H2020 – Sustainable, healthy and enterprising cities

New Horizon 2020 calls are open for submission under the “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials” work programme. These calls are related to the improvement of cities as a sustainable and healthy ecosystem, and the integration of hubs of entrepreneurship:

The three topics are included in the call “Greening the economy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals” and are two-stage deadline model:

  • Deadline: 19 February 2019 17:00:00 Brussels time
  • 2nd stage Deadline: 04 September 2019 17:00:00 Brussels time


Topic #1: Visionary and integrated solutions to improve well-being and health in cities

Type of action: IA Innovation action

Budget: € 43 000 000 (EUR 10 million estimated per project)


Actions should deliver solutions that address social, cultural, economic and environmental determinants of health and well-being and support urban communities in reducing their exposure to climate-related risks, pollution (including noise), environmental stress and social tensions, including the negative effects of gentrification.

Actions should test new transition management approaches, governance models, legal frameworks and financing mechanisms to re-design public spaces and urban commons and assess their contribution to improving health and well-being.

It will be important to promote multi-stakeholder initiatives, to involve social sciences and humanities disciplines. It will be essential to integrate and visualize data for a more effective monitoring of the transition towards healthier and happier cities, establishing long-term sustainable data platforms securing open, consistent data about the impacts of the deployed approaches and ensuring interoperability with other relevant data infrastructures, as well as envisaging clustering activities with other relevant selected projects for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities.

Expected Impact:

  • High quality, multifunctional, public spaces able to integrate digital, social, cultural and nature-based innovation to enhance health and well-being, while ensuring ‘the right to the city’ as specified in the Habitat III New Urban Agenda.
  • European cities being world ambassadors of sustainable lifestyles, providing universal access to greener, safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces, also accounting for the gender dimension.
  • Participatory approaches in re-designing and transforming public spaces to increase health and well-being in cities through innovative public-private-people partnerships (PPPPs).
  • More comprehensive assessment of the sustainability and resilience of cities through the development of health and well-being indicators.
  • Establishing innovative monitoring systems to measure effects (both positive and negative) and capture the multiple co-benefits created by nature-based solutions in terms of health and well-being.
Topic #2: Transforming historic urban areas and/or cultural landscapes into hubs of entrepreneurship and social and cultural integration

Type of action: IA Innovation action

Budget: € 25 000 000 (between EUR 7 million and EUR 8 million estimated per project)


Actions should develop, demonstrate and document strategies, approaches and solutions to re-activate and re-generate historic urban areas and/or cultural landscapes. They should foster innovation by relevant start-ups, cultural and creative industries, including from the digital technologies sector, small scale advanced manufacturing producers and local ‘makers’, craft workshops, etc. for adaptive re-use and leverage of heritage assets and social integration.

Systemic approaches and methodologies to identify the latent capacities of historic urban areas and to activate them may be developed. They should involve local stakeholder and assess cultural and heritage values, respect the identity of the places and promote social innovation, also accounting for the gender dimension, economic sustainability, inclusiveness, social cohesion and integration in the long term.

Innovation in its various forms (e.g. regulatory, governance, business, finance) should be considered. Synergies with other ongoing relevant projects, such as the European Creative Hubs Network, should be sought where appropriate, envisaging clustering activities with other relevant selected projects.

Expected Impact:

  • Reversing trends of abandonment and neglect of historic heritage in urban areas and landscapes.
  • New and tested blueprints for the socially and economically viable regeneration of European historic urban areas and cultural landscapes, with enhanced well-being and quality of life, social cohesion and integration.
  • Boosting heritage and culture-relevant innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and light ‘reindustrialisation’ of historic urban areas and cultural landscapes.
  • Cross-sector collaboration, creation of job opportunities and skills in cultural and creative sectors and innovative manufacturing linked to historic heritage.
Topic #3: Strengthening international cooperation on sustainable urbanisation: nature-based solutions for restoration and rehabilitation of urban ecosystems

Sub-topic: Strengthening EU-CELAC collaboration

Type of action: IA Innovation action

Budget: € 10 000 000 (EUR 5 million estimated per project)


Actions should develop models, tools, decision support systems, methodologies, strategies, guidelines, standards and approaches for the design, construction, deployment and monitoring of nature-based solutions and restoration, prevention of further degradation, rehabilitation and maintenance measures for urban and peri-urban ecosystems and the ecological coherence and integrity of cities.

The strategies and tools should be part of an integrated and ecologically coherent urban planning and city-making process that would secure a fair and equitable distribution of benefits from the restored urban ecology and limit its exposure to environmental stresses. Actions should also dedicate efforts to awareness raising, outreach activities and education of citizens, including school children about the benefits of nature for their social, economic and cultural well-being.

Actions should bring together European and CELAC research partners, government agencies and urban authorities, private sector and civil society with relevant expertise and competence and foster participatory engagement in urban ecological restoration actions. This would enhance the impact of the actions and the mutual benefits for both the EU and the international partners.

Expected impact:

  • Restored and functioning urban ecosystems with an enhanced capacity to deliver their services.
  • Making a business and investment case for nature-based solutions on the basis of increased evidence about the positive and negative impacts from restored urban ecosystems with regards to urban liveability, climate change resilience, social inclusion, urban regeneration, public health and well-being.
  • Guidelines for cost effective urban ecosystem restoration and ecological rehabilitation measures and new planning approaches and methods.


Source: h2020-wp1820-climate

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