Smart cities

What are smart cities?

A smart city is a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital solutions for the benefit of its inhabitants and business. 

A smart city goes beyond the use of digital technologies for better resource use and less emissions. It means smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities and more efficient ways to light and heat buildings. It also means a more interactive and responsive city administration, safer public spaces and meeting the needs of an ageing population.

Smart Cities Marketplace

The Smart Cities Marketplace was created by merging two former platforms, the “Marketplace of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC Marketplace)” and the “Smart Cities Information System (SCIS)”.

It is a major market-changing undertaking that aims to bring cities, industries, SMEs, investors, banks, researchers and many other smart city actors together.

The Smart Cities Marketplace has many followers from all over Europe and beyond, many of which have signed up as a member.

Their common aims are to improve citizens’ quality of life, increase the competitiveness of European cities and industry as well as to reach European energy and climate targets.


The Marketplace’s main areas of cross-cutting operation include:

  • sustainable urban mobility
  • sustainable districts and built environment
  • integrated infrastructures and processes in energy, information and communication technologies and transport
  • citizen focus
  • policy and regulation
  • integrated planning and management
  • knowledge sharing
  • baselines, performance indicators and metrics
  • open data governance
  • standards
  • business models, procurement and funding

The Smart Cities Marketplace’s operations are structured by its integrated Explore-Shape-Deal Matchmaking process, purposefully geared towards the knowledge exchange on, the capacity building support for and the development, implementation, replication and upscaling of Smart City solutions. It is organised in three phases building on each other:

  1. Explore – See and learn what’s next:
    This phase enables access to the collected Smart Cities knowledge, including that of  linked projects and initiatives. It is a continuous process that helps keeping the overview of which solutions and best practices have already been successfully implemented and creating ideas for own projects.
  2. Shape – Shape project and action plans:
    Once a vision for a project has been developed this phase helps to shape that idea into a solid bankable project, which is fit to attract public and private investors. This phase will also enable a structured dialogue between all key stakeholders involved.
  3. Deal – Create relations and opportunities:
    The third and last phase enables a one-to-one exchange between project promoters and members of the financing community to ultimately close deals and finance projects.


Digital platform

If you are active in the area of smart cities you are cordially welcome to join the Smart Cities Marketplace at

In case you do not have an EU account, yet, you will need to create one. It is free of charge and gives access to many more EU websites and services.

Feel free to join any of the Action Clusters or Initiatives covering the areas above (and more) should you want to become involved in concrete actions.

On the Smart Cities Marketplace website you can find a wealth of news, projects, insights, stories, guidance and more.

Our partners span the globe

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