Department for International Trade
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FCDO Smart Sustainable Cities project: 2021 edition

The FCDO Smart Sustainable Cities project is led by the British Embassy Madrid and funded by the Prosperity Fund. It brings together selected European and UK cities to showcase best practice and provides opportunities for knowledge sharing and networking.

Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November, the 2021 edition of the Smart Sustainable Cities project aimed to raise climate ambition and promote effective implementation of city-level decarbonisation projects in three key areas:

  • resilience and nature-based solutions
  • circular economy
  • sustainable transport

Visit this year’s virtual exhibition space and download the brochure

Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, the team delivered seven virtual working sessions collaborating closely with other government departments such as Department for International Trade (DIT)Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the COP 26 Unit, building a group to tackle climate action and begin a shared journey in the build up to COP26.

The workshops brought together cities from across Europe and were hosted virtually by leading cities in each key area:

  • Manchester City Council for resilience and nature-based solutions
  • Glasgow City Council for circular economy
  • Aarhus City Council (Denmark) for sustainable transport

Our delivery partner in this project was Arup UK.

The concept for this year’s edition aimed to create a sense of community through a shared journey using a ‘Share, Solve and Support’ structure. This concept was delivered through two sessions per city (Share and Solve) and a joint final session (Support) to bring all participants together and allow for cross-fertilisation of ideas.

High-profile speakers at the workshops included:

  • Emma Hopkins, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Denmark
  • FCDO Europe Director, Sarah Taylor
  • Head of the Europe Strategy Department, Hazel Cameron
  • COP26 Unit Cities and Regions Engagement Lead, Christine Mosedale
  • BEIS European lead for the COP26 Zero Emission Vehicles campaign, Isobel Neale
  • Manchester City Council Councillor, Angeliki Stogia
  • Manchester City Council Strategic Director of Growth & Development, Louise Wyman
  • Glasgow City Council Councillor, Susan Aitken
  • Glasgow City Council COP26 Stakeholder Manager, Duncan Booker
  • former Copenhagen Mayor and currently Aarhus’s Green Mobility lead, Morten Kabell

FCDO and Department for International Trade

The FCDO has worked closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT) to deliver this project.

International delegates can learn about the wealth of UK expertise, both academic and commercial, in the smart city sector through the Smart Cities Directory and on the Virtual Engage Space. They can also consider how to work with UK smart city companies to achieve their sustainability requirements.

Please email Susannah Fairbairn for more information on the UK’s smart cities ecosystem. Susannah would be delighted to introduce you to UK companies and facilitate meetings and demonstrations.

Further information

If you would like to learn more about this initiative, please contact the Prosperity Team at the Madrid Hub, Estibalitz Morras, Prosperity Programme Manager

Previous editions of Smart Sustainable Cities

Glasgow: December 2019

Key themes included driving innovation in the circular economy; systemic change across and within sectors; experiencing Glasgow city showcase initiatives and connecting with other city experts for practical knowledge.

Madrid: February 2019

Key themes included transforming mobility in the low carbon city and smart, healthy solutions at city-system scales.

February 2019: Madrid

London: March 2018

Key themes included data management / data driven economy, common ticketing systems, e-mobility and the Internet of Things.

March 2018: London

Bristol: February 2018

Key themes included transport, energy efficiency in buildings, smart grids and renewable energy and the circular economy.

February 2018: Bristol

Manchester: December 2018

Key themes included smart electricity, heat, cooling and storage networks / grids.

December 2018: Manchester


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