HORIZON EUROPE FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME┋Urban greening and re-naturing for urban regeneration, resilience and climate neutrality



Expected Outcome

Project results are expected to contribute to all the following expected outcomes:

  • Regenerated, rehabilitated, climate-proofed, resilient, environmentally, socially and economically upgraded built environment and in particular areas such as large estate social housing districts, deprived districts and neighbourhoods, neglected or abandoned areas, derelict industrial sites, brownfields or other dysfunctional urban sites through greening and re-naturing interventions[1];
  • Improved liveability, functionality, quality of life and social cohesiveness of the urban areas by means of greener, renatured, regenerated, more bio-diverse, safer, mixed/multi-use and shared urban (public) spaces and built environments, whilst catering for climate change mitigation, adaptation, resilience and energy poverty of various social groups, including women and children, elderly and people with low socioeconomic status by:
    • Increasing the share of newly created and/or restored public green spaces, (such as green/blue infrastructures, parks, gardens, forests, green corridors, community allotments, green roofs, restored degraded urban ecosystems, nature-based solutions) by at least 25% over the total targeted under regeneration area, compared to the baseline at the start of the project;
    • Evidence-based urban regeneration, re-purposing and rehabilitation plans, blueprints, practical recommendations and guidelines, regulations and standards, focusing on greening and renaturing solutions for pollution abatement, cleaner air, water and soil and climate mitigation and adaptation plans compatible and coherent with the corresponding regional ones;
    • increased citizens satisfaction by at least 20% compared to the baseline at the start of the project due to increased greening/re-naturing of the urban space and improved quality of life, air, water, soil;
  • Integrated, transdisciplinary, adaptive, transparent and participative urban planning practices and decision making processes to facilitate the integration and take-up of greening, renaturing and biodiversity-enhancing approaches and solutions in urban climate plans enabling for considerations of cross-scalar (cities/region) compatibility and coherence of climate planning frameworks and cross-sectorial interdependencies;
  • Innovative methods, digital tools and data-driven models enabling identification, prioritization and visualization of place-based holistic solutions and scenario analysis, assessment of feasibility and cost-effectiveness and prediction of their short, mid and long term impact;
  • Mutually compatible and supportive EU sectorial and urban/region cross-scalar planning for climate mitigation, adaptation and neutrality at both city and region level;
  • Increased social awareness about urban climate-related vulnerabilities (such as flooding, heat-waves, droughts etc.), and the urgency for climate mitigation and adaptation and zero pollution strategies and solutions;
  • Innovative monitoring[2] frameworks and key performance indicators, accounting, as appropriate, for the established ones, to monitor the performance and assess the performance and impact of the deployed solutions regarding climate mitigation, adaptation and regeneration against a well-defined baseline at the start of the project;
  • Contribution, as appropriate, to the implementation of the European Green Deal, the Climate-neutral and smart cities Mission (hereafter referred to as the Cities Mission), the Adaptation to climate change Mission (hereafter referred to as the Climate Mission), as well as other urban relevant policies and initiatives such as the Zero Pollution Action Plan, Biodiversity Strategy, Fit for 55 Strategy, EU Urban Mobility Framework, Water Framework Directive, Circular Economy Action Plan, European Urban Initiative, Urban Agenda for the EU, New Leipzig Charter, Europe’s Digital Decade, the European partnership on Driving Urban Transitions for a sustainable future (DUT) and the New European Bauhaus Initiative.


Cities are at the forefront of tackling climate change and pollution and managing impacts through mitigation and adaptation measures. However, while in the last decade local and regional authorities gained a better understanding of the inter-related climate challenges and urgencies of their territories, less has been undertaken to effectively implement and assess climate mitigation and adaptation specific approaches and, in consequence, to adopt them into the local urban/regional policies, strategies and planning documentations, such as municipal/regional master planning, Urban Agendas, Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMPs), Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), smart specialisation strategies etc.

To meet the objectives of the European Green Deal, the Paris and Glasgow agreement and the UN (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goals, cities in close cooperation with their surrounding region, should engage in decisive actions to tackle the climate change, biodiversity and pollution imperatives and enhance their climate resilience.

It is widely acknowledged[3] that urban “greening” and renaturing approaches and solutions, if properly designed and maintained, can address simultaneously climate change mitigation and adaptation challenges by reducing GHG emissions and atmospheric concentrations, energy demands for e.g. mobility, wastewater treatment, heating and cooling. They can also contribute to significant regeneration and upgrading of built environment whilst delivering multiple co-benefits in terms of biodiversity conservation and enhancement, cleaner air, water and soil, noise reduction, flood risks mitigation, public health and well-being.

The objective of this topic is to explore and demonstrate how to operationalize collaborative climate mitigation and adaptation urban planning approaches deploying “greening” and renaturing solutions for regeneration, re-purposing, rehabilitation and pollution abatement purposes. The co-created plans should be in line with the guiding principles of the European Green Deal and the New European Bauhaus initiative.

