Transforming cities one district at a time

By 2050, it is predicted that over 66 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. It is therefore vital that we make every effort to make cities sustainable, low carbon, and climate resilient.

As Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate change, EIT Climate-KIC helps to transform cities into sustainable and resilient communities. We believe that a decarbonized, sustainable economy is not only necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change, but presents a wealth of opportunities for business and society.

Our Smart Sustainable Districts team and community supports city stakeholders to develop and deliver transformative sustainability projects at a city-district scale. 

We prioritise a collaborative approach that involves all stakeholders in tackling simultaneous challenges – unlocking radical, environmental, social and economic benefits for communities. 

Our experience has shown that working at the city-district scale brings the complexity of whole-city urban challenges down to a more viable neighbourhood unit. 

At the city-district scale, city stakeholders can plan, pilot and prove approaches that overcome challenges to systemic change – to then be scaled back to city-wide implementation. 

This is how the Smart Sustainable Districts programme is ‘transforming cities one district at a time’. 



What we offer

We accelerate delivery of transformative sustainability projects

Municipalities and other key city stakeholders often lack the necessary capacity and experience to structure complex sustainable urban systems projects. Our team can fill these gaps with support to:

  • formulate a clear and measurable district aspiration that is framed in a locally-relevant way
  • analyse and assess urban systems project opportunities
  • stimulate community participation and ownership
  • develop locally appropriate business models that remove barriers to change and enable successful project delivery and long-term operation (e.g. governance structures, partnerships, commercial delivery and operational structures, and finance)
  • translate plans into projects that are ‘investment grade’ and help to access appropriate finance

This helps cities to accelerate delivery of transformative sustainability projects and the resulting benefits to their communities.

Join us

Benefits of joining our community 

Being part of the Smart Sustainable Districts community provides cities with unique oppotunities to:

  • identify and optimise viable sustainable urban systems projects to deliver transformative sustainable change in their community.
  • connect with some of Europe’s best technical and academic experts
  • leverage experiences from other districts.

So far twelve district projects from European cities have been supported through the SSD programme, including: Utrecht ‘The New Centre’, London’s Queen Elizabeth Park, Berlin Moabit West, Malmö Sofielund and Helsinki’s Kalasatama; as well as districts in Paris, Rotterdam, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Valencia and Valletta. 

If you want to find out more about our SSD programme and how to join our community, please contact  

You can download case studies of Smart Sustainable Districts Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London and Moabit, West here.

Keep up to date with SSD activity and calls. Sign up to our newsletter below.

Keep up to date with SSD activity and calls. Sign up to our newsletter below.

Contact Us

The Smart Sustainable Districts Team

Tim Taylor

Programme Manager


Svea Heinemann

Programme Operations Manager

Brian Kilkelly

Urban Transitions Business Development Lead