“We are entering a new phase of our research- and innovation programme”

This is an editorial by Margit Noll, Chair of the Management Board, in the Winter 2020 newsletter.

An exceptional year is coming to an end – a year in which we were forced to rethink how to cooperate, how to co-design our programme and how to engage you as partners and stakeholders. At the same time, it was a year that put resilience, robustness and sustainability of our cities, towns and urban areas more in focus than ever.

The New Leipzig Charter – just recently signed by the ministers for urban matters – underlines the leading role of urban settlements to achieve the various transformative agendas, in particular a green and just recovery from the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The European Urban Initiative, the European mission on Climate-neutral and Smart Cities, the Green Deal, the European partnership on Driving Urban Transitions (DUT) – all these programmes and strategies are currently under preparation to amplify European efforts to transform our urban areas.

With the promotion of the DUT partnership at the JPI Urban Europe policy conference we are entering a new phase of our research- and innovation programme. Based on multiple stakeholder dialogues and consultations we are co-designing our future programme with the ambition to step up the game and jointly tackle those dilemmas and issues that matter the most for our cities and citizens.

Just like everyone of you, we were forced to translate our planned events into online versions, which is not that simple if you want to ensure qualitative interaction and engagement. Throughou

t the year, we learned together with you how to improve our workshops, webinars, dialogues, etc. and use new tools to make it as attractive and interactive as possible. Your feedback and engagement has been, and continues to be, essential for us to advance our innovation eco-system and keep mobilising new partners and stakeholders.

I would like to thank all of you who participated in one or more of our activities, who stayed active and engaged under difficult conditions, provided input and reflections to help co-design a transformative programme. The entire JPI Urban Europe team looks forward to continuing this cooperation and hopefully be able to soon again meet you in person.

– Margit Noll, Chair of the JPI Urban Europe Management Board, 22 December 2020

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