To this end, it invites for demonstration actions in at least four ‘lead’ cities accompanied by at least four ‘replicator’ cities, representing good geographical, climate and socio-economic diversity across Europe and situated each in a different Member State or Associated Country, where existent urban structure and fabric allow rehabilitation, regeneration, re-purposing or (re)conversion of areas such as large scale social housing districts, deprived districts and neighbourhoods, neglected or abandoned areas and brownfields, derelict industrial sites or dysfunctional urban places through greening and renaturing.

Actions are expected to:

  • Set-up in each participating city collaborative platforms (such as living labs) depicting multi-level, and multi-disciplinary governance structures and engaging local authorities, citizens, stakeholders and relevant actors[4] and expertise[5] for the co-design, testing and demonstration of co-created urban rehabilitation, regeneration, re-purposing or (re)conversion plans deploying greening and re-naturing approaches to foster more climate neutral, resilient, liveable, sustainable and functional cities with thriving nature, communities and economic activities;
  • Ensure that the regional dimension concerning climate adaptation is properly accounted for through the continuous and seamless involvement of competent regional authorities responsible for the design and implementation of the regional climate mitigation and adaptation measures to ensure cross-scalar (city/region) compatibility and coherence of the urban/regional climate mitigation and adaptation plans.

Actions should also foresee assessment, quantitative and qualitative, ex-ante and ex-post, of the impact of combining and integrating different greening and re-naturing interventions and actions both at local and at regional level based on robust monitoring schemes and using, as appropriate, existing methodologies and indicators.

The ‘lead’ demonstration cities must, further to the development of the above mentioned plans, also foresee actual implementation of the co-created interventions during the life of the project. To this end, concrete implementation actions and associated costs should be described under a dedicated Work Package or a task.

The replicator/follower cities, under the proactive guidance and mentoring of the lead cities, should develop their co-created plans, measures and interventions with not obligation for their actual implementation during the life of the project.

To support the integrated planning process and facilitate involvement of citizens in the decision-making process, actions should make effective use of digital tools (e.g. digital twins) integrating cross-domain static, real time and historic data from observations, modelling and simulation whilst making use of open standards and technical specifications.

Actions should engage in clustering activities with other like-minded projects funded under this topic, other relevant projects[6] and projects supported under the Climate-neutral and smart cities and Climate Adaption Missions to promote synergies and complementarities.

Although concrete actions for such activities would only be identified in an early stage in the projects’ lifetime, appropriate provisions and resources enabling their implementation should be put aside at the proposal level in a clearly identifiable work package. Furthermore, actions should engage in ambitious outreach, communication, dissemination and training activities to foster replication, upscaling and up-taking of the projects’ outputs beyond the projects consortia.

To maximise impacts, in carrying out these activities, actions are strongly recommended to work in coordination and complementarity with the ‘Climate-neutral and smart cities’ and the (soon to be established) ‘Climate Adaptation’ Mission Platforms. Opportunities for collaboration and synergies should also be explored and, as appropriate, pursued with other relevant initiatives, such as the European partnership on Driving Urban Transitions for a sustainable future (DUT), the upcoming European Urban Initiative of Cohesion Policy, the Urban Agenda for the EU[7] , the CSA project selected from the call HORIZON-MISS-2021-CIT-01-02, the Covenant of Mayors, the CIVITAS initiative, the Living-in.EU initiative and the New European Bauhaus Community and NEBLab.

[1] Such as green and blue infrastructures, nature-based solutions, green roofs and corridors, restoring degraded urban ecosystems and/or ecosystem-based approaches.

[2] Such as CIVITAS Impact and process evaluation framework, or the schemes developed by projects funded under the LC-CLA-11-2020: Innovative nature-based solutions for carbon neutral cities and improved air quality.

[3] Authoritative research indicates that nature-based solutions can provide over one-third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed between now and 2030 to stabilize warming to below 2 °C (IPBES (2019): Global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).

[4]Such as infrastructure providers, knowledge institutions, planners, cultural and creative organizations, energy, mobility and climate agencies.

[5] Such as planning, design, ICT sector, social sciences and humanities, behavioural and citizens sciences, gender, ecology etc.

[6] Such as the CSA project resulting from the call “HORIZON-CL6-2022-BIODIV-01-03: Network for nature: multi-stakeholder dialogue platform to promote nature-based solutions” and Horizon Europe relevant projects on nature-based solutions in cities under the call “HORIZON-CL6-2023-BIODIV:Stopping biodiversity loss and enhancing ecosystem services in urban and peri-urban areas.

[7] More particularly, the Partnership for sustainable land use and nature-based solutions, and the resources the Partnership developed, on Sustainable Land Use | Futurium (europa.eu) as well as the upcoming Partnership on Greening of Cities, provided that the outcome of the ex-ante assessment concerning the plans to set up this Partnership will be positive.

Date de candidature
Humanités : Anthropologie & Ethnologie, Architecture et urbanisme
Sciences sociales : Droit, Economie, Géographie, Gestion et administration publique, Identités, genre et sexualités, Psychologie et sciences cognitives, Relations internationales, Science politique, Sciences de l'éducation, Sciences de l'information et de la communication, Sciences environnementales, Sociologie
Sciences participatives