Sustainable and Liveable Cities and Urban Areas

Sustainable and Liveable Cities and Urban Areas

The pilot call Sustainable and Liveable Cities and Urban Areas organized by JPI Urban Europe and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), inviting interdisciplinary Sino-European consortia opened on January 31st, 2018.


In answer to the global urbanisation challenge, NSFC and JPI Urban Europe have agreed to long-term cooperation under the strategic theme Sustainable Urbanisation in the Context of Economic Transformation and Climate Change. The pilot call is a joint initiative of nine European funding agencies participating in JPI Urban Europe and NSFC in China.

In the call the following three thematic themes will be addressed: a) Reduce the adverse environmental impact of cities, paying special attention to the quality of air, water and soil, and municipal and other waste management; b) Access to safe, affordable, and sustainable housing, transportation and basic services; and c) Integrated policies towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change and resilience to disasters.

Call topics

Topic 1: Climate change and new urban economies

Climate change and new urban economies encompass a wide range of issues. However, the challenge focuses on the need to vastly increase urban climate change adaptive capacity and to improve urban resilience, with special attention to urban equity and urban circular economy development. This entails the challenge of how local urban innovation ecosystems (including but not limited to the ecological sense of these ecosystems and climate services) are made resilient and sound in the face of global and ‘intrinsic’ emergencies and crises, such as volatile financial as well as natural and political events.

Topic 2: Transformation of energy systems and strengthen urban circular economies
While urban circular economies comprehend multi-dimensional systems and contexts far beyond energy systems, transformations in the latter are required to address overall urban sustainability, since circular economies and energy systems are mutually reinforcing in complex ways: particularly in terms of urban energy use, equity and markets; overall energy efficiency; smart grids and infrastructure development; energy production and supply transitions

Topic 3: Urban public administration and services innovation
While sectoral and infrastructure trans-sectoral issues are addressed in topic (a) and (b), urban policy implementation are crucial areas in shaping urban transformations and sustainable pathways. As current transitions in everyday practices both for urban management as well as for business and civil society, they entail diverse and different complex patterns between cities and urban areas – many times invoking urban experimentation and living lab-type of responses which raises severe demands on public sector actors.

Topic 4: Urban data management

Urban data management developments are urgently needed. In order to enable/enhance urban R&I for SDG 11 to deliver sustainable decision-making evidence for policy, a solid basis is required, e.g., standards for sustainability indicators. Furthermore, not to reinvent the wheel (hence, time and funding optimisation) in urban data management.

Funded projects

MAAT: Multi-faceted valuation and administration of access to housing and transportation

SIRIUS: Sustainable, Innovative, Resilient, and Interconnected Urban food System

SIMETRI: Sustainable Mobility and Equality in mega-city Regions

STEP-UP: Socio-Techno-Economic Pathways for sustainable Urban energy development

U-PASS: Urban Public Administration and Services innovation for Innovative Urban Mobility Management and Policy

Financing Clean Air: The potential of Land Value Capture to secure sustainable urban development supporting air quality enhancement

DeSCIPHER: Sponge Cities within airshed and river basin management: integrating nature-based solutions to create sustainable places

SMUrTS: Sustainable mixed urban transit system with electric and conventional buses

RECREATE: Resource nexus for transformation to circular, resilient, and liveable cities in the context of climate change

HERMES: Integrated evaluation of energy saving, emission reduction potential and management strategies for urban road systems

UNCNET – Urban nitrogen cycles: new economy thinking to master the challenges of climate change

>> Search for projects in other calls

Webinar documentation

Powerpoint from the webinar April 3, 2018


> Download call text

Information flyer

> Download powerpoint

> Download List of National Contact Points

Call secretariat

If you have questions on the general call process and proposal submission, please contact the Call Secretariat:

LI Wencong, NSFC
Tel. +86 10 6232 7014

Berry Bonenkamp, NWO
Tel. +31 70 34 94 416

Carolien Maas-van der Geest, NWO
Telephone: +31 70 34 40 511

Funding agencies

National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), China
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Austria
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS), Belgium
Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), France
Ministry of Education and Science (IZM), Latvia
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), The Netherlands
The Research Council of Norway (RCN), Norway
National Science Centre (NCN), Poland
Swedish Energy Agency (SWEA), Sweden
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), United Kingdom




Please click here for the frequently asked questions we collected.
If you have an additional questions you are welcome to mail us at