Regions



Albacete is a city in the Spanish autonomous community of Castilla–La Mancha and the capital of the province of It is one of the most accessible cities across the country. Albacete has five large industrial zones, while the city houses the Air and Logistic Park of Albacete.

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Almada is one of the 18 municipalities in Lisbon’s Metropolitan Area. The northern river front of Almada still shelters natural species of great biological value. The preservation of these important ecological values led the Municipality of Almada to develop nature-based solutions to promote adaptation and territorial resilience.

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Almería is located in the South East of Spain. The city is surrounded by an arid landscape and a Mediterranean coastal strip featuring many tourist attractions, such as the ancient Alcazaba. The economy of Almería is mainly based on greenhouse agriculture, tourism, and the service sector.

Almería has extensive experience in water efficiency. The city is looking to learn best practices on circular economy, nature-based solutions, and environmental sustainability. 

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Anci Lazio is the Association of municipalities of Lazio region, involving both the City Council of Velletri and the City of Rome. Velletri is situated in the most densely populated part of Rome’s metropolitan area. Rome is the city with the largest urban agriculture area in Europe. 

Anci Lazio is interested in working on urban poverty alleviation and social inclusion of migrants and refugees, as well as in developing sustainable agriculture and building a Food Policy. 

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Overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Ancona is one of the most important ports in Italy. Its economy is based on port and fishing activities, industry, trade, and services. The city was finalist for Italy’s Capital of Culture 2022, highlighting its goal of boosting culture and tourism as economic engines for development.  

Ancona is particularly interested in promoting tourism through positioning and branding strategies. The city seeks to promote urban renewal with projects linked to port and city integration and neighbourhoods rehabilitation. 

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Founded in 1986, ANCIM represents 35 municipalities of small Italian islands where residents are over 200,000 people combined. The objectives of the association are to overcome the practice of development centred almost exclusively on tourism and make the islands more sustainable both socially and economically.


The region is home to the largest economy in the Caribbean and is mainly based in health services, logistics, construction, energy, tourism, and pharmaceutical and agri-food industries. Its capital city Barranquilla is one of the largest ports in the region. 

Atlántico seeks to improve competitiveness and innovation capacities amongst its economic clusters, through RIS4 and 5.0 Industry strategies. It is also interested in energy efficiency and resilience.


Attica is the region with the highest GDP per capita in the country. More than 95% of the region’s population is concentrated in the metropolitan area of Athens. The port of Piraeus connects Attica with numerous surrounding islands, making the region an important hub for services. 

Attica is interested in fostering the creation of start-ups working on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), bio-food, bio-health, agrotechnology, circular economy, and other cutting-edge industries. 


The City of Aurora is the second-largest city in Illinois. Aurora has long been a transportation hub with easy access to Interstate 88, two Metra stations, and a regional airport. It also counts with four Higher Education Institutions,14 business parks, and a 130+ mile fiber network.

By Emilio García from Parla, Spain - Azul CAC,...

Valencia outstands for its international trade, exports, innovation, and industrial development. A region with important industrial fabric, is Spain’s main tourist destination. Ceramics, Agrofood, automotive and textile are consolidated clusters. Strategic industries with great potential, such as ICT, biotechnology, aeronautics or sociosanitary enjoy a perfect framework for their development here.

CC BY-SA 3.0

Bacau needs to attract new investments for the future. A partnership between local and central public sector is necessary for the growth of the private sector and the generation of sustainable jobs. Currently, Bacau County is facing a demographic decline and a significant part of workforce doesn’t generate added value.

De Thomas Ledl - Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 4.0

Barcelona is undergoing a third wave of transformation to reclaim and regenerate green corridors and restore biodiversity in the city by developing key high value metropolitan strategic environments for socio-economic revitalization using smart and nature-based solutions. Key urban remodelling and development projects include the Besòs River Plan and 22@.

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The Barcelona Metropolitan Area is the public administration of the metropolitan area of Barcelona and encompasses 36 municipalities. The metropolitan area occupies a strategic position in southern Europe, in the middle of the Mediterranean corridor. This privileged position has allowed it to become the epicentre of the region Catalonia.

By Alabama / Martin Künzel, Berlin - own work,...

Bari has a solid mercantile and entrepreneurial tradition and is always a focal point in trade and political-cultural contacts with Middle East. The main challenges Bari faces are the redevelopment of the waterfront, the conversion of brownfield into parks and cultural centres, and the enhancement of archaeological and architectural heritage.


Barranquilla is an industrial and port city bordering the Caribbean Sea. It is the capital of the Atlantic department and an economic centre of national relevance. It is indeed the most important economy of the Caribbean regioand has the fourth largest GDP amongst Colombian cities. 

Barranquilla seeks to address issues of urban poverty and regeneration of deprived neighbourhoods. The city is also interested in sustainable agriculture, with a special focus on urban gardens. 

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Belo Horizonte is Brazil’s third most populated metropolitan area. The city recognizes the complicated socioeconomic situation of the city in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and is actively engaged in fostering sustainable urban development as a recovery strategy. 

Belo Horizonte seeks to promote its Favela 2030 Programme to build resilience and promote development in marginalized and vulnerable communities. It also seeks to collaborate on Digitalization and Food Security. 

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Bergamo is a city in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy; Its municipal administration is committed to safeguarding urban agriculture and local biodiversity through its Territorial Government Plan, which resulted in the Biodiversity Valley. Additionally, Bergamo promotes a more sustainable gastronomic industry by signing the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact.

By Jacek Proszyk - Own work, CC0

The Bielsko-Biała functional area is organized around the agglomeration of Bielsko-Biała and Czechowice-Dziedzice. The area is socially and economically active, attracts cutting edge technologies, entrepreneurs and investors. Its main goal is sustainable and permanent development that creates favorable conditions for living, high quality services and access to well-developed technical infrastructure.


Boston has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. After Boston’s population reached a low point in 1980, residents’ tenacity, complemented by its world-class hospitals and universities, fueled the city’s reinvention into a knowledge economy. Over the past five years, Boston has grown twice as quickly as the nation.

