JRC Webinar Series

The Future of Cities Webinar Series

#FutureofCities #UrbanFutures #EUcities

Date and time



The Future of Cities report identifies challenges influencing the future of cities in Europe and beyond. It also presents several perspectives from which to look at resolving these issues. It is an initiative of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the science and knowledge service of the European Commission (EC), supported by the Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO).

By taking stock of current knowledge and understanding of city systems, the report highlights potential pitfalls cities should avoid, and defines broad principles they should lean towards. It aims to foster discussion and help policy makers, individual cities and their citizens choose the best way forward.

The main urban challenges identified in the report concern: affordable housing, mobility, the provision of services, social segregation, ageing, climate action, the environmental footprint, and urban health. At the same time, it is illustrates that cities are uniquely equipped to tackle such challenges – the abundance of available physical space, a large and diverse population, a certain level of autonomy, and openness to technological advancements and innovation, to name but a few, may offer ways to relieve the pressures cities face.

With the completion of the stand-alone report, the work continues in the form of the publication of policy briefs, short documents that focus on a single urban issue, bringing together empirical knowledge and policy implications. Recent policy briefs focus on the topics of: EU Cities and Heat Extremes; Homelessness in the EU: Exploring Data and Policy Needs.

In this respect, the Future of Cities report and policy briefs benefit greatly from the collective intelligence put forward by the Members of the EC Community of Practice for Cities (CoP-CITIES). The CoP –CITIES brings together cities, city networks, academia and NGOs to share knowledge and expertise on urban issues, to anticipate potential challenges, and to generate scientific evidence for effective urban policies.

The future of cities is not set in stone and is not easy to predict, but the choices they make now will shape the lives of generations to come. Thus, the main aim is to raise open questions and steer discussions on what the future of cities can, and should be, both within the scientific and policymaker communities.

RSA Europe is pleased to be working with the EU Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) to deliver the 2024 webinar series on the Future of Cities. This series will feature three webinars:

Webinar Details

EU Cities and Heat Extremes, Thursday 16th May 2024, 10.00-11.00 BST / 11.00-12.00 CEST

Speaker: Silvia Iodice, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

Click here to register.

Abstract: Heatwaves are one of the most concerning consequences of climate change, with record-breaking temperatures becoming more frequent and intense, and projected to continue. Extreme heat is particularly alarming in cities, where it leads to the Urban Heat Island effect. This effect causes higher local temperatures and urban areas to become hotter than surrounding suburban regions and rural areas. This is connected to the presence of more sealed surfaces and higher density of both people and heat-emitting infrastructures. We need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate change. At the same time, we should adapt by diminishing exposure and vulnerability and increasing the overall resilience and adaptive capacity of cities. The deployment of green and blue infrastructures is one of the most effective measures to counteract the urban heat island effect. However, the combination of several strategies adapted to the local circumstances is the most powerful. This policy brief focuses on how to tackle severe heat in cities and provides recommendations, best practices and analytical tools that can be used by local authorities.

Speaker: Mat Santamouris, University of New South Wales, Australia

Abstract: Overheating of the Built Environment is the most documented phenomenon of climate change impacting the human life in many ways. This lecture will present the most recent developments on the magnitude and the characteristics of the urban overheating and the potential synergies with the global climatic change. It will analyse the latest qualitative and quantitative data on the impact of higher urban temperatures on the building’s energy supply and demand, heat related mortality, morbidity and wellbeing, human productivity, survivability of low-income population and environmental quality of cities. It will present and describe the state of the art on the development of innovative mitigation materials, advanced urban greenery, heat dissipation and evaporative techniques, as the main mitigation and adaptation technologies to offset the impact of urban overheating. It will analyse and present the current knowledge on the impact of each mitigation technology on energy, health, environmental quality, urban economy and survivability. Finally, it will present the main future challenges related to urban overheating and proposes a specific research agenda to alleviate and counterbalance its impact on human life.

Chair: TBC

More details to follow soon.

Homelessness in the EU: Exploring Data and Policy Needs, Thursday 6th June 2024, 13.00-14.00 BST / 14.00-15.00 CEST

Speaker: Paola Proietti, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

Click here to register.

Abstract: The multifaceted nature of homelessness in Europe challenges both policy responses and data collection. This webinar presents a new policy brief on homelessness. It shows the importance of standardized data collection using the European Typology on Homelessness and Housing Exclusion . It covers the current state of homelessness in Europe, including the underrepresentation of women, youth, and migrants in official statistics. It highlights innovative policy solutions such as providing stable housing first as a foundation for addressing broader life challenges, known as Housing First. Finally, it draws attention to the key role of cities and local governments in crafting and implementing strategies to prevent and combat homelessness including tailored support for young people and women.

The policy brief is based on contributions from the OECD, Eurocities, the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) and academia.  This webinar is particularly relevant for policymakers, social service providers, non-governmental organizations, researchers, and anyone interested in developing effective strategies to address homelessness. Policy Brief

Speaker 2 and Chair TBC

More details to follow soon.


Cities Fit for Crises and Long-term Challenges, Thursday 20th June 2024 - Time TBC

Speaker: Patrizia Sulis, Scientific Officer - Spatial Data Science, Urban Analytics, Machine Learning, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

Abstract: Coming Soon.

Speaker 2 and Chair TBC

More details to follow soon.

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