Call to create healthy, thriving, climate-neutral cities

  • Kathy Nothstine

    Kathy Nothstine

    Head, Future Cities

    View profile

12 Nov 2020

Cities around the world face daunting sustainability challenges. The catastrophic risks of climate change coupled with rising inequalities, lack of affordable housing and transport options, food and energy insecurity and other problems pose real threats to cities. But cities have always been beacons of innovation, centres of influence and thought-leaders demonstrating new ideas and models of governance and ambitious partnerships with business and civil society.

That’s why this week we launched the Climate Smart Cities Challenge, in partnership with Teknikföretagen, Viable Cities, UN-Habitat, Smart City Sweden, the Swedish Energy Agency  and Vinnova. We want to work with cities around the world to identify and scale up innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating thriving, inclusive, resilient communities. 

How cities can get involved

The first step of this process is an open call to cities to put forward their biggest challenges.

We are seeking representatives from cities to:

  • Tell us about your city’s aspirations to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and create a good future for all
  • Present a problem that is specific and solvable in the near-term, meaning potential solutions could be introduced, adapted and scaled within the next five years
  • Indicate a willingness to work with a global community of problem-solvers and investors and to commit resources to test and implement solutions to your problem in your city.

The deadline for a city to apply in the first stage is 22 January 2021.

The next stages

Following the open call, we will shortlist the most promising entries and select three cities to work with us to run global innovation competitions next year.

The three city-based competitions will encourage, support and reward multidisciplinary teams to scale and demonstrate replicable solutions that cities can use to cut their greenhouse gasses emissions and promote a better quality of life for all.

Potential solutions will reach across sectors and could address everything from how neighbourhoods, schools and offices are designed in the wake of COVID-19 to how people travel, what their green spaces look like and how their buildings are heated and cooled.  

The three winning cities and their challenges will be unveiled at the World Expo in Dubai in October 2021.

If you have any enquiries get in touch at