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.
After a highly subscribed application process towards the end of 2017, the Digital Cities Challenge (DCC) kicked off in January 2018 and will run until June 2019. During this period, participating cities will receive the support needed to take full advantage of the fourth industrial revolution and become more productive, more innovative, better places to live.
The programme includes:
- Access to high-level experts with local and international experience to help cities develop and implement strategic plans addressing economic growth and social welfare;
- Access to tools allowing cities to develop a clear understanding of what stage of digital maturity their city can currently claim and where they should be aiming for it to be;
- Access to unique and innovative training and capacity building sessions for key city staff and representatives;
- Dialogue with other cities in Europe who have embarked or are in the process of embarking on the same process, in order to exchange ideas, experiences and best practices;
- Access to European networks and platforms.
Over 40 European cities are taking part in the DCC, forming a network of collaboration, learning and shared insight covering every corner of the continent. This includes 15 Challenge cities selected from 92 applications via 23 Member States, 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.
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.