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Braga has always taken a strategic and central regional role for its privileged geographical location and dynamism, playing a leading role in the region’s economy, culture, knowledge, and technology. Braga has created an environment of innovation and was selected 2021 finalist for the European Rising Innovative City by the EC.

Thematic Clusters

Education, Jobs & Skills

Cross-cutting challenges

Digital Transition & Smart City

Bratislava is the capital and largest city of Slovakia with high potential to be an example of smart and innovative solutions for sustainable urban development. It has been strongly committed to SUD and climate change adaptation as city’s historic areas are at risk from the impacts of extreme weather events.

Bratislava will continue to cooperate with Tokorozawa to integrate urban ecology viewpoints such as the role of green infrastructures into urban planning.

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Busan Metropolitan City is the second largest city in the Republic of Korea and is one of the busiest port cities in the world, renowned for tourism and culture. A Smart City National Pilot City, Busan boasts considerable experience in smart city, mobility, and transportation.

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Cali is strategically connected to the Pacific coast through the Buenaventura port and to the municipality of Yumbo, which is an important industrial center. Cali is considered a key national economic center, especially for its industrial sector and agri-food production. The city also has a dynamic service sector. 

Cali is interested in sustainable and strategic planning regarding housing, public services, mobility, urban infrastructure, and public spaces. It promotes climate change management at the local level and rural-urban integration. 

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Innovation and technological development are the backbone of the region’s economic development, which also include activities such as trade, manufacturing, and construction. Cantabria also features archaeological sites dating from the Upper Palaeolithic period. The service sector employs 64% of the active population, highlighting the importance of tourism in the region. 

Cantabria is interested in adaptation strategies to the post-COVID 19 pandemic. The region also seeks to upgrade teaching practices and entrepreneurial skills through the digitalisation of the education sector. 

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Thematic Clusters

Education, Jobs & Skills

Cross-cutting challenges

Post Covid Recovery
By Jardoz - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Castilla y León is Spain’s largest region. Agriculture is its major economic sector but it also has an important industrial fabric, with food and automotive as the main sectors, and focuses on the development of a knowledge-based economy, promoting such as the aerospace industry, renewable energy, health biotechnology or TICs.


Central Macedonia’s economy is heavily based on the primary sector and a rapidly growing tertiary sector. It has a consolidated skilled workforce in the food and beverage manufacturing industries. The region also has the potential of becoming a well-established destination for international touristsas well as an innovation hub. 

Central Macedonia is interested in fostering entrepreneurship to create new businesses and jobs. The region also seeks to promote sustainable agricultural practices and to improve agri-food chains and food systems.


Chihuahua is the largest State in Mexico and accounts for 12.6% of the country area. The State is one of Mexico’s most important industrial hubs, as around 90% of local businesses and employees work in export manufacturing industries.

Chihuahua seeks to advance its manufacture industry, particularly in the aerospace, technology, electronics, or automotive sectors. It is interested in RIS4 and in developing innovation and research centers. 

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Christchurch is the country’s second-largest city by urban area population. Historically a dominant economic activity, agriculture has been complemented by a rise in scientific and technology-based industries. One of Christchurch’s major initiatives is the development of wellbeing-focused collaborations and approaches supporting individual, community, and business resilience in response to disaster.


The region of Coimbra has invested around 2.14% of its GDP in research and innovation, benefitting numerous economic sectors, including health, biotechnology, ICTs, logistics, forestry, and tourism. Coimbra is welcoming numerous new businesses thanks to its Industrial Zones, Incubators, and Business Nurseries available in the 19 municipalities of the region. 

Coimbra is interested in working on agriculture, livestock farming, forestry, and fishing, as well as developing its manufacturing industry. Coimbra also seeks to develop touristic services and attractions. 


Colima is home to the third most important port in Latin America and the most important commercial port in Mexico. Its economy is mainly based in tradeand features important development clusters in the knowledge economy, logistics, agri-food industry, mining, energy, construction, and tourism. 

Colima is interested in digitalisation strategies oriented towards sustainable regional development and sustainable agricultureIt also seeks to improve its management of natural resources and its energy efficiency. 

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Colleferro and Latina are located in the southern area of the Region of Lazio in central Italy, being Lazio the second region of Italy for GDP produced (about 11% of the national total) and among the 20 most important regional economies of the European Union (1.3% of the total).


Established in 1893, Da Lat is the political, economic and cultural centre of Lam Dong Province, located on Lam Vien plateau in the Central Highland Region of Vietnam, about 1,500 meters above sea level. It has historical, cultural and architectural heritage, hillsides and different flower and organic vegetable farms all around.


Debrecen is one of Hungary’s most developed cites and an important economic, cultural, and knowledge centre located in the eastern part of the country. Its dynamic economic development contributed to Debrecen being awarded the “Best Emerging City of the Year in Central Europe” title in 2017.

Debrecen seeks to develop green infrastructure as well as sustainable urban planning and greening strategies (NBS). The city is also interested in working on sustainable agriculture and food production.


A service-based city, with an emphasis of commerce and tourisms, lying on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. Awarded to European Capital of Culture 2016.  Local Action Plan against Climate Change has been implemented with focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy use, rational use of resources and waste management.

Increasing urban resiliency would be an area of common interest for Donostia-San Sebastian, Lugo, and Toyama, encompassing a wide area of policies such as: energy efficiency; climate adaptation; and sustainable urban planning.

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Dortmund is the third-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, and the eighth-largest city of Germany. Dortmund is a city very much influenced by structural change. Over the last few decades, the region has been transformed from the most important industrial location in Germany to become a region of service-oriented knowledge.

Thematic Clusters

Mobility & Transport

Cross-cutting challenges

Digital Transition & Smart City

Dublin is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland and is located on the coast. Its rich history and culture showcase its resilience over the years; it can be considered a city of opportunity and possibility. Dublin aims to become a sustainable city that is environmentally and socially equitable.


Eixo Atlántico is a cross-border association of 39 municipalities from Galicia (Spain) and North of Portugal with almost 30 years of experience in joint local development. It drew up the first urban agenda of an urban system in Europe, a good practice transferred to the Intermunicipal Community of Terras de Trás-os-Montes (CIM TTM).

