City pairings

Starting a city-to-city cooperation!

The European Union's International Urban Cooperation (IUC) initiative in North America had an open call for US cities that wish to cooperate with a city in the European Union (EU) facing similar challenges on their path to achieving sustainable urban development which closed on 6th April, 2018.

The five successful US cities will each be paired with an EU city tackling related challenges in sustainable urban development, allowing the pairs to build cooperation, share experiences, and exchange knowledge. Representatives from each city will take part in study tours, staff exchanges, trainings, and seminars. The five cities will together develop Local Action Plans and pilot projects that are informed by their exchanges. The EU-US city pairs will be announced in late April.

  • COMMIT – Cooperate for a minimum of 18 months with your European peers and allocate sufficient resources and time to develop successful cooperation that will last beyond the lifetime of this program. There is no maximum length for the city-to-city pairing, but participating cities will only receive support for up to 18 months.
  • LEARN – Exchange views on new ways of approaching challenges and benefit from a wider pool of good practices to draw upon; receive support in identifying innovative business models for financing local action.
  • SHARE – Help others to solve issues by sharing your own experiences and knowledge.
  • EXCHANGE – Open your city to dialogue and partnership with new peers in the EU, and relevant stakeholders.
  • SHOWCASE – Increase the profile of your city's or region's best practices and achievements internationally.
  • IMPLEMENT – Work with new partners to make your vision of sustainable urban development a reality through developing a Joint Local Action Plan for sustainable urban development in a sector of your choice.

FAQs updated to March 16, 2018.



We are pleased to inform you that the following cities in North America and Europe have been selected to work together during the following year on a series of challenges in the area of Sustainable Urban Development within the framework of the IUC Project.We also welcome to the new cities of the United States that will be part of the Learning Exchange, Boston, Baltimore, Fort Collins, St. Monica and New York.

Cities of North AmericaCountryCities of Europe            Country
AustinUnited StatesBoloniaItaly
BaltimoreUnited StatesTurinItaly
Fort CollinsUnited StatesVila Nova de FamalicaoPortugal
Santa MonicaUnited StatesVarnaBulgaria
BostonUnited StatesLyonFrance
Nueva YorkUnited StatesBarcelonaSpain
MeridaMexicoWest AthensGreece
Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara             MexicoHamburgGermany

What are cities committing to?

Selected US cities cities must commit to cooperating intensively with their partner EU city for at least 18 months, and to share their progress with the partner city, the IUC program, and as appropriate with the wider public.  Cities also agree to develop a Local Action Plan on an identified thematic priority in sustainable urban development. Afterwards, cities commit to reporting on their progress and on concrete actions (e.g. pilot projects) to be carried out in the future. The cities involved in the pairing will sign a Partnership Agreement (i.e. Memorandum of Understanding).

Mobilizing a critical mass of diverse stakeholders and key partners (e.g. academia, civil society, business partnerships) working at different levels is a crucial component for the successful development of a Local Action Plan throughout the planning, roll-out, and implementation of the plan.

Participating cities will become part of a larger international community of peers and stakeholders engaging on sustainable urban development through the EU's International Urban Cooperation initiative.

Measures and actions to be implemented should aim at contributing to the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda, the Sendai framework, and the Paris Agreement, enhancing quality of life in urban areas.