Article of the UIA Knowledge base
Modifier 05 August 2021

Thinking urban transitions: the way towards a new socio-ecological pact

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Facing climate risks together with their social consequences, cities need to find new solutions to build a new socio-ecological pact. UIA is launching a two-years knowledge activity to further explore UIA projects’ contributions to such just transitions and to spur locally-based transitions in EU cities.

A crucial moment for urban transitions

In light of the EU Green Deal and its “fit for 55” legislation package, the EU has emphasised both the need for a sustainable, green recovery and the importance of supporting the most vulnerable people that will be the most affected by climate change consequences and transition policies.

Indeed, while the decarbonisation of the global economy is necessary to achieve more sustainable and climate resilient cities, it is also disruptive and costly for social groups already at risk. Economic structural changes imply restructuring core sectors such as energy, manufacturing or agriculture, which employ millions of workers. Climate policies and their social impact have become increasingly evident in recent years, further enhancing tensions between social justice and environmental sustainability goals.

UIA projects contributing to cities’ just transitions

Taking into account the climate risks together with its social consequences, there is a pressing need to find new solutions for a new socio-ecological pact. Acknowledging the key political and environmental moment for cities to initiate their transitions, UIA is launching a two years knowledge activity to further explore UIA projects’ contribution to just transitions. In such a period, it is indeed crucial to bring forward practical interventions and results that could inspire and foster locally-based transitions in EU cities.

To what extent cities can contribute to a transformative shift to carbon-neutral development? How cities’ transitions can contribute to shape a new socio-ecological pact? How can the new EU budget help pave the way to a just and green recovery at city-level?

Bringing to the forefront several European UIA funded projects whose strategies could add to the knowledge highly necessary in this context, the activity will look into these questions during the next 2 years, focussing on 3 main cross-cutting themes:

  • The job market renewal – Skills for a green future

  • The renewal of governance and participative structures – Democratic transitions for all

  • The urban exclusion risk – Make cities affordable for all

The first theme we will explore and focus on for the next 6 months is the job market renewal.


Save the dates!

This UIA knowledge activity will be launched on 4 October in the framework of the Urban Agenda of the EU’s series of webinar and a dedicated session on 14 October (11.30-13.00 CET) at the EURegionsWeek will be organised. Stay tuned as we put together a specific agenda for you to learn more from EU-level organisations and UIA cities dealing with green skills and discuss the following question: how can the new EU budget help pave the way to a just and green recovery at city-level?

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