EU-China cooperation on sustainable urbanisation (CSA)

Specific Challenge

The importance of innovation and socio-economic aspects in sustainable urbanisation has been recognised by the EU and China in their Joint Declaration on the EU-China Partnership on Urbanisation signed in 2012, as well as in the conclusions of the EU-China Innovation Cooperation Dialogue of 2013. This topic therefore covers two specific challenges:

a) In China and elsewhere, the management of an exceptionally rapid urban growth poses considerable challenges to policy-makers and city planners. In such a delicate context, physical city planning cannot be considered in isolation from governance aspects, related for instance to land use and resources for city financing but also to the environmental human and cultural dimensions of cities. Urban infrastructures and public services also call for a balanced and integrated planning so as to minimise or avoid the negative socio-economic, human and environmental impacts on city-dwellers, migrants, and seniors. Cities are also viewed as engines of growth and innovation, often attracting large shares of R&D investments and an innovative service sector.

b) The challenge is to bring together a wide-ranging partnership of stakeholders in Europe and China to create an innovation platform for developing and piloting innovative solutions in sustainable urbanisation that rely on advanced knowledge and technologies, taking into account and adding value to the manifold on-going activities on various aspects of urbanisation. The platform should build on the activities carried out on an intergovernmental level (JPI Urban Europe) and via the EU-funded projects in support of joint funding initiatives (ERA-Net Smart Urban Futures, ERA-Net Smart Cities and Communities) and seek to use events and networks created by projects in support of the policy dialogue.


a) Cultural and socio-economic aspects of urban issues in China (Research and Innovation Action)

b) EU-China innovation platform on sustainable urbanisation (Coordination and Support Action) [[This activity is directly aimed at supporting the development and implementation of evidence base for R&I policies and supporting various groups of stakeholders. It is excluded from the delegation to Research Executive Agency and will be implemented by the Commission services.]]

Due to the specific challenge of this topic, in addition to the minimum number of participants as set out in the Rules of Participation, proposals shall include at least one participant from China. Under this topic, legal entities established in China are eligible for funding from the Union.

Expected Impact

This topic is expected to provide in-depth insights on EU-China cultural and socio-economic aspects on urbanisation highlighting the common challenges and possible solutions that may apply in both EU and China. Specific impacts are expected in the field of city planning, policy making, regulatory regime, governance and public services. Negative externalities (e.g. environment and public health) should be particularly addressed and exchange of best practices for citizen's well-being should be encouraged. The Coordination action is expected to increase stakeholder awareness, exchanges and synergies between Chinese and European industrial, academic and public players engaged in sustainable urbanisation research, innovation and application. Improved complementarity and coordination between different sustainable urbanisation funding programmes supported by the EU, the EU Member States and China should be achieved. The CSA should ensure a better match between the supply of innovative technological solutions and the needs of city planners and managers in charge of organising services linked to sustainable urbanisation. It is also expected to increase the capacity of industrial actors to develop and provide more effective solutions for the needs of sustainable urbanisation, and of city planners and managers to make informed choices on innovative technologies.

Application date
3 years
Social sciences : Management and Public administration, Information and Communication Sciences, Demography, Economy, Environmental Sciences, Gender studies, Identities, gender and sexuality, Geography, International Relations, Political science, Sociology
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology