The Digital Cities Challenge is a tailored programme of coaching and facilitation launched by the European Commission to help 42 cities develop and implement digital policies that can transform day to day life for residents, businesses, workers, and entrepreneurs.
With 72% of the EU’s population living in cities, towns and suburbs, they are the engines of the continent’s economy. But despite generating 85% of Europe’s GDP, they also face multiple, interconnected challenges, including energy and climate change, employment, migration, social inequality, and water, air and soil pollution.
However, through advanced digital technologies, Europe has the opportunity to re-invent the way we manage our cities’ development and respond to the big societal challenges, such as efficient health management, cleaner environment, green mobility, and offering great-value jobs.
This is why the Commission launched the Digital Cities Challenge. To help European cities become more productive, more innovative, better places to live.
The Challenge will give city leaders and key stakeholders from participating cities, access to high-level experts with local and international experience for the next 14-18 months to help them develop and implement strategic plans addressing economic growth and social welfare.
The programme also includes access to tools, peer learning and innovative training, and European networks and platforms to facilitate their transformation journeys. As well as dialogue with other European cities who have embarked or are in the process of embarking on the same challenge, in order to exchange ideas, experiences and best practices.
Over 40 European cities are taking part in the Digital Cities Challenge, forming a network of collaboration, learning and shared insight covering every corner of the continent. This includes 15 Challenge cities selected to join the programme for free, 21 Fellow cities invited to engage in the digital transformation initiative using their own resources, and 6 Mentor cities who have volunteered to inspire and share success practices with the group.