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Viable Cities gets a cousin in Romania - M100

Viable Cities was the first in the EU as a national node for the urban climate transition. For some time now, we have had cousins in Spain, CitiES2030, and in Ukraine, UniCities. Now Romania is joining forces with the M100 node, initially with three cities, which will quickly become 13.

In December, representatives of the European Commission, national and regional government agencies, cities and municipalities academia, and other organizations from Europe gathered in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, to discuss the progress of the EU's Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission, which aims to achieve 100 climate-neutral cities in Europe by 2030. A key theme was the development of national platforms that support cities' transition to climate neutrality and the drivers of sustainability in a changing world.

Launch of the Romanian national platform M100

On the first day, Mission Mirror Cities Hub Romania (M100), the national platform for Romanian cities aiming to become climate neutral by 2030, was launched. M100 aims to support the implementation of the 100 climate neutral smart cities by 2030 target by facilitating access to European funding sources for actions to reduce climate change and limit global warming. In this context, M100 will have two objectives: to support the three Romanian cities involved in the EU mission - Cluj-Napoca, Suceava and Bucharest (district two) - to implement green transition; and to launch a kind of Mirror Mission to support ten more Romanian cities on the path to climate neutrality. To this end, M100 will launch a call for proposals to select ten cities.

M100 in Romania is governed by a coordination committee involving five government agencies, including the Ministry of Development, Public Works and Administration (MDLPA), the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, and the Ministry of Education. The coordination committee also includes representatives from the three selected Romanian mission cities. The platform is chaired by Ovidiu Cîmpean, State Secretary of the Ministry of European Investments and Projects (MIPE).

CapaCITIES facilitates mobilization and learning

The development of M100 in Romania has been supported by CapaCITIES which is an EU action to facilitate national and regional authorities' governance structures and strengthen their support to cities to achieve the mission of climate neutrality in 15 countries. In the context of the launch of M100 in Romania, CapaCITIES conducted a consortium meeting with a series of workshops for the project consortium partners and other European and Romanian stakeholders. The aim of the workshops was to build capacity for mobilizing finance for climate neutral cities - urban investment planning, redirecting public finance, attracting private finance - and to facilitate faster learning through the Transition Lab Forums. Here, Viable Cities financing and procurement strategist Fedra Vanhuyse, and learning strategist Lena Holmberg contributed with experiences both from Sweden and from the European collaboration within NetZeroCities.

Our participation in CapaCITIES has given us many new insights into developments in Europe and how we can best contribute there, but also about our own progress in Sweden through the questions we have received about Viable Cities. The progress of our Swedish cities and Sweden as a nation is strongly linked to developments in the EU, which is why it is important that we are involved in strategic projects such as CapaCITIES.

- Lena Holmberg

During both days, participants also took stock of the CapaCITIES training portfolio and provided feedback on how it can be further developed to better meet the needs of cities and government agencies. Again, Viable Cities contributed with both seminars and case studies.

CapaCITIES is an important part of the effort to scale the efforts from 100 Mission Cities to significantly more, where the national platforms have an extremely important role in creating climate neutrality and resilience.

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Viable Cities is a strategic innovation program with the mission Climate neutral cities 2030 with a good life for all within the planetary boundaries. The program is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova and Formas and is coordinated by KTH.

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