IUC programme launches second round of city-to-city pairings

The call for applications for the second round of the International Urban Cooperation (IUC) programme’s city-to-city pairing initiative was officially launched today at the 2018 World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). The initiative will see European local governments matched with international counterparts facing similar sustainability challenges from China, Chile, India, Japan, Peru and the United States of America.

"With this announcement, no fewer than 25 new city-to-city partnerships for sustainable urban development will be created. In this way, the European Union is making a decisive contribution to the roll-out of the United Nations' New Urban Agenda across the world, keeping the promise we made at the Habitat 3 meeting just over 15 months ago," said Ronald Hall, Principal Adviser on International Relations at the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission.

The first round saw 35 pairings established, including Frankfurt (Germany) and Yokahama (Japan); Bologna (Italy) and Austin (USA); Manchester (United Kingdom) and Montreal (Canada); and Almada (Portugal) and Belo Horizonte (Brazil).

Cities will be matched based on shared topical interest: for example, cities may wish to reduce urban poverty, raise gender equality, tackle the challenges of migration, or have a desire to switch to renewable forms of energy. Each local government will learn from one another’s approaches, and will develop Local Action Plans which set out measures to be pursued during their 18 month cooperation period.

The Local Action Plans will follow a common methodology, inspired by the EU-funded URBACT programme experience. Its development will involve a wide-range of departments within each city, as well as academia, businesses, other levels of government and the local community.

It is a requirement that the Local Action Plans include pilot projects that are capable of being realised in the short to medium term, with the potential to spur R&D market growth. Measures and actions should also contribute to achieving the objectives of the UN’s New Urban Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Urban Agenda for the European Union, the Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement, enhancing quality of life in urban areas.

The IUC programme is funded by the EU's Partnership Instrument.

For more information, visit our City Pairings page.