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Spain and Sweden joining hands to scale the EU Cities Mission

The EU Cities Mission to deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 include seven Swedish cities; Gothenburg, Gävle, Helsingborg, Lund, Malmö, Stockholm and Umeå. The seven Swedish Mission Cities have formed a joint Development Statement, which solidifies the Swedish cities' support of the visions of the Spanish Mission Cities, as well as stresses the need for a common strategy on "scaling as the new normal" when working towards climate neutral and sustainable cities. The statement was presented at the 1st Swedish Cities Mission Forum in Umeå, Sweden, on May 29th 2024.

EU Cities Mission

The EU Missions are a new way to bring concrete solutions to some of our greatest challenges. They have ambitious goals and will deliver impact by putting research and innovation into a new role, combined with new forms of governance and collaboration, as well as by engaging citizens, to provide tangible results by 2030. The mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities will involve local authorities, citizens, businesses, investors as well as regional and national authorities to deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 and ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050.

The European Commission launched a Call for Expression of Interest addressed to cities that was open between November 2021 and January 2022. In April 2022, 112 cities were selected to be forerunners, seven of which were Swedish: Gothenburg, Gävle, Helsingborg, Lund, Malmö, Stockholm and Umeå. The seven cities are all also part of Viable Cities' cohort of 23 cities in Sweden that work towards the same mission.

Swedish input to a joint Development Statement

The seven Swedish cities that have been selected among the 112 EU Mission Cities have formed a joint Development Statement for Cities Mission 2.0. The Statement solidifies the Swedish cities' support of the visions of the Spanish Mission Cities that was developed in 2023. This input to the development of the EU Cities Mission was crafted by the Spanish cities in 2023 and includes the following key perspectives: 

  • Leadership and political commitment within the European Commission
  • Strategic multi-year financial framework for the Mission to 2030
  • Private financing
  • Human resources dedicated to the Mission
  • Fair transition
  • Integration between mitigation and adaptation
  • Knowledge tools and open source
  • Monitoring, Mission Tracking Indicators
  • Regulatory changes and administrative streamlining
  • Breaking of silos. Inter-administrative collaboration
  • Partnerships for Mission
  • Mission as a preliminary step to scope 3

In furthering the Development Statement, the Swedish Mission Cities also stress the need for a common strategy on "scaling as the new normal" to further build collective capacity to accelerate the climate transition. Three key aspects are highlighted on how this can be done are scaling out through replication and mechanisms to engage more cities, scaling up through policy change, and scaling deep through change of mindset.

The delivery of the Swedish input to a joint Development Statement at the 1st Swedish Cities Mission Forum. Photography: Malin Grönborg
The delivery of the Swedish input to a joint Development Statement at the 1st Swedish Cities Mission Forum. Photography: Malin Grönborg

The aim of the statement is to influence and accelerate the continued development of the EU Cities Mission, and speed up learning for the transition to climate-neutral cities. The Statement was first presented at the 1st Swedish Cities Mission Forum in Umeå, Sweden, on May 29th 2024.

Cities are at the forefront of the climate transition and key to their success is the opportunity to collaborate, share knowledge and help each other scale what works. 

- Olga Kordas, program manager for Viable Cities

The Development Statement is co-developed by the Swedish Mission Cities - the City of Gothenburg, the City of Gävle, the City of Helsingborg, the City of Lund, the City of Malmö, the City of Stockholm, and the City of Umeå - with support from the Swedish national platform for the cities mission Viable Cities, as well as the Spanish national platform CitiES2030. Viable Cities and CitiES2030 are working closely together to support cities on their journey towards climate neutrality by 2030 with a good life for all within planetary boundaries.