Innovate4Cities is GCoM’s city-focused research and innovation initiative that aims to answer the most pressing questions cities and local governments ask when evaluating why and how to take climate action.

The initiative defines and addresses cities’ knowledge and innovation opportunities and creates partnerships between the scientific and academic community, businesses, and governments to overcome the challenges local governments face between their publicly reported ambition and full-scale implementation.


In October 2021, UN-Habitat and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) invite you to join us at the Innovate4Cities 2021 conference. A virtual global and regional event taking place over five days, Innovate4Cities will fuse science, innovation, policy, and practice to enable cities to take accelerated and more ambitious climate action.

Rooted in scientific, practitioner, and Indigenous knowledge and evidence, Innovate4Cities is about identifying gaps and information-sharing — with the overall goal of jumpstarting climate-neutral solutions for cities of all sizes at all stages of their climate action journey. A robust agenda and focused workshops pledge to bring together cities, national and regional governments, academia, business, and civil society. Together, in the era of COVID-19, the objective is to take help cities take the next steps and stay the course in fulfilling their Paris Agreement climate targets.

Who should be attending?

  • Local and regional governments and urban practitioners
  • Researchers, academics and students
  • National government representatives
  • Civil society groups, non-profits and entrepreneurs
  • Private sector companies and investors

Please visit this site regularly for more information about Innovate4Cities as it is posted.


Galvanized by the Edmonton Declaration, Innovate4Cities was launched through the first urban climate research and innovation agenda. The agenda establishes co-developed research and development priorities around the most significant data, innovation, and technological gaps to provide cities with the tools, information, and partnerships they need to achieve sustainable, livable cities.

Call for Action

To deliver accelerated and more ambitious climate change action, it is critical for national and regional governments, academia, private sector, civil society organizations, and local governments to form solutions-driven and outcomes-oriented partnerships. Innovate4Cities challenges these partners to work collaboratively and calls on: 

  • National Governments: to allocate at least one-third of their Research & Development budgets over the next decade to city climate action priorities;
  • Private Sector: to partner with cities and local governments to share valuable data, technologies, and innovative solutions for the public benefit;
  • Academia: to recruit 10 million new students and adopt new models of interdisciplinary learning, knowledge creation and problem-solving;
  • Global City Networks: to establish a consistent city research agenda communicated with one voice and coordinated with global research and academic communities;
  • Cities and Local Governments: to fully embrace their leadership role in accelerating climate action.

Mission Innovation Partnership

No single organization, initiative, sector, or level of government, however innovative or impactful, can accomplish all the transformational change required to meet the challenges of tackling climate change. GCoM is collaborating with Mission Innovation (MI) to connect national governments, the private sector, and mayors to tackle the specific innovation challenges of cities. GCoM and MI are working together to identify and deliver shared innovation priorities at the city level, share best-practice on roadblocks that can hinder the implementation of innovative and integrated technologies, and move forward progress through engagement at annual Ministerials.

Environmental Insights Explorer

The Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) was founded on the idea that data and technologies can help enable and accelerate the world’s transition to a low-carbon future. GCoM and Google developed EIE to harness Google’s exclusive data sources and modeling capabilities in a freely available platform to help cities measure sources of emissions and identify and inform strategies to reduce emissions.

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