Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Driving Urban Transitions Partnership

The Driving Urban Transitions (DUT) Horizon Europe Partnership aims to create more inclusive, safe, resilient, climate-neutral and sustainable cities across Europe. The partnership currently has over 60 partners from 28 countries.

10 years, from 2022 to 2032
Partners involved:
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Innovate UK, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The scope and what we're doing

The Driving Urban Transitions (DUT) Partnership is framed around three transition pathways, and how they relate to each other.

The Circular Urban Economies Transition Pathway (CUE TP)

This pathway aims to support the planning and design of inclusive urban spaces where resources like water, energy, and materials are used more efficiently and sustainably, by keeping them in circulation for as long as possible.

This helps reduce waste and environmental impact, promoting a healthier and more sustainable urban environment.

The Positive Energy Districts Transition Pathway (PED TP)

This pathway aims to help cities shift towards more sustainable energy systems by creating neighbourhoods that generate more energy than they consume.

The goal is to have at least 100 of these energy-efficient districts by 2025, making urban areas greener and more self-sufficient in terms of energy.

The 15-minute City Transition Pathway (15mC TP)

The 15mC pathway encourages a transition in urban mobility by improving accessibility and connectivity for sustainable forms of transportation and logistics, starting from the neighbourhood level.

Read more about DUT’s Transition Pathways.

Why we're doing it

City administrations tell us that integrated planning is crucial for sustainable urban development. This implies a need to connect different areas of knowledge and practice, and address conflicts between different strategies, policies, and interests.

To achieve this we need a transformative research and innovation program with tailored instruments to address the most pressing issues.

DUT launches annual funding opportunities for transformative research and innovation projects that support different perspectives, approaches and processes.

DUT projects are required to encourage collaboration across sectors and between different types of actors (such as researchers, policymakers, businesses, and non-profits) involved in urban transitions.

Through this urban innovation ecosystem, the DUT Partnership provides opportunities for research, policy, business and society to interact, collaborate and build capacities to meet the needs of urban actors and society.

The DUT Partnership supports the involvement of urban actors in research projects they have participated in designing, to tackle challenges identified by urban stakeholders and problem owners. Offering urban actors a role in all phases of innovation projects is also a way of empowering them.

The partnership aims to ensure that good practices and evidence is made accessible for urban actors across Europe, and supports dissemination and uptake of solutions.

This contributes to a strong European Research Area and benefits city authorities and municipalities of cities of different sizes and situations. The DUT Partnership is the European hub for international cooperation on sustainable urbanisation.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

In 2022, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) offered funding for UK applicants within the 15-minute city transition pathway for DUT’s first funding opportunity.

The three topics within this pathway were:

  • 15mC topic one: strengthen the mix of urban functions and services
  • 15mC topic two: foster sustainable options for personal mobility and logistics in urban outskirts (and beyond)
  • 15mC topic three: reimagine urban public spaces and streets for vibrant, sustainable neighbourhoods

Overall, UKRI funded the UK participants in five transnational grants within this funding call:

  • commoning accessibility in urban outskirts and beyond (COMMON_ACCESS)
  • envisioning neighbourhoods and co-creating thriving communities in the 15mC (ENACT 15mC)
  • enhancing sustainable travel in small cities and outer metropolitan areas (ENHANCE)
  • combined passenger and goods transportation in suburb traffic (ERGODIC)
  • specifying practices enabled by cycling in 15-minute cities (SPECIFIC)

Who to contact

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Last updated: 14 June 2024

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