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Essen

Essen is Germany’s 10th largest city and lies at the heart of the Metropole Ruhr. Located in the centre of Europe, the city represents a strategic industrial and service hub. Essen is also an important educational and research centre, and benefits from an important cultural background. 

Essen expressed a strong interest in working on circular economy and waste management.

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Extremadura is at the core of Spain’s energy transition and decarbonization plans, with the installation of extended solar energy plants. The region is characterized by a rich natural heritage and its economy is mainly based on the tertiary sector, with a slightly less important industrial sector linked to agri-food production. 

Extremadura seeks to foster cooperation between the private sector, academia, and research institutions to support RIS4. It is also interested in adapting food and agricultural production to climate change. 

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Fortaleza has worked on strengthening its capacities in land-use planning and land-based financing. The city is also deeply committed to economic and environmental sustainability and received the Sustainable Transport Award in 2018. In addition, Fortaleza is an important communication hub for its great number of submarine optical fiber cables. 

Fortaleza seeks to work on waste management and circular economy, especially on the disposal and recycling of construction waste. The city is also interested in electric transportation of recycling materials. 

Mabel Velástegui, CC BY-SA 3.0

Fuenlabrada is a municipality in the south metropolitan area of Madrid. It has developed new areas of residential and industrial growth of high urban value, with the facilities such as university, hospital, USW treatment plant, … capable of maintaining economic activities yet still preserving rustic soil and unique natural spaces.


Genoa is the main port in Italy. It hosts headquarters of important companies and research centres. The city also benefits from an important historical heritage and actively promotes cultural tourism as a strategy to transition from an industrial to a knowledge-driven urban development model. 

Genoa seeks to promote tourism and culture as engines of social, environmental, and economic developmentthrough a digital transition based on innovation, Smart City policies, and technology. 

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Thematic Clusters

Tourism – Culture

Cross-cutting challenges

Digital Transition & Smart City
DCIM100MEDIADJI_0050.JPG

The historical core of Georgetown has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. The city’s economy depends on tourism, services sector and lastly manufacturing as a primary source of income.

Georgetown’s focus is circular economy, waste management, data transition, mobility and transport. Georgetown would like to explore cooperation with EIXO Atlantico, Maia Municipality in Portugal) and NCI Bologna in Italy.

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Metropolis GZM consists of 41 cities and communes with a total area of 2,500 sq km, where 2.3 million residents live, with 240,000 companies and enterprises, generating approx. 8 percent of Poland’s GDP. It is located in the southern part of Poland.

Thematic Clusters

Education, Jobs & Skills

Cross-cutting challenges

Energy Transition & Climate Change

Granada is the capital city of the province of Granada. It is a popular tourist destination, world-renowned for its cultural heritage, several of which have been declared World Heritage Sites. In addition, Granada is well known within Spain for the University of Granada.

Granada is taking its first step towards a circular and low-carbon economy and is interested in cooperation on the use of the blockchain technology in waste management.

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Greater Manchester is a metropolitan area and combined authority situated in the Northwest of England. It is the leading metro area in the UK for devolution and is a UK pioneer in public sector reform. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has responsibilities for economic development, regeneration, and transport.

The GMCA and Osaka are interested in exchange of climate change mitigation policies towards carbon neutrality. Both cities consider possibility to extend their collaboration in other areas such as health, aging, and innovation where appropriate.

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GAM, consisted of 49 communities including Grenoble City, is an urban and industrial area surrounded by mountains, with a rather young and educated population and strong industrial assets in energy and digital sectors. It Seeks for energy transition and economic development through innovation. Its central municipality was selected European Green Capital for 2022.

GAM will continue its cooperation with Toyota on the “production and use of renewable energies”, especially hydrogen, and ways to promote open innovation through diverse stakeholder engagement.

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The city of Guanajuato, capital of the State of Guanajuato, is part the Bajío region, an important industrial cluster located in the centre of Mexico. The city’s economy also relies on tourism, linked to Guanajuato’s rich heritage and mining history.

Guanajuato seeks to promote tourism around its historic city centre. The city is also interested in collaborating on water management and nature-based solutions (NBS), including the protection of natural areas. 


Ha Tinh City is in the central coastal region of Vietnam and is a centre for politics, administration, economy, culture, science and technology, education, services and transportation within and beyond the Ha Tinh Province. It is a dynamic young city with innovative urban planning actions coupled with natural assets including nice beaches, beautiful rivers, mountains.


The second largest city and one of the most important industrial locations in Germany, Hamburg is of supra-regional importance as a trade, transport and service centre. The port is one of the world’s leading seaports.  The challenge is to balance public and private expectations on urban space without losing sight of urban sustainability.

Hamburg is interested in intensifying the cooperation with Melbourne, building on previous and widespread existing results in developing platforms for scientific collaboration.

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Hermosillo is an important industrial hub in northern Mexico, located only 280 km away from the United States border. Its location in the Sonora dessert creates several environmental challenges. In this regard, the municipality is actively working on increasing the presence of public spaces and on improving water management practices. 

Hermosillo is interested in developing nature-based solutions, particularly in increasing green infrastructure, public spaces, and green coverage. The city is also interested in water management and urban mobility strategies.

By TasosPapan - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Ioannina is a university city with strong environmental elements and rich history. Tourism has always played an important role in the economy. The Municipality of Ioannina has developed its sustainable urban development plan, aiming to protect and highlight the natural environment and cultural heritage to enhance competitiveness and promote employment.

By Herbert Ortner, Austria - own digital image, CC...

South Bohemia is rich in natural resources. The diversified manufacturing industry and high-quality research & innovation institutions are its strongest strengths. Agriculture and tourism present significantly. Innovative approaches and smart solutions in agriculture are well-covered in RIS3 strategy. The concept of tourism development states the inclination towards sustainable, low-carbon tourism.


Kamakura, a former Shogunate capital with a wealth of historical heritage is surrounded by green hills and a long coastline. 20 million tourists visit every year. The birth rate is declining, the population is aging, and revenues are shrinking. Kamakura is aiming to solve these problems and promote sustainable urban management.

