The Prospect of change

22 November 2021

Once, ‘prospectors’ were those who went in search of gold with sieves and pickaxes, but if cities want to realise the prospect of a sustainable future, they’ll need more sophisticated financial tools.

Eurocities’ new EU-funded project, Prospect+, will unlock investments in sustainability at local level by brining together mentor cities and regions with those who are eager to discover how to generate finance for their green energy and mobility projects.

Targeted for efficiency

“The project will concentrate on five areas where cities have a lot of potential to make major cuts in emissions, while making savings in the local budget,” explains Eurocities Project Coordinator Sylwia Slomiak, “These are the energy efficient renovation of public and private buildings, from government offices to swimming pools and apartment blocks; modernisation of public lighting with handy fixes like LEDs and sensors; transport, from upgrading to electric buses to encouraging shared travel; and cross sectoral interventions that spread across multiple local sectors.”

As part of the previous iteration of this project (‘Prospect’ without the ‘+’), cities from Brno to Debrecen, and Riga to Stavanger shared challenges they had accessing finance to reinvigorate their neighbourhoods and ingenious ways that they made the money available.

“These range from revolving funds, where profits from energy saved are invested into new energy-saving ideas, to energy performance contracts which mean that the contractors doing the work only get paid as the savings are achieved,” says Slomiak, adding: “In total, 149 local and regional authorities and 46 energy agencies and networks learned from their peers to finance and implement their sustainable energy and climate plans – this time we’re looking for 200!”

Updated for ease

This new project will promote synergies with local plans and facilitate city decision-making processes on implementing energy efficiency measures. Participants will identify new financing schemes to interactively overcome or surpass their challenges in financing the implementation of their energy and climate plans.

This time around we’ll also be paying more attention to improving the decision making of cities on how to choose projects for financing, as well as how to assess and ensure that the projects are finance ready.

The participants will also have an opportunity to join a ‘Community of Practice’ for further exchange of best practices and on the barriers local authorities face in implementing timely and optimal investments in sustainable energy and low-emission transport.

“Through the Community of Practice and Policy Dialogue webinars,” Slomiak elaborates, “our ambition is not only to create a unique networking environment but most of all to encourage the participants to discuss what support their cities need when it comes to identifying new financing sources and implementation models for reaching their climate targets.”

We want you

We’re recruiting mentors and mentees and hosting a bouquet of concise information-focused events and direct training:

  • Application for mentors for the 1st capacity-building programme will open on 29 November, and you’ll have until 17 December to apply.
  • For cities looking to join as mentees, the call will be open from 10 January and close on 28 January 2022.

For mentors, benefits include spotlighting your status as an international frontrunner, developing lasting ties with cities that share your ambitions, a structure for engaging with colleagues in other departments of your city, and even discovering some great new ideas yourself.

The learning process lasts approximately six months, including around five online meetings and one in-person meeting, if circumstances permit travel. So sign up at and follow us on LinkedIn or follow #H2020Prospect to see what we can achieve together!

Eligible countries are EU-27 and the United Kingdom + H2020 associated countries: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine. 

The PROSPECT+ project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101023271.

A webinar for applicants will take place in January 2022.



Anthony Colclough Eurocities Writer
Sylwia Slomiak Project Coordinator