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Smart cities

Cities using technological solutions to improve the management and efficiency of the urban environment.  

What are smart cities?

A smart city is a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital solutions for the benefit of its inhabitants and business. 

A smart city goes beyond the use of digital technologies for better resource use and less emissions. It means smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities and more efficient ways to light and heat buildings. It also means a more interactive and responsive city administration, safer public spaces and meeting the needs of an ageing population.

Smart Cities Marketplace

The Smart Cities Marketplace was created by merging two former platforms, the “Marketplace of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC Marketplace)” and the “Smart Cities Information System (SCIS)”.

It is a major market-changing undertaking that aims to bring cities, industries, SMEs, investors, banks, researchers and many other smart city actors together.

The Smart Cities Marketplace has many followers from all over Europe and beyond, many of which have signed up as a member.

Their common aims are to improve citizens’ quality of life, increase the competitiveness of European cities and industry as well as to reach European energy and climate targets.


The Marketplace's main areas of cross-cutting operation include:

  • sustainable urban mobility
  • sustainable districts and built environment
  • integrated infrastructures and processes in energy, information and communication technologies and transport
  • citizen focus
  • policy and regulation
  • integrated planning and management
  • knowledge sharing
  • baselines, performance indicators and metrics
  • open data governance
  • standards
  • business models, procurement and funding

The Smart Cities Marketplace’s operations are structured by its integrated Explore-Shape-Deal Matchmaking process, purposefully geared towards the knowledge exchange on, the capacity building support for and the development, implementation, replication and upscaling of Smart City solutions. It is organised in three phases building on each other:

  1. Explore – See and learn what’s next:
    This phase enables access to the collected Smart Cities knowledge, including that of  linked projects and initiatives. It is a continuous process that helps keeping the overview of which solutions and best practices have already been successfully implemented and creating ideas for own projects.
  2. Shape – Shape project and action plans:
    Once a vision for a project has been developed this phase helps to shape that idea into a solid bankable project, which is fit to attract public and private investors. This phase will also enable a structured dialogue between all key stakeholders involved.
  3. Deal – Create relations and opportunities:
    The third and last phase enables a one-to-one exchange between project promoters and members of the financing community to ultimately close deals and finance projects.


Focus and discussion groups

If you are active in the area of sustainable urban development you are cordially invited to consider the Smart Cities Marketplace’s Discussion and Focus groups. They aim to facilitate peer exchange and support for all stakeholders involved in this area.  -

  • Focus groups  work on commonly identified challenges related to the transition to climate-neutral and sustainable cities, led by a voluntary chairperson. Their participants meet and debate their ideas in an on-site and online discussion setting (e.g. webinars, workshops, etc.). Communication and cooperation are supported by a co-chair of the Smart Cities Marketplace’s expert team, a secretarial support team, and through the Smart Cities Marketplace’s online community space. Focus groups can also serve as a springboard for the development of concrete projects, which can then also possibly be fed into the above-mentioned Matchmaking process for closing a financing deal.
  • Discussion groups are fora where the participants can exchange experience, cooperate, support, and discuss a specific theme. They are organised as online discussion fora through the Smart Cities Marketplace’s community space and guided by a voluntary chairperson and supported by a Smart Cities Marketplace expert team member. 

Since the groups are timely limited and strictly outcome driven the Smart Cities Marketplace organises regular calls for topics, open to various stakeholders from the sustainable urban development community in EU Member States or associated countries. They give applicants the opportunity to gain visibility for their respective topic and to shape the agenda for these groups, should the respective topics be picked up. Find out more about the existing Groups or how to start a new one on the Smart Cities Marketplace website: Focus and Discussion groups | Smart Cities Marketplace (


Green Cities Wiki

To manage the wealth of news, projects, insights, stories, knowledge and guidance available on the pages of the Smart Cities Marketplace and to feed into both the above-mentioned Explore-Shape-Deal process as well as the Focus and Discussion groups the Smart Cities Marketplace features the Green Cities Wiki. It lends its structure from the previously published Smart City Guidance Package and gives easily navigable access to the respective areas of interest of stakeholders involved in sustainable urban development. It will also be further augmented with results from the Discussion and Focus groups as well as other action streams of the Smart Cities Marketplace, such as projects resulting from the Matchmaking process.


Related policies

Energy and smart cities

Sustainable transport for smart cities

Digital single market and smart cities




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