Kamakura will continue to collaborate with Umea and start new cooperation with Metropolitan City of Venice for sustainable community planning. VMC is interested in Kamakura’s approach for tourism and culture.

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Karlsruhe is the second largest city of the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg after its capital of Stuttgart. Since 2017, the City of Karlsruhe, together with the Czech Ministry for Regional Development, has been leading the “Urban Mobility” partnership, one of 14 thematic partnerships of the EU’s Urban Agenda.

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Located between Tokyo and Yokohama, Kawasaki’s industrial zone supported Japan’s rapid economic growth in the 60s and 70s. Kawasaki is known for restoring the heavily polluted air and water with citizens, businesses and government working together. Kawasaki has developed a decarbonisation strategy which aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Kawaski will cooperate with Zagreb and Rijeka on themes related to decarbonisation, resource recycling, circular economy and nature-based solutions.


Koriyama is the economic capital for Fukushima prefecture and the regional transport hub which integrates the Shinkansen high-speed train network and the expressway. It is the “nexus of knowledge” where people, goods, information accumulate through interaction between diverse stakeholders. Koriyama fosters new industries related to renewable energy and medical device.

By collaborating with Essen, Koriyama aims to create new industries through industry-academia-government collaboration; promote business in renewable energy and medical equipment-related industries; and nurture the next generation of innovators.

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By Sandor Bordas, CC BY-SA 3.0

Krapina-zagorje County’s economic activities are the production and processing industry, trading, and construction, with potential for IT, transportation, tourism, and sustainable agriculture infrastructure. It is focusing on smart village and smart city development approach, designing and implementing a digital transition strategy, and enabling interconnection between government, academia and private sectors.

(c)Kyoto Media Support Center

The birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol, Kyoto is the first city in Japan to establish an ordinance addressing global warming into the city’s policies in 2004. In 2019, Kyoto declared to achieve Net-Zero CO2 emissions by 2050 ahead of other local governments and contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society on a global level.


La Libertad is the third most populous region in Peru. It possesses great development potential due to its important natural resources, its strong industrial vocation, and its varied tourist attractions. The regional economy is mainly based on agriculture and the manufacturing sector. 

La Libertad seeks to adopt innovation and sustainability as guiding principles for the development of tourism and agroindustry. It expressed interest in developing Industry 5.0 strategies in the manufacturing sectors.  

Konstantinos Agiannis, CC BY-SA 4.0

Larissa is the urban centre in central Greece and the capital of Thessaly region. Larissa is challenged by its role as an economic, administrative, educational, cultural, commercial and health centre, with a strong connection to agriculture. Urban development policies and projects need to support this role and to create sustainability.


From being a market town in the valley of the River Aire in the 16th century, Leeds expanded and absorbed the surrounding villages to become a populous urban centre by the mid-20th century. The city government has put in place an ambitious target to reach net-zero by 2030.

https://www.lemvig.dk/

Lemvig is a 750-year-old market town, and received its municipal charter in 1545. One of the landmarks of Lemvig is the town church from the 13th century. The old town is situated between the Limfjord, a lake and some hills. The local topography was shaped during the last Ice Age.

Lemvig’s participation in the IURC programme will be represented by Climatorium, which has existing collaboration with Nelson City in New Zealand.


Leuven is the capital and largest city of the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium. The municipality itself comprises the historic city and the former neighbouring municipalities of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, a part of Korbeek- Lo, Wilsele and Wijgmaal.

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by Wolfgang Moroder

Ljubljana Urban Region builds its sustainable development on knowledge, innovation, and synergy. The region boosts its competitiveness by modernizing its traffic, environmental, ICT and social infrastructure as well as by developing its human potentials. Another potential lies in cooperation between academia and economic sectors to develop new products and services.


An urban rural municipality, based on the tertiary, agri-food, forestry, and tourism sectors, with a strong influence of the University and the Terra Campus. Developing an innovative urban strategy of climate change adaptation through ambitious investment projects to diversify its sectors towards the bioeconomy.

Increasing urban resiliency would be an area of common interest for Donostia-San Sebastian, Lugo, and Toyama, encompassing a wide area of policies such as: energy efficiency; climate adaptation; and sustainable urban planning.

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Madrid has a very diverse and vibrant economy. Certain aspects, such as being the capital of Spain, and its strategic geographical location not only in the centre of the Peninsula, but also as a gateway between Europe, Latin America and North Africa, have a beneficial effect in its economy.

Madrid is focusing its cooperation with Melbourne on green infrastructure in connection with the COVID recovery strategy of the city. Madrid is creating a 75km long forest ring around the city, “El Bosque Metropolitano”.

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Magallanes features some of the most iconic natural landscapes in Chile, and around 60% of its territory is considered a Natural Protected Area. The main economic activity is manufacturing, including fossil fuels transformation, and agri-food industry. The region’s economy also depends on tourism, oil, and farming. 

The region seeks to improve its competitiveness through 4.0 technologies and digitalization strategies. It is interested in renewable and non-conventional energies, as Green Hydrogen, and in developing natural capital economies. 

J. Alberto from Pontevedra, Spain, CC BY 2.0 ,...

Maia is a dynamic, innovative and entrepreneurial municipality located at the heart of the region and at the center of the Metropolitan Area of Oporto. Sustainable development is one of its top priorities due to its link it to economy, energy consumption, mobility management, and education and social engagement.


Málaga is an important economic centre in the Andalucía region. Malaga was named the European Capital of Smart Tourism in 2020 for its focus on green economy and cultural tourism. The city’s economy also relies on other services such as the information and communication technology sectors (ICTs).   

Málaga seeks to continue working on urban regeneration and on the redevelopment of deprived neighbourhoods. In addition, the city seeks to promote a sustainable and inclusive model of tourism. 

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Manaus is the main financial, corporate, and commercial centre of the Amazonas region and the most populated city of the regionThe municipality recently adopted sustainability as a guiding principle for urban, economic, and industrial development to better adapt the city to the unique context of the Amazon. 

