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Smart Cities Marketplace
07 February 2024

New Focus Group Supports 'Small Giants'

a photo of a quiet shopping street

Small and medium-sized cities with ambition to move towards climate neutrality and increase their deployment of smart city solutions have a new action-focused group to support their efforts. 

As part of the European Commission's Smart Cities Marketplace, a new Focus Group has been established seeking to support the local transformation outside of the major European Cities. 

A majority of European city residents live not in the metropolises of London, Paris or Milan, but in small and medium sized cities and towns. Therefore, if we want to speed up the delivery of our climate goals – and recent weather patterns give us reasons aplenty to do so – these cities are central to success. 

The Focus Group ‘Small Giants’, formalising the support for an initiative of the same name which has been running as part of the Smart Cities Marketplace, is committed to developing replicable methods and solutions for semi-urban challenges. Led by Trevor Gibson, thematically the work will be guided by the members of the Focus Group itself and could span from circular economy to mobility transition and to other themes of common interest. 

Specific objectives include clarifying the challenges that semi-urban or rural changemakers face when seeking to move from the current status quo into a future of smart climate neutrality. The development of replicable and scalable tools to overcome these challenges will also form an important component of the Focus Groups work, building, where possible, on examples of best practice from across the Small Giants community. This, in turn, will inform a number of actions include the aggregation of needs and the identification of possible financing and funding pathways. 

The only requirement for participation in the Focus Group is a willingness to share opinions in a very limited number of open workshops. These will be on-line but with a potential for voluntary, real-life workshops events to be explored as part of the work. 

The first meeting of the Small Giants as a Focus Group is scheduled for 13 march 2024 from 11-12:00 CET and will provide an opportunity to shape the content and direction of the work programme for the next 18 months with support from the Smart Cities Marketplace Team. (note: originally this meeting was scheduled for 21 February)

If you believe that small and medium sized cities matter, and that we must make large scale transformation swiftly, you can join the new Focus Group. 

You can register for both the meeting and the Focus Group itself here.
 

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