Palanga, we dedicate this issue of the UBC Sustainable Cities Bulletin to the topic of the EU Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities:

Cities as experimentation and innovation hubs

The EU has launched a Mission “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030” with the objectives to achieve 100 climate-neutral and smart European cities by 2030 and to ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow by 2050. Cities are in a prime position to spearhead climate action and develop innovation for the world.

12 UBC member cities have been selected as part of the 100 mission cities, leading the way in the BSR towards climate-neutrality and we are ready to offer support and a platform to demonstrate and showcase their efforts and successes, to inspire other cities in the network!

In this issue, you will find examples from UBC mission cities Espoo, Umeå and Liepaja on how they approach this journey, as well as input from the NetZeroCities project, which serves as the support platform for the Cities Mission, and from Viable Cities, a national network supporting Swedish cities in developing their climate contracts.

During the UBC General Conference we aim to continue the dialogue on this topic – discuss with UBC member cities about how to reach climate neutrality, how to overcome barriers and what we can learn from each other. No matter if your city is one of the mission cities or not, the direction is the same for all cities!

We look forward to active exchange with you and wish you an interesting read and nice spring!

Warm greetings from the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission Secretariat,
Esther Kreutz-Hassinen, Head of Secretariat
Agnieszka Ilola, Deputy Head of Secretariat


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