Join the IUC city-to-city cooperation programme

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European cities who wish to exchange with a city facing similar challenges in another global region are encouraged to apply 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 China, Latin America and the Caribbean, India, Japan, and North America. Through the programme, local leaders will be able to connect and gain new perspectives on pressing sustainable development issues. Submissions for pairings with Chinese cities (Chongqing, Shantou, Zhengzhou, Changchun/Jingyue, Longyan) are now open until 10 April 2017.

Successful candidates will be paired with a city that faces related challenges, allowing both parties to build cooperation and share knowledge. Representatives from each city will take part in study tours, staff exchange, 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: 

  • LEARN - Get access to new ways of approaching challenges and benefit from a wider pool of good practices to draw upon 
  • 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

What are EU cities committing to? 

Chosen cities must commit to cooperating intensively with their partner city for at least 12 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 and businesses communities.

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.

For more information, please contact

To apply for this opportunity for pairing with Chinese Cities (Chongqing, Shantou, Zhengzhou, Changchun/Jingyue, Longyan) , fill in the IUC city-to-city cooperation application form.

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International Urban Cooperation