Manaus seeks to revitalise its historic centre and its waterfront, focusing on historical heritage and the reconversion of central areas for housing. Manaus also seeks to promote a “digital district”. 

Quadratestadt Mannheim Bernhard Kunz / Stadtmarketing Mannheim GmbH, CC...

The city of Mannheim is located in Southwest Germany, neighboring Frankfurt with a population of around 320.000 people. Mannheim is a vibrant, diverse city, where multinational corporations, SMEs and startups work closely together. The region is amongst the strongest economic centers in Europe with around 160,000 companies in total.

With a constantly high number of patents registered, the whole region is highly innovative and dynamic in the fields of medical technology, smart production (industry 4.0), creative business and energy/mobility/logistics.

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Mar del Plata is a seaside city with a 28-km long maritime coastline. Its relatively short distance to Buenos Aires makes the city an important economic centre and tourist destination. Its economy heavily relies on the service sector. 

Mar del Plata seeks to adopt energy efficiency measures targeted at public buildingsIt is also interested in promoting cycling lanes and public transportationand in diversifying its productive matrix. 


Melaka City was declared a historical city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2008). It is renowned for its multicultural heritage, leading in green, smart and sustainable city actions. The key challenges are adapting smart city solutions to the heritage city, inculcating citizens’ behavioural changes towards stronger support and awareness.

Melaka City’s focus is smart city planning, nature-based solutions, green digital transition, COVID-19 green recovery process (circular cities transition). To explore cooperation with Yokohama-Frankfurt, Portugal cluster and NCI Bologna (Italy).

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Mendoza’s economy is based on an important ecosystem of industries and services, mainly linked to food production and agriculture. Its strategic location in MERCOSUR facilitates foreign trade and economic growth. In addition, Mendoza is internationally renowned for its wine industry and beautiful landscape. 

Mendoza is interested in Regional Innovation Strategiesdigital transformation, the diversification of its productive matrix, and knowledge services. It also focuses on sustainability through water management and energy transition strategies. 


Mérida is the capital and most important city of the Yucatan State. It’s an important tourist destination featuring numerous natural and cultural attractions. The ecological reserve “Reserva Cuxtal”, in the surroundings of Merida´s metropolitan area, provides clean water to the city. 

The city of Mérida is interested in working on water management, particularly on water runoff and groundwater contamination. The city also seeks to improve urban governance and sustainable mobility. 

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Messina is the third largest city on the island of Sicily. The city’s main resources are its seaports (commercial and military shipyards), cruise tourism, commerce, and agriculture (wine production and cultivating lemons, oranges, mandarin oranges, and olives).


The Metropolitan City of Florence encompasses 41 communes in the Tuscany region. In 2020, it initiated the development of its own metropolitan agenda to align with national and regional strategies for Sustainable Development at metropolitan level, translating and adapting the national priorities and guidelines to the specificities of the Florentine metropolitan context.

The Metropolitan City of Florence can offer good practices of innovative waste management (aiming at zero-waste solutions), sustainable mobility and transport as well as sustainable tourism.


MCV is the metropolitan authority governing Venice and its surrounding area, taking care of the strategic development of the large metropolitan territory. Playing a role of attractor for growth and incubator for innovation, it is giving growing attention to the impact of sea level rise and adaptation to climate change.

MCV joins the IURC pairing of Kamakura and Umeå to cooperate on participatory urban planning, and MCV is also interested in Kamakura’s approach for tourism and culture.

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Kansas City metropolitan area includes 10 counties in Missouri and Kansas (Missouri: Platte, Clay, Ray, Jackson and Cass; Kansas: Johnson, Wyandotte, Miami, Leavenworth and Douglas). Climate Action KC serves the Kansas City region, mirroring the counties served by the Mid-America Regional Council.


Milan is a key economic and industrial centre in northern Italy. The city is also considered one of the top fashion capitals in the world. The municipality has a vast experience in city-to-city cooperation, especially in the improvement of urban services, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. 

Milan is interested in working on urban regeneration processes, migration, and local economic development. The city seeks to promote participatory processes to design a sustainable, connected, and inclusive city. 

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By Tango7174 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The 7th largest city in Spain, Murcia, has services, tourism and agriculture on which its economy is based. Tourism and hostelry are heavily affected by COVID. Adapting to the Green Deal, activating the implementation of circular economy strategy and designing electric vehicle strategy are challenges prioritized by the city council.


Nagano City is surrounded by beautiful mountains in central Japan. Obuse is a small town adjacent to Nagano City. In 2019, the area was flooded, resulting in extensive damage. Nagano is promoting biomass use. Obuse is aiming to transform into an advanced city of environment protection and disaster prevention.

Nagano and Obuse will focus on circular economy. Experts from Turku, Finland, will visit them to learn about the recycling of waste, biomass use, and methods to involve stakeholders.

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Nagoya is the political, economic and cultural hub of Central Japan with a rich history. The city is home to a number of world-class industrial technologies in the automotive, aviation and robotics sectors, including Toyota Motor Corporation. A magnetic-levitation train between Tokyo and Nagoya is scheduled to open in 2027.

Nagoya will collaborate with the city of Turin to develop an ecosystem for innovation with a focus on encouraging start-ups, and the use of design to develop the traditional industry.

Thematic Clusters

Education, Jobs & Skills

Cross-cutting challenges

To be specified

Naples is one of the most important ports in the country. Tourism and cultural activities are essential to the city’s economy, as Naples benefits from a rich historical heritage, including its historic centre (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and highly attractive tourist sites such as Pompeii, Capri, and Ischia. 

Naples expressed a strong interest in historic preservation, urban regeneration, and participatory governance, particularly for the recovery of underused public and private assets. 

Vanni Lazzari, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Nuovo Circondario Imolese is characterized by important industries, a thriving agricultural sector and a rich historical, artistic and monumental heritage. NCI is making its own strategic plan. Sustainability and environment represent development priorities for investments and future activities. Investments in the university and higher education sector are constantly promoted.

