Sustainable & inclusive entrepreneurship

Smart cities

Across the world, cities are growing rapidly; around 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050 compared. At present that figure is 55%. The increase in urban population presents several urgent challenges, putting substantial strain on resources with life-threatening implications.

Climate neutral and smart cities

That’s why cities need to become more resilient and sustainable, so that they can tackle the huge challenges we face. In particular, cities need to work out  how to fulfil the needs of citizens whilst remaining within planetary boundaries. But how do we transform existing urban environments to make them climate neutral and resilient?

Cross-sectoral collaboration

Cities are systems of systems, with complex interdependencies. Almost all climate neutral and smart city technologies relate to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), defined by the United Nations. Reaching these goals are crucial in creating a liveable planet. Since, cities have direct jurisdiction over only a small part of the assets in a city. There is an obvious need for collaboration between cities and industry, financial institutions, academia and citizens to reach the SDGs. Therefore, becoming a sustainable and adaptive city requires ecosystem collaboration. Similar to the village that is needed to raise a child, we need each other to bring about climate-neutral cities. No one can do it alone. Besides, no single technology will change the world. It is important to pull the initiatives together, providing support with a cross-sectoral approach.

Join this continuous Smart Cities journey

The world's (urban) challenges call for international cooperation, in which every voice is important. As our cities change at such a rapid pace, it is difficult to predict what citizens would need and wish for in the upcoming 30 years. The Netherlands believes that the only way to boost sustainable urban development and build inclusive and future-proof cities, is by working together and learning from one another.


About the Climate Neutral and Smart Cities hub

The Climate Neutral and Smart Cities hub of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency has a cross-sectoral perspective on climate mitigation (including energy), climate adaptation and digital transformation. The hub is taking an ecosystem approach to international collaboration, which includes quadruple helix actors from business, municipality, citizen and academic institutions.


The Mayor's Manual

Read or download The Mayor's Manual, in which researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurs explore solutions to urban challenges through a series of letters to the world's mayors. Or listen to the Mayor's Manual podcasts.


100 Climate Neutral Cities by 2030

In 2021, an event entitled 100 Climate-Neutral Citites in Europe by 2030 harvested ideas from 40 countries on how to help European cities become climate-neutral as fast as possible and how can the government act facilitate systematic change? This document 100 Climate-Neutral Cities in Europe by 2030 is an overview of the insights and learnings.


Continue the conversation on Smart Cities with our experts: 



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Smart cities magazine - Cocreating Future Cities

Have you read our first NL Smart Cities Magazine vol. 1 (August 2021)?

Check out magazine on cocreating future cities celebrating new perspectives and clever design solutions, sharing learnings, showcasing projects around the world and inviting you to join us on a smart cities journey. Just click on the link above to download your copy!