Symbolbild einer Karte Europas in der mehrere Punkte mit einem Faden verbunden sind.
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The Project #connectedinEurope: Empowering Smart Cities

The project #connectedinEurope offers cities and municipalities the opportunity to network on a European level on topics related to the digital urban transformation and to deepen these topics in web seminars.

The project #connectedinEurope

The European Green Deal and the Digital Europe programme will play a central role in the implementation of European regulations and the design of funding instruments in the coming years. One of the goals is the development of European municipalities into smart cities. This requires a European exchange of institutional actors and municipalities on how the digital transformation can contribute to the implementation of the goals of sustainable, integrated and public good-oriented urban development at European and national level.

The project addresses the pronounced need for structured bundling and support of the participation of municipalities in European networks, projects and initiatives in the thematic field of "digital transformation and urban development". Networking not only provides municipalities with knowledge transfer on innovative and best practices of digital urban development beyond borders, but also with resilient partnerships, collegial advice and opportunities for expert-centred exchange on replicable projects. To this end, the project systematically explores and supports municipalities' participation in European networks, projects and initiatives.

The core activities of the project are information, qualification and empowerment of German and European municipalities for European networking. To this end, the project team provides the municipalities with practical tools and knowledge through peer learning and specialist workshops in order to establish and consolidate their own networking activities. At the same time, the project continues to develop national and European networks on digitalisation and urban development. The The Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) provides technical support for the project. #connectedinEurope runs until December 2024.

Grafik „Wirkungslogik #connectedinEurope“
Grafik „Wirkungslogik #connectedinEurope“ GIZ


Networking on the topic of sustainable and digital urban development allows direct exchange between municipal partners, deepens the understanding of common challenges, facilitates the identification of potential solutions, enables the transfer of knowledge and know-how and strengthens the motivation to act. In order to achieve these goals, the project team #networkedinEurope launched a Call for Participation for German and other European municipalities. From 2 December 2021 to 25 February 2022, municipalities could apply to participate in six peer learning partnerships on the topic of digital urban development/smart cities.

  • Sofia (Bulgaria) - Krefeld (Germany)
  • Arezzo (Italy) - Hamm (Germany)
  • Vari Voula Vouliagmeni (Greece)- Geestland (Germany)
  • Utrecht (Netherlands) - Munich (Germany)
  • Alba Iulia (Romania) - Arnsberg (Germany)
  • Bolesławiec (Poland) - Pirna (Germany)

Peer-Learning-Partnerships: Report and Agenda from the Kick-Off Meeting in May 2022

12 European municipalities set out to push knowledge transfer and networking on sustainable digital urban development for 2.5 years.

The first virtual kick-off meeting took place on 17 May 2022. There, the participating cities got the opportunity to learn more about the project and the peer learning partnerships. They got to know their partner municipalities and other participants and together created the basis for their future cooperation.

At the event, 26 municipal representatives from 12 participating cities learned about the specifics of the project and the framework for peer learning exchanges. They got to know their partner cities and other participants and learned about each other's challenges and priorities for action in the field of sustainable digital urban development/smart cities.

Furthermore, the partner cities laid the foundation for their future cooperation and defined the thematic priorities for their first on-site working meetings, which are planned for the summer as well as the second half of the year. The spectrum of partnership topics collected is broad and promising: from cultural heritage, smart mobility, energy monitoring and smart water systems to data ethics and literacy, data infrastructure, civic engagement and participation, waste management, circular economy and more. Over the next 2.5 years or so, the municipalities will benefit from the close knowledge transfer with their partner cities, expand their networks and participate in accompanying activities of the #connectedinEurope project.

The agenda of the event is available and the report summarises the contributions and views of the participants.

Networking workshop for municipalities

First networking workshop for municipalities in Leipzig takes a close look at governance in smart cities

Almost 50 European city representatives from Belgium, Germany, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Czech Republic as well as Ukraine discussed the challenges in their municipal administrations on site and virtually. Presentations of good practices and valuable impulses for the implementation of digital projects came from Espoo, Leipzig and Reykjavik. Afterwards, the participants exchanged views on internal and external administrative processes and challenges in the context of smart city governance for sustainable and integrated urban development. While one group dealt with the internal administrative challenges for urban planners and smart city project managers in the context of digitalisation in urban development - for example in relation to data platforms, data collection and internal communication - another group discussed the various possibilities of (digital) citizen participation in urban development.

Further alliances were formed among the participants after the meeting to exchange ideas on the next steps in the development and implementation of digital strategies and projects.

The documentation, agenda of the event and the project presentation of the #networkedinEurope project are linked accordingly.

Contact and social media

Contact #connectedinEurope


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