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Nelson is the oldest city on New Zealand’s South Island. Its economy is based on seafood, horticulture, forestry, farming and tourism but Nelson is also home to a number of growth industries such as art and craft, aviation, engineering and information technologies.


For more than a century, New Plymouth has been the energy capital of New Zealand. In 2018, a long-term economic strategy to achieve a just transition was written to work with Taranaki’s 2050 roadmap, which has 12 transitional pathways including Energy, Food and Maori economy.


The North East Region has the lowest GDP per capita in the country, however, it boasts a rich historical and cultural heritage. The region possesses important natural landscapes, including mountains, vineyards, and large farms. Therefore, it appears as an important national tourist destination and features an active agricultural sector.

The region is interested in RIS4 and in developing economic sectors linked to agri-food, sustainable agriculture, high-tech textile industries, health, and ICTs applied to tourism and creative industries. 

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Thematic Clusters

Regional Innovation (RIS 4)

Cross-cutting challenges

Digital Transition & Smart City

The North West Region’s economy relies on dynamic industrial and service clusters, as well as the construction and agriculture sectors. The region has  great potential for tourism, as it features numerous protected natural areas, historical and cultural sites, and important resources of salt, thermal and mineral waters. 

The region seeks to develop tourism based on the potential of its therapeutic industry. It also seeks to promote digitalisation and smart specialisation strategies, particularly orientated towards health and tourism. 

Thematic Clusters

Tourism – Culture

Cross-cutting challenges

Digital Transition & Smart City

Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) is a regional council of governments representing 13 localities of the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. It has been one of the fastest-growing regions in the U.S. The region is among the most demographically diverse in the United States.


Opolskie Voivodeship benefits from the most important agricultural production in the country, thanks to its favourable climate, the presence of fertile soils, and the prevalence of a strong farming culture. The region also features important natural landmarks attracting international tourism, mostly coming from Europe

The region is interested in working on circular economyespecially on sharing economy and low-waste technologies. It seeks to promote energy efficiency practices and the sustainability of the productive sector.  


Osaka is located in Kansai, the heart of Japan. Osaka City is a centre of commerce and finance with 180,000 business establishments, the second largest in the country. The city works together with the Osaka Prefectural Government and the Japanese government towards the success of Expo ‘2025 Osaka-Kansai’.


Ostrobothnia’s economy is heavily based on foreign trade and on the energy sector, which has a central role in the regional innovation strategies. The globalized innovation system of Ostrobothnia is driven by large businesses but also seeks to integrate SMEs in regional value chains.

Ostrobothnia is interested in “smarter Europe” transformation policies linked to smart regional innovation and sustainable regional specialization strategies. The region seeks to adopt policies linked to “greener Europe” initiatives.

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Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. Its recent growth has brought fundamental changes such as rapid suburban sprawl, the repopulation of the downtown, the rise of urban living, becoming a more multicultural society, the birth of the high-tech sector, and the opening of a new light rail system.

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Paraná benefits from a strategic proximity to the Paraná River, a key resource for logistics and transportation. The regional economy is mainly based on industry, technology, and serviceswith a special focus on agrobusinesses. Agri-food products, principally managed through well-organized cooperatives, are indeed the most important exporting good. 

Regional Innovation Strategies 4.0 appear as key enabling approaches to foster growth and competitiveness in Paraná. The region also seeks to promote ICTs to attract and retain highly qualified jobs.   

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Parma is a UNESCO Creative City for the Gastronomy category and the Italian Capital of Culture 2020-21. Despite the pollution produced by its intense agricultural and industrial activities, Parma is highly committed to becoming a green city by promoting people-centered policies and livable, safe, and traffic-free communities. 

The city seeks to promote a change in mobility patterns through public-private partnerships, the reduction of private car dependency, and the improvement of public spaces for post-pandemic economic recovery. 

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Piraeus is one of the most important ports of Europe and is located on the Mediterranean coast, in the region of Attica. The municipality is the fifth largest city in Greece and is committed to becoming a competitive, sustainable, and attractive European port city. 

Piraeus wants to become a “smart”, “green”, “blue” and “open” city. Piraeus is interested in increasing the number of green areas through Nature Based Solutions (NBS). 


When the steel industry collapsed in the 1980s, Pittsburgh lost nearly half of its population. Now, Pittsburgh has redefine itself to become a healthcare and education-focused city. With an eye towards equitable growth, it is committed to leaving behind its pollution-filled past and forge ahead with a greener future.

Thematic Clusters

Mobility & Transport

Cross-cutting challenges

Energy Transition & Climate Change

Piura is one the Peruvian cities that is most affected by heavy rains and floods during El Niño. It is home to important educational and research centres, and is part of an important development cluster benefiting from flows of investment in agri-food industry, fishing, mining, and the service sector. 

Piura seeks to work on sustainability and resilience to climate change, while controlling urban sprawl. It is also interested in improving public spaces and evolving towards a Smart City model.


Piura is the second most populous region in Peru, and it is one of the most vulnerable territories to “El Niño”. The regional economy heavily relies on extractive activities in the primary sector. The region was one of the top agro-exporting regions in Peru in 2020. 

Piura is interested in sustainable agriculture, hydrobiological and fishing industries, and food value chains. It also seeks to develop tourism and culture to promote Piura as a creative region. 

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Prague is the capital city and economic and cultural center of the country. With many magnificent monuments, the historic centre of Prague was listed as a World Heritage Site. The city’s sustainable challenges include adaptation to climate change impacts and transition to circular economy.

Prague and Kyoto have been sister cities since 1996. Both cities are interested in sustainability issues related to climate change including decarbonisation and energy, circular economy and nature-based solutions.

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Puerto Montt is the gateway to the Chiloé archipelago and Chilean Patagonia, propelling the city as an important economic and productive centre for the region. Puerto Montt is also the entry point of the famous Los Lagos Region, which includes several volcanoes, lakes, and national parks.

Puerto Montt is interested in nature-based solutions for increasing water reuse while reducing run-off contamination. It also prioritises climate change adaptation strategiesas energy efficiencysustainable tourism, and sustainable mobility. 


