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European Cities

The IUC Asia programme works with cities from Europe and Asia in different areas:

  • Sustainable Urban Development: Cross-city pairings between European and Chinese cities
  • Energy and Climate Action: Cities from China, the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia

European Cities

I. Mannheim, Germany

The city of Mannheim is a middle-sized metropolis located in the heart of Europe. It counts more than 300.000 inhabitants and is the centre of the European Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar which also comprises other cities like Heidelberg, small towns and rural areas.

Mannheim is located by the river Rhine which is the most important European waterway. It is also located on a trans-European traffic corridor which links the North Sea with the Mediterranean and constitutes one of the most important European transport axis.

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II. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.4 million people, while its larger urban zone is estimated to have a population of 2.2 million. 

Thanks to its support for education, culture and a creative environment, Prague is becoming the Central European centre of the creative industry, which, together with its classic industries, makes Prague a sought-after location for establishing companies of regional and global importance.


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III. Málaga, Spain

Málaga as a municipality is the capital of the Province of Málaga in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. With 569.000 inhabitants, it the second most inhabitad city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. In addition, it is the southernmost large city in Europe which lies on the Costa del Sol in the Mediterranean. Málaga is located in the Mediterranean coast of Andalusia, between the Strait of Gibraltar and the mountains of Sierra Nevada.

The city has been characterised by a strong demographic increase in the last 50 years, doubling its population between 1960 and 1980 which has put pressure on urban infrastructure such as the transport sector and hence in an increase of green house gases emissions. Málaga is still the center and transport hub in the region.

Nevertheless, in recent years Málaga has made big improvements when it comes to cycling. The use of bicycles is promoted as being eco-friendly, fun, safe and healthy in the city.  This is part of their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP), which has been in development since 2008 in order to reach new sustainable mobility solutions.

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IV. Burgas , Bulgaria

Burgas is the biggest city in South-East Bulgaria and it is bounded by the Black Sea surrounding the large Burgas Bay. At the turn of 21st c. Burgas was a regional and municipal center, as well as the fourth largest town in Bulgaria, with a population of 229 740 inhabitants.  The city of Burgas is an important industrial, commercial, transport, tourism and administrative center of the Municipality and South-East region of Bulgaria. The economy has a diverse character, which makes the Municipality the economic leader and an important center for the development of the region.

Burgas has the largest port in the country with the only oil terminal south of the Balkan range, with a well-developed railway and road network. The City of Burgas is one of the main logistical points of the European transport corridor 8, disposing of good road and railway connectivity.

Burgas’ current plan for energy supply includes an effective and stable management of energy resources and the green economic growth, offering high quality services for the population, healthy and accessible environment, with real perspectives for business investments. Therefore, renewable energy and energy efficiency are key sectors to achieve this goal.

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V. Agioi Anargyroi-Kamatero , Greece

Agioi Anargyroi-Kamatero  is a small city of mixed land usage (commercial, residential) part of the Athens Metropolitan Agglomeration.

Agioi Anargyroi-Kamatero aims to improve the city’s urban environment and ensure its attractiveness and sustainability by creating urban areas in which people can comfortably live, work and relax. Agioi Anargyroi-Kamatero has already adopted a number of adaptation measures, which are part of a series of integrated projects related to the renovation of the city. These measures include the installation of squares, green spaces, pergolas, and energy-efficient lighting on key pedestrian areas.

The city has also planned a number of new projects to extend the city’s green infrastructure, particularly in green buildings and urban mobility.

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VI: Granada, Spain

Granada as a municipality is the capital of the Province of Granada in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain.

Sprawled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, Granada is situated at the confluence of four rivers in the South of Andalusia, Spain. As the last stronghold of the Spanish Moors, Granada is cultural city with a population of approximately 236,000 inhabitants, also known for hosting the Moorish castle of Alhambra and the University of Granada which has an estimated 82,000 students, making it very multicultural and diverse as well as young city.

The city is focused on culture and heritage, leisure, tourism and technological development.

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VII. Rome, Italy

With more than 10 million arrivals and 25 million of visitors Rome is the leading Italian city in terms of number of tourists. It is also the largest coastal town in Europe, with about 20 km of coastline. Within its borders, Rome encompasses about 52,000 ha of rural areas. It administrative organization consists of over 20 departments, and 15 municipal districts employing 23.000 staff units, a number of in house public services companies. Rome has a cultural and artistic heritage unique in the world whose value is a distinctive element in Europe and worldwide. During the last decades, the City of Rome has reinforced significantly its expertise in the management of the big international events (e.g.: 2016 and 2000 Jubilees) by developing an high level of services and infrastructures.

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VIII: Barnsley, UK

For much of the 20th Century Barnsley had an economy based on coal and its supporting industries. This shaped the local infrastructure, landscape, supply chains and community. It was a well-paid, male-based, industry requiring specialist knowledge and skills. When the mining industry collapsed in the 1990’s a huge regeneration effort followed to rebuild the economy to create new jobs and eradicate the dereliction left by this collapse. At the core of these activities was a drive to transform the local economy from one dominated by large scale traditional industries, to one which embraces new technologies and strives to create jobs and businesses in new sectors and one which supports surviving traditional businesses to become more competitive by embracing the opportunities new technologies has to offer. Key challenge of Barnsley is to create more and better jobs by developing and attracting digital industries and to create the physical and human infrastructure to drive this economic evolution.

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IX. Reggio Emilia, Italy

Reggio Emilia (RE) is a medium-sized city in Northern Italy, located in the Emilia-Romagna Region, at the heart of the Food Valley. RE is famous worldwide thanks to its educational services for earlychildhood and is one of the most privileged areas in IT in terms of standard of living. RE is ranked 11th in IT for the export capacity (export value 2016: 9,5 bln €), and its economic tissue is mainly based on SME (agrofood, mechanic/mechatronics). The % of employed to working population 15-64 years is 68.2%: +11 compared to the national rate. The unemployment rate of population >15y is 4.7% (while the Regional rate is 6.9% and the National rate is 11.7%). Foreign citizens are 18%. The main concern is to guarantee the prosperity of the community within a sustainable urban environment. Challenges: 1-Urban development: how to plan &shape the city to respond to the main challenges; 2-economic growth and capacity of attracting investments, skills & jobs; 3-Integration of migrants;4-Adaptation

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X. Nice, France

Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur (NCA), France’s first metropolis, was created on 1 January 2012. It establishes intercommunal links 49 member municipalities, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Alpine border with Italy (large and small towns, villages and ski resorts), helping them to sustain the competition with their European and international counterparts for implementation of development projects and innovative actions. In the area of the Plaine du Var (western part of NCA), the Eco-Vallée project was granted the status of Operation of National Interest by the French State in 2008. It aims at creating a new urban planning model which combines ecology and economy to profoundly modify the economic structure of the metropolis, as well as the modes of transport and housing.

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