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

  • Avigdor Sharon Urban Innovation & Sustainability Lab, Department of Environmental Studies, Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • Orli Ronen Urban Innovation & Sustainability Lab, Department of Environmental Studies, Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Keywords: Mediterranean, Mainstreaming, Sustainability, Climate Change, Smart Cities, Innovation, SMEs


Climate change and urbanization will shape the Mediterranean region in the 21st century. It is becoming critical for regional cities to mainstream climate and sustainability goals into their strategies, to ensure sustainable urban development and climate readiness. The Smart City model is often suggested as a pathway to integrating sustainability and innovation within municipal systems to achieve sustainable development goals. This article presents insights from a survey of 34 Mediterranean cities, on the potential for mainstreaming sustainability in cities, mainly through smart sustainability and collaborations with innovation partners such as local SMEs and startups. The study presents the aptitude and readiness of 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.


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