The European Commision's Intelligent Cities Challenge enters its next phase

Moving forward in the face of COVID-19  - discover the smart and sustainable cities that are the engines of recovery.

Picture of the city, buildings, rooftops. - grafika artykułu
The European Commision's Intelligent Cities Challenge enters its next phase

Poznan is a part of the network of forward-thinking EU cities that are on track of becoming the leaders of the green and digital transitions. The Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) is now moving forward to its main implementation phase. Despite its launch just before the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICC cities have powered on with their eyes firmly on the road to recovery.

One key enabler of cities' recovery is funding opportunities for the economic recovery that will underpin wider transformations. The €1.8 trillion budget that was adopted in 2020 by the Council Presidency to specifically tackle the post-pandemic recovery includes the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027, Next Generation EU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

The RRF's prioritisation of the twin transitions - green and digital - was already a focus area for the ICC. The recent launch of the EU's Digital Decade further strengthens this by setting a 20% minimum expenditure target for digital transformation for RFF funds.

The ICC offers the opportunity for cities to focus their efforts on certain paths called thematic tracks, the above commitments will be particularly useful for cities working on the tracks of "Upskilling and reskilling", "Green and digital transition in tourism" and "Citizen participation and digitisation of public administration".

Dana Eleftheriadou, Head of Cities and Proximity Team at the European Commission/ DG GROW said "With ICC now well underway, we look forward to seeing how the resilient cities rise to the challenges and provide innovative solutions and services that advance social and environmental causes, in the Tech4Good Marketplace".

In spite of the challenges posed by COVID-19, participating cities have doubled down on their efforts to become leading green and digital cities. Several ICC cities have used these uncertain times to set a precedent as smart cities, inspiring others with their recovery and seeking the opportunity in every situation.

  • As part of the effort to promote green and healthy living in the busy city centre, Leuven (Belgium) pedestrianised its city centre entirely in the space of months.
  • Amsterdam (Netherlands) realised the need to make better use of its time by staggering its traffic to prevent traffic jams. Further, the city has commenced work on its regional green deal and made a concrete investment proposition to strengthen the position of the region as a bicycle hotspot.
  • Derry-Londonderry (Northern Ireland) witnessed increased opportunities for companies operating in the Edtech (Education + Technology), Regtech (Regulatory Technology), Software Development; Business Process as a Service companies and Life and Health Science companies located in the city.
  • Pori (Finland) saw increased online sales of logistic solutions and such businesses. Grocery stores also grew their online solutions resulting in new demand for talented people.

There is no stopping the ICC cities and their local ecosystems becoming the engines for recovery. Follow the #IntelligentCitiesChallenge for more.

About the Intelligent Cities Challenge

The Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) is a European Commission initiative that supports 136 cities in using cutting-edge technologies to lead the intelligent, green and socially responsible recovery. The ICC cities and their local ecosystems will be engines for the recovery of their local economy, create new jobs, and strengthen citizen participation and wellbeing. For further information on the Intelligent Cities Challenge, please visit

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