Lund, Malmö and Växjö are part of the initiative Climate-neutral cities 2030

Climate-neutral cities 2030

Why cities?

Cities play a crucial role in climate change change. They cover about 3% of the earth’s surface, but account for about 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, they are growing rapidly. In Europe, almost 85% of the population is estimated to live in cities by 2050; in Sweden was 93 percent. That is why cities are important to deal with the climate crisis. And that is why urban climate change is extremely important for all countries. This is shown, among other things, in the EU’s Green Deal for Europe, which aims to make the whole of Europe climate neutral by 2050, the first climate-neutral continent. We focus on climate change in cities because changes for the greatest and fastest effect there.

Everyone must be involved

Viable Cities works on the basis of a holistic approach to sustainable urban development. This means that we assume that everyone in society must be involved in order to make the necessary changes: entrepreneurs and researchers, politicians and officials, organisations and ordinary people. We assume that it is particularly important that citizens must be involved in its success, and we also assume that digitalisation and digital tools can contribute in various ways to the major change.

What do we think?

So major changes are needed throughout society in order to meet the climate targets and save the planet. Doing what we have always done is no longer possible, we have to work in completely new ways. Viable Cities takes the help of research in many areas and inspiration from other thinkers to find this new way of working together. We hope that this new way will be so successful that we can help all cities, in Sweden, in Europe and in the world, to become economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

What’s the goal?

We have a mission that we are striving towards: Climate-neutral cities by 2030 with a good life for everyone within the planet’s borders. Thus, cities that do not burden the planet with emissions, where everyone in the city can have a good life, both socially and economically. It sounds incredible, but it’s possible, if we’re really working for it.

We’re not the only ones working on this mission. Our mission is in line with the UN Agenda 2030 and the Paris agenda, which are important starting points for the climate and sustainability work of many Swedish cities. It is also in line with the Swedish climate and environmental goals and the EU’s goal – to be a climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Climate-neutral cities 2030 initiative

Nine Swedish municipalities and their partners (Enköping, Gothenburg, Järfälla, Lund, Malmö, Stockholm, Umeå, Uppsala and Växjö) are part of the initiative Climate neutral cities 2030. They applied in competition and were granted support in Viable Cities Call 3#. They have taken it upon themselves to test new ways of working and solutions, to learn from each other and to work for the mission: to create cities that work well for the people who live in it, that are good for the economy of citizens, businesses and society – and – that are good for the climate. In 2021, there will be opportunities for more cities to join the venture.

What do Viable Cities do then?

Viable Cities contributes to our knowledge, experience and support. We also try to link other efforts made for sustainable cities, in Sweden, in the EU and globally. We create meeting places; by working with others and learning from each other, we can accelerate the development of climate-neutral and sustainable cities. It must be faster if we are to achieve the paris agreement’s objective: not to allow the average temperature on earth to rise by more than 1.5 degrees.

Well, there’s no benefit. We do not yet know what the climate-neutral and sustainable city looks like. That’s what we’re working on. Together with cities, businesses, researchers, politicians, civil servants, authorities and ordinary people, we try ideas, we fail, we learn and we try again. We call the work Viable Cities Transition Lab.

Part of the work with climate neutral cities in 2030 is the work on:

Climate City Contract 2030




Viable Cities is a strategic innovation program with a focus on smart sustainable cities. The programme’s mission is to speed up the transition to climate-neutral cities by 2030 with a good life for everyone within the planet’s boundaries.

Viable Cities is a catalyst for new forms of cooperation between cities, industry, academia, research institutes and civil society. This is to mobilise to change the way our cities work in line with our national environmental and climate objectives and our international commitments linked to the global sustainability goals – Agenda 2030 – and the Paris Agreement.

The programme’s time frame is 2017-2030 and is implemented with support in a concerted effort by Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas, where the Swedish Energy Agency is the principal authority. KTH is the host organization.


Sweden inspires and has a leading role in energy and climate change through smart and sustainable cities.

The ambition is to strengthen Sweden’s role in the development of smart sustainable cities by building on the country’s strengths in research, innovation and entrepreneurship. The programme will drive development and have a leading position and intends to work with other leading countries and cities to be a hub and establish a global network for smart sustainable cities.


Viable Cities’ mission is to achieve climate-neutral cities by 2030 with a good life for everyone within the planet’s borders.

Read more info on their website: https://en.viablecities.se/om-viable-cities

The content of this website is the sole responsibility of the author and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the South Baltic Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. The project UMBRELLA is partly financed from the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 through the European Regional Development Fund.