With their capacity to connect people, places, public and private actors, cities can substantially enhance innovation in Europe and improve the quality of citizens’ lives. New approaches to undertake and deploy innovative practices are gaining support, marking the shift from traditional top-down schemes to stronger bottom-up practices, where citizens are increasingly co-shaping public policies in an open, transparent way.
The traditional city innovation ecosystem is opening up to new models of innovation engaging citizens. An increasing number of cities are acting as test-beds for innovation and run citizens-driven initiatives to find solutions for their relevant societal challenges.
The public domain is particularly challenged with finding effective ways to ensure the mainstreaming of these practices into the ordinary urban development process. Successful practices are particularly crucial to enhance the city's capacity to attract new resources, funds and talents, and become role models for other cities.
A European prize to the most innovative city ecosystem. The award will raise the profile of the city teams that have developed and implemented innovative policies; enhance citizens' role in finding local solutions and participating in the decision-making process; facilitate the city attractiveness towards investors, industry, top class talents and entrepreneurial individuals; help the city open up connections with others and cooperate with them, thus inspiring and helping identify best practices to be replicated across Europe.