Pioneer Cities


Pathfinder – Exploring future demands, assessing potential for innovations to meet those demands and identifying barriers to deployment


Pan European, coordinated from UK

January 2012

Birmingham City Council


Sandy Taylor, Birmingham City Council

Bologna Municipality
Budapest Municipality 
Frankfurt City Council 
Castellon Municipality 
Wroclaw Agglomeration Development Agency 
Birmingham Science Park Aston 

Europe is an urban continent, with a large percentage of its population living and working within its cities. These areas account for a significant proportion of the Continent’s economic activity and around 70% of its carbon emissions from energy usage. Cities and urban areas are therefore crucial in Europe’s transition towards a low carbon society.

To meet the challenges and requirements of a shift to a low carbon society, urban areas will have to consider a range of solutions across a variety of areas. They will need to consider the reduction of energy consumption from buildings, adapt energy networks for renewables and energy storage and promote low carbon and sustainable transport.

Pioneer Cities brought together cities from across the Continent to consider solutions for the transition to a low carbon society. The project has been led by the city authorities themselves, as they are responsible for managing buildings, energy and mobility systems within their respective areas. The city authorities were also able to engage with a range of other stakeholders and actors to identify current schemes and initiatives that are operating.

Pioneer Cities identified challenges that are similar across the partner cities. Through engaging with stakeholders and identifying solutions on the ground, the project began to develop an understanding of best practice in addressing these challenges. This will allow the easier dissemination of information about implementing solutions to transitional challenges.

Through the identification of key trends, Pioneer Cities has identified key business opportunities and new markets. This will encourage the dissemination of innovation across Europe.