Punta Arenas is the largest city of the Magallanes region in southern Chile. Its proximity to important natural landmarks is catapulting the city into an important tourist hub. It is also the world’s principal entry point to Antarctica for both scientific and touristic purposes. 

Punta Arenas is interested in achieving sustainability, partly by promoting cycling as a strategy to reduce car-dependency. The city also seeks to reduce urban sprawl while protecting natural areas.


Reggio Emilia is a medium-sized town situated in Northern Italy, in the heart of the so-called “Italian Food Valley” and the “Motor Valley” in the middle of the Emilia Romagna region. . The city is also renowned for being one of the “capitals” of cooperative movement.

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by Wolfgang Moroder

Lazio is deeply involved in its Smart Specialization Strategy through the approach aiming at promoting growth and employment. The innovation drivers for Lazio are Agrofood, green and circular economy, life science, automotive and sustainable mobility, aerospace, blue Economy, digital and creative industries, security, as well as technologies for cultural heritage.

Peloponnisios, CC BY-SA 4.0

Patra is the capital of Western Greece, a major port and commercial hub. The regional economy is based on agriculture and livestock, construction and labor-intensive industries, service, as well as information and communication technologies. Furthermore, it is also home to an emerging ecosystem of clusters in Agrofood, ICT and innovation.


The third largest city in Croatia, Rijeka is a port city and a former industrial center of the country. With the decline of traditional heavy industries, it focuses on supporting innovative technologies and creative industries for the future to transform to a knowledge-based economy. Tourism and related services are also important sectors.

Rijeka, jointly with Zagreb, will collaborate with Kawasaki on decarbonization, energy, resource recy-cling, circular economy, and nature-based solutions.

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Rimini is located at the heart of the Adriatic coast. It is an ancient, wealthy, livable city, recognized as a European seaside destination. Rimini has started a massive urban regeneration process, based on a new concept oriented towards urban & landscape quality and social & environmental sustainability.

Thematic Clusters

Mobility & Transport

Cross-cutting challenges

Digital Transition & Smart City

The Municipality of Rome is a local public body representing about three million inhabitants. The focal point for the cooperation in the IURC is the city’s Department for Development Projects and European Fundings (DPSFE). Cooperation will be supported by Sapienza University, specifically by CITERA.

 

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Located at the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas channel leading into the Rhine– Meuse–Scheldt delta at the North Sea, Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and Europe’s largest seaport. The extensive distribution system including rail, roads, and waterways have earned Rotterdam the nickname “Gateway to Europe”.

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San Diego is the 8th most populous City in the USA. Its primary economic sectors include military, tourism, technology, biotech and cleantech, and international trade. It is the economic center of the San Diego-Tijuana transborder economic region and a major center of advanced academic research institutions.

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https://viajecaminodesantiago.com/en/santiago-compostela

Ames and Santiago de Compostela form a functional area, where an incomparable cultural establishment, the Cathedral of Santiago and the Way of St. James, is situated. The COVID -19 makes it clear that to explore potentialities, linked to knowledge, innovation & specialization and to diversify its economic structure are necessary.


Seberang Perai, the second most populous city among the nation’s highest population densities, is a combination of three towns on the mainland – Butterworth, Bukit Mertajam and Nibong Tebal. Its city status was granted in July 2018 after it fulfilled the criteria of more than 500,000 inhabitants and revenue of EUR 20.22 million.

Seberang Perai’s focus is circular economy, education, jobs and skills. Seberang Perai would like to explore cooperation with Villa Nova Famalicão City Council and Maia Municipality, Portugal.

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Sejong Special Self-Governing City is the de facto administrative capital of the Republic of Korea, located in the centre of the country. It was founded in 2007 as the new planned capital of South Korea and is well-known for specialising in smart city, mobility and transportation.


Located on the north coast of central Java, Semarang City plays an important role as a domestic hub for trade and commerce. Semarang maintains a degree of cultural diversity, resulting in its attractive neighbourhoods. The heritage of the city is extremely rich, with a multi-ethnic society coexisting.

Semarang will pair with Sofia of Bulgaria to share the experience on urban mobility.

Thematic Clusters

Mobility & Transport

Cross-cutting challenges

Digital Transition & Smart City

Seoul Metropolitan City is the capital city of the Republic of Korea. A global city, Seoul boasts one of the world’s largest metropolitan economies, and hosts 14 Fortune Global 500 companies. The city is highly developed in digitalization and smart cities, and technology is woven into citizens’ daily lives.

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Silesian Voivodeship has the fourth highest GDP per capita in the country and is considered one of the regions with the greatest economic potential in Poland. It hosts 11 public universities, including the University of Silesia in Katowicewhich is the largest education centre in the country. 

The region is interested in working on regional innovationdigital transition, and smart region strategies. It also seeks to implement 4.0 industries and promote green economy. 

By Julian Nyča - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Sisak Moslavina County’s problem is high unemployment rate and unfavourable qualification and age structure of the jobless. Civil war caused large infrastructural damages. Main priorities to resolve issues above: economic growth and employment development, environmental protection and preservation of natural and cultural heritage, development of infrastructure and life quality improvement.

By MrPanyGoff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Sofia is the 14th largest city in Europe. The “Innovative Sofia” from Municipality focuses on improving the quality of life for all citizens via digitalization and innovations as well as facilitating the city’s development as a digital, innovative, R&D, creative and start-up hub, a preferred destination for business and life.


St. John’s, one of the oldest cities in North America, the most easterly coastal capital city, and government and service centre for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The city is home to Memorial University with noted expertise in ocean & marine research, education, public engagement, and technology start-up facilities.

Thematic Clusters

Education, Jobs & Skills

Cross-cutting challenges

Energy Transition & Climate Change
Image by Jörg Fiedler from Pixabay

Verband Region Stuttgart is the political entity for the Stuttgart Region, including Stuttgart city. It operates co-funding schemes to initiate a sustainable development and cooperates closely with universities and research institutes to carry out research and pilot projects in the fields of mobility, sustainable development, and climate change.

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The province of Tierra del Fuego is located in the extreme south of the American continent. It forms a Special Customs Area and a Zona Franca. This special condition allows the development of industrial activities, mainly based in the transformation of imported raw materials and electronic products for manufacturing.

