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Future Cities of South East Europe

2019 – 2020

SmartUp Social Innovation Lab together with the City of Skopje from August 2019 is on a mission to make Skopje one of the best possible places to live, work and visit by 2025 by working together with more than 15 partners – cities, local organizations, advisor networks as part of this initiative co-funded by EIT Climate-KIC.

the challenge

The cities in south-eastern Europe face many challenges such as air pollution, poor infrastructure, inefficient public service delivery, emigration, and diminishing trust in public institutions. All these are linked together in reinforcing negative patterns that make it even harder to solve for the causes and impacts of climate change. At the same time, this is a region of amazing potential.

Through this initiative, we will harness this potential and we will try to find a solution to the challenges. We will demonstrate to our region and the world that it is possible to do what is needed for our communities.


Bring air quality in our cities to within World Health Organization recommended limits by 2023

Achieve circular and net-zero greenhouse gas emission economies by 2030

Ensure that by 2025 all members of our community have equitable access to the fundamentals of wellbeing

Reduce year on year the impacts of heat and flooding on our communities


Finding a way to achieve our mission is going to require our communities to (re)learn how to work together toward critical shared outcomes as this need goes well beyond traditional political dynamics and relationships towards a more holistic approach with new models of governance; experiment with different forms of collaboration and build different working relationships and structures across our communities; and work on identification of different financial models and instruments to support the work needed.

Key Outcomes

Designed a model for a new governance structure - YES team

Developed an experimental Impact investment portfolio for the City of Skopje - coming soon

Established a thriving community learning platform

Supported the development of the Platform for collective visioning "Zelen Glas"

Developed an Economic Case for Decarbonisation of Skopje

Developed a Guide "New funding opportunities and impact on the municipalities" for development of Impact Investment portfolios for Local Governments

Developed a collection of Citizens vision for Skopje – coming soon

Developed a Summary of achievements, challenges and priorities for future development of the City of Skopje

Where next?

  • Development of several key projects from the Impact Investment portfolio
  • Piloting and testing 1-2 impact investment projects with new financial instruments
  • Building a sustainable model through community engagement around construction and demolition waste management
  • Digitalization of public services
  • Opening new open data sets
  • Strengthening the role of the cultural and creative industries in the area of climate change and environmental protection


We invite other organizations to collaborate, experiment and to co-create with us the needed new ways of supporting cities on a long-term urban transformation journey.

Get in touch with us

Project coordinator: Sofija Bogeva, [email protected]