Horizon Europe Driving Urban Transitions: Develop sustainable cities and urban environments across Europe

Apply for funding to address key urban challenges facing cities in the transition to a more sustainable economy.

Opportunity Details


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Up to £415,000 per project


Horizon Europe

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This funding opportunity has been co-created with the Driving Urban Transitions (DUT) partnership, which is co-funded with Horizon Europe.


The UK element of the transnational project must include an applicant who is based at a UK research organisation eligible for UKRI funding, as well as a UK business which is eligible for funding by Innovate UK. It is possible for the UK consortium to be led by either a UK research organisation or a UK business. If you are looking for a researcher or business to apply with, matchmaking tools are available (see below), or you can contact Innovate UK KTN for help in finding a partner.

The research element must be social science led, and inclusion of arts and humanities and engineering researchers is strongly encouraged.

UK funding is only available for topics under the ‘15-minute city’ thematic area.

We aim to support eight to 10 projects. The full economic cost of your project can be up to £415,000. ESRC, AHRC and EPSRC will typically fund 80% of the full economic cost. Funding is available for three years.

Project teams must include partners from at least three different countries who are participating in the funding opportunity. At least two of these must be countries that are European Union member states or associated to Horizon Europe. All project teams must include at least one urban government authority. This can be in a funded or unfunded capacity.


The Driving Urban Transitions (DUT) partnership focuses on three critical urban sectors (and their interrelationships) which are laid out in its roadmap as Transition Pathways (TP). The basis of the opportunity topics are these three TPs, with several topics defined under each pathway.

UK funding will only be available for the opportunity topics within the ‘15-minute city’ transition pathway.

The 15-minute city (15mC) transition pathway fosters sustainable urban mobility transitions by improving accessibility and connectivity, starting from the neighbourhood level.

The concept of the 15mC is based on the idea that city dwellers should be able to cover the vast majority of their daily needs within a 15-minute radius, by walking and cycling, while connecting to further districts and travelling larger distances by other forms of sustainable transport.

The 15mC seeks to establish integrated and mixed-used neighbourhoods at large, which are key to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in the transport and logistic sector and adapt urban environments to the challenges of climate change. Thus, the 15mC wants to account for the diversity of contemporary lifestyles and boost climate-neutral, liveable and inclusive cities.

The 15mC objective is to facilitate analysis, elaboration, experimenting and testing of innovations for 15-minute cities in co-creative settings, bringing these together in a 15mC innovation portfolio of 50+ experiences and practices, recognising different urban contexts and focusing on transferability.

The three topics within this pathway are:

  • 15mC topic one: strengthen the mix of urban functions and services
  • 15mC topic two: foster sustainable options for personal mobility and logistics in urban outskirts (and beyond)
  • 15mC topic three: reimagine urban public spaces and streets for vibrant, sustainable neighbourhoods.

Read the full topic descriptions on the DUT website.

We aim to support eight to 10 projects. The full economic cost of your project can be up to £415,000. ESRC, AHRC and EPSRC will typically fund 80% of the full economic cost. At least 40% of the UK overall budget per project must be spent by academic partners, and at least 30% must be spent by business partners. In addition, up to 30% can be spent by additional eligible collaborators including other research entities such as not for profit, or public sector organisations.

UK national contact point (for UK specific enquiries): general enquiries – email: jpiurbaneurope@esrc.ukri.org


The UK funders will be hosting a webinar on 13 October at 12:30 to specifically provide further information on the UK eligibility requirements.

Register to attend the UK eligibility webinar.

There will also be an information webinar held online by the Driving Urban Transitions (DUT) partnership on 18 October 2022.

Register to attend the DUT information webinar.


To facilitate the process of forming research consortia, the partnership is offering a matchmaking tool which is available on the DUT website.

See the DUT matchmaking tool.

This tool can be used by projects looking for partners and partners looking for projects.


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