The region seeks to apply sustainable strategies and 4.0 Technologies to agroindustryfood systems, and the knowledge economy. It is interested in improving regional competitiveness by developing jobs and skills. 

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Tokorozawa, a suburb of Tokyo, is directly connected to central Tokyo by rail. The city has rich farmland, tea plantations, and the Totoro Forest – setting of a well-known anime movie. Focusing on renewable energy, energy conservation and greenery, Tokorozawa aims to become a zero-carbon city by 2050.

Tokorozawa will continue cooperation with Bratislava to learn from each other about good practices for a decarbonised society, renewable energy, energy saving, and local power projects, and collaboration with stakeholders.

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Toyama’s compact urban development has been highly praised and featured as a “leading” model in the OECD’s compact city report (2012). The only Japanese city selected for the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative (2014), Toyama is also a member of the Rockefeller Foundation’s “100 Resilient Cities” program.

Toyama will cooperate with two Spanish cities, Donostia-San Sebastian and Lugo, to increase urban resiliency, encompassing a wide area of policies such as energy efficiency, climate adaptation and sustainable urban planning.


Toyota, the birthplace of Toyota Motor Corporation, is the global hub for the automobile industry. It has expanded through a series of municipal mergers to also become embedded with a rich variety of natural resources, history and culture. Toyota is one of the most environmentally advanced cities in Japan.

Toyota will continue cooperation with Grenoble-Alpes Metropole on the production and use of renewable energy, especially hydrogen; and ways to promote open innovation through diverse stakeholder engagement.

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Trier is considered Germany’s oldest city. It serves as a hub for road, rail, and water traffic on the western border of the country. The city has drawn up an action plan that sets out concrete goals and measures for ecologically sustainable, fair and internationally responsible initiatives.


Trikala is the capital of the Trikala Regional Unit, in the north-western part of the region of Thessaly. The south-eastern part belongs to the Thessalian plain. Its major river is the Pineios, flowing to the south and east. The regional unit includes the Municipalities of Trikala, Farkadona, Meteora and Pyli.

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Turin is the capital of Piedmont and the business and cultural centre in Northern Italy. The city experienced a massive process of urban transformation in the last 20-30 years due to a substantial fall in the industrial production. Digital and technological innovation and social innovation are pressing urban challenges.

Turin and Nagoya are sister cities since 2004 and will collaborate to develop an ecosystem for industrial innovation and social innovation with a focus on start-ups and the use of design.

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Turku is a middle-sized coastal city located in southwestern Finland. It is an important business and cultural centre. The city is Ambitiously committed to become carbon-neutral by 2029 and climate-positive thereafter. Main urban development challenges include managing the urban structure and functionality within the region.

Turku continues to cooperate with Nagano City and Obuse Town for achieving climate neutrality through promoting urban-rural circular economy.

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Di Greymouser - Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0

Umbria economy is mainly made up of SME, coming in clusters such as aerospace, mechanics, biomedical, nautical, natural fabrics, healthcare, automotive, Agrofood, mechatronics, bioplastics and green chemistry. Digital innovation generates development and well-being for entire community, whereas tourism evolves around environmental sustainability, culture, as well as food and wine experiences.


Umeå’s population has doubled over the last 50 years, making it one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. The city seeks to maintain social, ecological, economic, and cultural sustainability as it aims to become climate neutral by 2030. In addition, Umeå was named European Capital of Culture in 2014. 

Umeå is interested in sustainable agriculture, linked to food systems and urban gardens. It also seeks climate neutrality and social sustainability, as well as to promote comprehensive circular economy strategies. 

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The region’s capital Cali is one of the most important economic centres in Colombia. Valle del Cauca is also home to the port of Buenaventura, that concentrates around 45% of national exports. The region is recognized for its sugar industry that supplies the rest of Colombia and neighbouring countries.  

Valle del Cauca seeks to promote sustainable agriculture and to foster its agroindustry. The region is also interested in promoting sustainable tourism and in developing skilled jobs and innovation centers. 

Vitor Oliveira from Torres Vedras, PORTUGAL, CC BY-SA 2.0...

Famalicão is one of the most entrepreneurial municipalities in Portugal with a strong industrial tradition (textile, metal-mechanic and agrofood industries). Its youth energy, human resources assortment and skills, and the sustained growth are the main features defining this city as an excellent place to live and invest in.

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The capital of Lithuania, Vilnius has made a significant step towards a smart city solution with the Open Data Project, in which the city collects data on how much of the energy used is produced from renewable energy sources. The City Administration has set targets and tools in the mobility and energy plans 2030.

Vilnius would like to identify sustainable solutions to transforming old Soviet Union areas into modern and striving neighbourhoods powered by smart technology and new urban living concepts.

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Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital city of the Basque Country in northern Spain. A compact medium-size city, it is a sustainable city that has worked for years on a city model that also embraces its landscape, even as it grows. Vitoria-Gasteiz was awarded the European Green Capital in 2012.

Nature-based solutions, green infrastructure, sustainable mobility, sustainable food systems, energy transition and circularity of materials and waste will be the focus for Vitoria-Gasteiz.

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Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada and is located in Essex County which includes 7 townships, two of which directly border the City of Windsor. Windsor is recognized as one of the most culturally diverse communities in Canada, where 27% of the population is foreign-born with over 100 cultures.

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Thematic Clusters

Renovation Wave

Cross-cutting challenges

Energy Transition & Climate Change

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and home to a quarter of the entire national population. Its urban challenges include traffic connections, waste management and green and smart solutions. Introduction of green and nature-based solutions is a relatively new activity in Zagreb. Same is for smart city solutions.

Zagreb, jointly with Rijeka, will collaborate with Kawasaki on decarbonization, energy, resource recycling, circular economy, and nature-based solutions.

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Zaragoza is the fifth city in Spain in population, with a strategic location for logistics and supply chain management turned into the largest logistics platform in southern Europe. Its urban development think-tank EBROPOLIS has also become referential for data management & planning strategies, with numerous successful projects in progress.

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