Chapter News, New York Related News

Start a city-to-city Cooperation with the International Urban Cooperation!

Starting a city-to-city cooperation

Cities in the member states of the European Union who wish to exchange with a city facing similar challenges in another global region are encouraged to apply by 21 September 2017 for the International Urban Cooperation (IUC) city-to-city cooperation programme on sustainable urban development. The programme aims to foster links between EU cities and those in Latin America and the Caribbean, India, Japan, North America, and Asia. Through the programme, local leaders will be able to connect and gain new perspectives on pressing sustainable development issues.

Successful candidates will be paired with an international city that faces related challenges, allowing both parties to cooperate, build connections and share knowledge. Representatives from each city will take part in study tours, staff exchanges, trainings and seminars, etc. and will develop together a Local Action Plan to drive sustainable urban development in the selected area.

By joining the IUC city-to-city cooperation, your city will:

  • COMMIT – Cooperate for at least 18 months with your international peers, allocate resources and time to develop a successful cooperation which will last beyond the lifetime of this programme
  • LEARN – Get access to 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 relaying knowledge
  • EXCHANGE – Open your city to dialogue and partnership with new global peers, and relevant stakeholders (public and private)
  • SHOWCASE – Profile your best practices and achievements internationally
  • IMPLEMENT – Work with new partners to make your vision of sustainable urban development a reality through developing a Local Action Plan for sustainable urban development in a sector of your choice

Cities are encouraged to apply as soon as possible!

Submissions from EU cities to apply for pairings with Latin American, Caribbean, Indian, Japanese, and North American cities (China was already included in a previous call) are now open until 21 September 2017.

What are European cities committing to?

Chosen cities must commit to cooperating intensively with their partner city for at least 18 months, and to share on their progress. Cities also agree to develop a sustainable urban development Local Action Plan on the identified knowledge sharing priority. After this period, cities commit to reporting on their progress and on concrete actions to be carried out in the future. Each city will sign a Partnership Agreement to this effect.

The Local Action Plans will follow a common methodology, in line with the EU-funded URBACT programme experience and should be developed through an inclusive multi-stakeholder process. Each city will develop its own Local Action Plan. The Local Action Plans must include activities and economically viable pilot projects that are capable of being realised in the short term, thereby opening up market opportunities and encouraging the involvement of EU research, businesses, other levels of government and the local community.

Participating cities will become part of a large community of peers and stakeholders engaging on sustainable urban development.

In order to ensure a successful exchange and roll-out of measures and actions, cities need to commit an adequate amount of time and resources to implement the work. These resources should be sufficient to the ambition of the actions planned. 

Measures and actions to be implemented will contribute to achieving the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda, the Urban Agenda for the European Union, the Sendai framework and the Paris Agreement, enhancing quality of life in urban areas.

Who can apply?

Mobilizing a critical mass of stakeholders and key partners is a crucial component for the successful development of a Local Action Plan. These actors should be included in a multi-level and multi-stakeholder (e.g. academia, business, etc.) partnership, through the planning, roll-out and implementation of the Local Action Plan. Cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants are encouraged to apply.

Communities in sparsely-populated areas of northern Europe will also be eligible to apply (for cooperation with Canada), regardless of their size.

Groups of municipalities will also be eligible to apply, but only if a clear administrative contact of the lead urban authority has been identified and provided, as well as the commitment of the others concerned.

Sub-national governments, such as regions and provinces, are invited to support cities applying, but they will not be considered eligible applicants themselves. Regions wishing to engage in sustainable development are invited to apply for the inter-regional cooperation on innovation for local and regional development programme.

For more information, please refer to our FAQ or contact