Municipal Innovation and Sustainability Readiness—Results from a Study of Mediterranean Cities

Orli Ronen and Avigdor Sharon from the Urban Innovation & Sustainability Lab in the Department of Environmental Studies, sharing the results of the survey conducted as part of the SME4SMARTCITIES project

08 June 2021
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Mainstreaming climate and sustainability goals into their strategies is becoming critical for cities across the world, to ensure sustainable urban development and climate readiness. It is especially critical for cities in the Mediterranean region, as the region is one of the world's hotspots for climate change and as urbanization around the Mediterranean is rapidly increasing. 

The Smart City model is often suggested as a pathway to integrating sustainability and innovation within municipal systems to achieve sustainable development goals. 

A study of 34 Mediterranean cities was conducted on the potential for mainstreaming sustainability in cities, mainly through collaborations with innovation partners such as local SMEs and startups. Two key axes delineate the study, to shed light on the potential for mainstreaming sustainability in cities: Readiness - the extent cities feel ready for urban and environmental innovation, mainly through collaborations with innovation partners such as local SMEs and startups, and Barriers - the challenges encountered in applying urban and environmental innovation.

The study presents the aptitude and readiness of policy makers in the cities for sustainability and innovation and notes key barriers such as financial constraints and lack of innovative culture within the local government. The study also reveals differences in aptitude between large and small regional cities.

Insights from the study were published in the scientific article “Municipal Innovation and Sustainability Readiness—Results from a Study of Mediterranean Cities” in the "Smart, Sustainable and Fair Cities" issue of Geography Research Forum magazine. The article by Dr. Orli Ronen and Avigdor Sharon of the Urban Innovation & Sustainability Lab, Department of Environmental Studies, Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University.

Geography Research Forum magazine is published in the Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben Gurion University of the Negev. The "Smart, Sustainable and Fair Cities" issue includes articles from the USA, Greece, Estonia, India and Israel, as well as book reviews on various topics. 

The study was conducted as part of the SME4SMARTCITIES  research project, an initiative of ENI CBC MED, led by a consortium of six organizations from across the Mediterranean. 

 

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