Urban Transitions Mission

Our goal is that the Mission will work with a cohort of 50 ambitious cities worldwide to demonstrate integrated pathways towards holistic, people-centred urban transitions built around clean energy and innovative net-zero carbon solutions. By 2030, these pathways will be validated by an additional group of 250 cities and inspire cities across world regions on their journey towards decarbonisation.

Cities account for nearly three-quarters of global energy consumption and 70% greenhouse gas emissions. They are a key actor to accelerate progress towards the Paris Agreement goals and pathways to net-zero. To meet the global climate goals, national governments, local governments, the business sector, stakeholders and civil society must quickly partner to accelerate the implementation of holistic urban transitions.


  • Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
  • European Commission
  • JPI Urban Europe


Decision makers need to be mobilised across all levels of government to prioritise climate-neutral and net-zero pathways enabled by clean energy and systemic innovation across all sectors and in urban governance. By accelerating capacity-building and closing the gap between research, development and deployment, cities can be empowered to adopt innovative solutions and reach the tipping points in the cost and scale of those solutions for urban transitions.  The Mission will focus on the following three areas to achieve the goal:

Innovative Net-Zero Urban Transition

Bring together a cohort of 300 cities by 2024 and integrate innovative solutions into a net-zero urban transition roadmap framework.

Innovation priorities:

  • Developing an integrated approach for urban transitions, including both social and technological components.
  • Achieving stronger multi-level governance by engaging MI Members as key actors and drivers for the net-zero urban transition.
  • Innovative approaches and solutions in the areas of Positive Energy Districts, the 15-Minute City, and urban circularity.

Capacity Building and Funding for the Net-Zero Urban Transition

Increase access to evidence, good practice, networking and funding opportunities for cities worldwide through a global knowledge exchange centre, empowering them to shape their own transition with a robust knowledge base and strong net-zero community of support and exchange.

Innovation priorities:

  • Aligning funding and strengthening joint research & innovation calls for cities’ transition to net-zero.
  • Support mainstreaming, adapting and scaling up of solutions and good practice.
  • Advance net-zero policies and strategies on international, national, regional and local levels.
  • Establish a forum for international exchange and cooperation on climate-neutral transitions.

Research and Innovation Needs for the Global Net-Zero Transition

Mobilise a Global Innovation Alliance for cities and national governments to develop, pilot, and scale innovative solutions and approaches for urban transitions.

Innovation priorities:

  • Helping cities be solutions providers and aggregating the demand for R&I at the global level, increasing the speed and scale of deployment of net-zero development.
  • Closing the gap between research, development, and deployment on systemic transition pathways.

The Sprints

UTM City Cohort

The Mission has launched an open call for cities to join the UTM City cohort. A first cohort of 50 cities will engage as of the end of the selection procedure in late 2022, while a second cohort of 250 will be selected and involved in 2024 with a consequent call. A robust methodology in the selection process will ensure the readiness and commitment of cities to engage as frontrunners in innovation to support and accelerate the Mission goals.

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Global Innovation Summit

The Global Innovation Summit convenes mayors, local leaders, expert staff from UTM  cohort of cities, showcasing their experience both as solution provider and as innovation hub. The Summit brings together national policymakers from Mission Innovation member countries, as well as international organizations, partners, and stakeholders from both the private sector and academia to discuss and showcase leading efforts across the cities engaging with the Urban Transitions Mission, identify together critical opportunities, collaborations and partnerships for a holistic transition to a net-zero future.

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