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Smart Cities Marketplace
Scalable cities
02 July 2024

Addressing Funding Challenges for Smart and Resilient Cities at EURESFO

A full workshop room at the conference EURESFO

The European Urban Resilience Forum (EURESFO) 2024 was held from 26 - 28 June as part of  the Valencia Cities Climate Week which also included the Cities Mission Conference and the annual Energy Cities Conference. EURESFO is an event dedicated to accelerating discussion and collaboration on issues of climate neutrality, resilience and innovation. As part of the Forum’s programme, the Smart Cities Marketplace made an impact by facilitating an engaging workshop on 'Unlocking Finance for Smart Resilient Cities'. 

For three dynamic days, the Smart Cities Marketplace presented in the joint Valencia Climate Week marketplace of initiatives and projects, connecting directly with city professionals and urban changemakers. In addition to the stand presence, the Smart Cities Marketplace also hosted a Spanish-language information session and a Climate Leaders Breakfast during the week. 

Unlocking finance for resilient smart cities

On 27 June, the Smart Cities Marketplace hosted a workshop on 'Unlocking Finance for Smart Resilient Cities' which aimed to empower city leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively finance innovative solutions to resilience and adaptation challenges in their communities. The session was attended by roughly 35 participants in an intimate setting which allowed for  constructive dialogues on bringing forward financing for smart and resilient solutions and discussions with cities on what’s needed to further deliver on smart city projects that support increased resilience. 

The workshop commenced with an introduction from session organiser and Marketplace team member ICLEI Europe outlining SCM's comprehensive suite of support services available to cities, including the Matchmaking Support and Technical assistance. This was followed by practical insights from two city representatives, Isabel Maria Pereira Leite Freitas Loureiro, General Coordinator for Sustainable Development for the City of Guimarães and Marcin Gradzki, Director of Air Protection and Climate Policy Office from the City of Warsaw.

Isabel Maria Pereira Leite Freitas Loureiro shared Guimarães' journey as a small to medium-sized mission city. She highlighted the importance of external support - both in delivering and as inspiration - and emphasised how strong political collaboration and leadership could help drive forward initiatives. Guimarães' strategy emphasised local engagement and celebration of community successes as integral to their approach.

From Warsaw, Marcin Gradzki presented the city’s robust framework for developing a sustainable project pipeline and discussed how it could lead to a continuation of success. He emphasised the critical role of four different perspectives, namely: 1) data-driven decision-making , 2) transparent data disclosure, 3) internal cooperation (as opposed to competition) of data, and 4) aligning with requirements from financial institutions. 

The workshop included breakout sessions facilitated by experts from the SCM consortium where participants engaged in in-depth discussions on practical financing options. Topics ranged from leveraging revenue streams such as carbon and biodiversity credits to navigating regulatory landscapes on building and energy efficiency to support nature-based solutions and infrastructure investments.

Participants concluded the session with a renewed commitment from the SCM to be available to those cities wanting to advance their work on resilient and sustainable urban solutions.