Sustainable urban development and the challenges of dealing with climate change are important issues for both European and Canadian cities. In Canada, cities are on the front line of the green economy and have shown leadership in protecting the environment by improving energy efficiency, providing sustainable transportation options, treating wastewater, and safely disposing of waste and limiting nuisance-causing air pollution.
European cities, similarly, have extensive experience in dealing with urbanization challenges and developing smart, green, inclusive, and attractive cities with a high standard of living. A European model of urban sustainability is emerging, grounded in an appropriate geographical and functional mix and reliable access to key services (housing, health, education, green infrastructures, culture and mobility), and it increasingly serves as a reference worldwide.
In the EU-Canada Urban Policy Cooperation, four Canadian and four European cities are working together to discuss and collaborate on actions connected to the three central themes of resilience and adaptation, ecosystem services, and low-carbon development. This cooperation is a unique opportunity for cities to share expertise and gain insight from other municipalities that are working in areas of mutual interest. Canadian and European project cities cooperate based on similarities between their thematic areas, experiences, and goals; communication with all cities in the exchange provides additional opportunities for collaboration and potential for new ideas.