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Smart City Peer-Learning Partnerships - #ConnectedinEurope
Thomas Mueller20. February 20222 min read

European Smart City Peer-Learning Partnerships: Expression of Interest

As part of the BBSR-funded project #connectedinEurope, six smart city peer-learning partnerships between German and European cities are being set up to promote knowledge transfer in smart city development and digital urban development to foster peer-to-peer learning. European and German cities can express their interest until 25 February 2022.

The #connectedinEurope Project

The European Green Deal and the Digital Europe Programme will play a central role in the implementation of European regulations and the design of funding instruments in the coming years. This requires a European exchange of institutional stakeholders and municipalities on how the digital transformation can help achieve the goals of sustainable, integrated and common good-oriented urban development at the European and national levels.

The project addresses the pronounced need for the structured bundling of “digital transformation and urban development” processes and for supporting the participation of municipalities in European networks, including projects and initiatives on digital transformation.

Core activities in the project are the qualification and empowerment of German and European municipalities for networking. With this aim in mind, the project team provides the municipalities with practical instruments, peer-based learning and specialist workshops to build and consolidate their own networking activities.

The project runs from 2021 to 2024 and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Building and carried out by adelphi research gGmbH in cooperation with the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) and the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum.

The peer-learning partnerships

Six peer-learning partnerships will be established within the framework of #connectedinEurope:

  • The peer-learning partnerships are formed to promote the creation of networks between German and European cities working on urban digital transformation. The aim is to foster the transfer of successful examples of digital urban development from the experienced to the less experienced within the framework of structured collegial consultation.
  • Two cities enter into a partnership in which they act as lighthouse and follower cities, depending on the topic, sharing their expertise and gaining new knowledge. Up to two meetings per year are planned, over a period of three years (2022-2024).
  • Accompanying research in form of case studies will be undertaken on each peer-learning partnership focusing on barriers and drivers for sustainable and digital urban development on the local level.

Benefits for participating cities

Participating cities benefit from the peer-learning partnership and overall #connectedinEurope project participation through:

  • Knowledge acquisition on successful and tested approaches in the field of sustainable and digital urban development
  • Evaluation of own projects, identification of potential solutions and development of new ideas
  • Establishment of a partnership as a basis for future cooperation, e.g. in EU funded projects
  • Participation in accompanying activities (workshops, conferences) on the latest smart city topics
  • Becoming a member of a larger national and European smart city network
  • Positioning in the public and political discourse on smart city and urban development

Participation in the project is free of charge for interested cities. Download the project information sheet for more details.

An expression of interest can be submitted until 25 February 2022 via the following link.




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Thomas Mueller

Thomas Müller is Managing Partner at bee smart city. With more than 15 years of public sector experience, he is an expert on smart city strategy and projects.