Climathon Cities Award

Climathon Cities Award

Crowther Lab and EIT Climate-KIC are joining forces and calling for cities around the world to engage in climate action through the inaugural ‘Climathon Global Awards’ to find new systems level solutions to tackle the worsening climate crisis. The vision is to transform 100 cities into carbon neutral areas by 2030. 

The Climathon Cities Award, which will run alongside the Climathon Citizens Award, rewards those cities ready to realise their vision of a climate-resilient society. Crowther Lab and Climate EIT will work with winning entries and cities to tackle major issues including: greenhouse gas emissions, energy inefficiency and air pollution. Winning cities will receive fast track coaching and support by world-leading experts in their fields. Seed funding will be available for the top visionary concepts as well as an opportunity to connect and exchange with EIT Climate-KIC’s network of Healthy, Clean Cities Deep Demonstration.

5 nominees

5 nominees has been selected to go to the Cities Award bootcamp and ceremony taking place in Paris on January 30-31. To learn more about their vision and the project they submitted check out their interview!

33 participant cities

We are happy to announce that 33 cities from all around the world entered the first edition of the Climathon Cities Award. A great opportunity for them to turn their urban sustainability projects into reality. Keep an eye on our social media channels to find out more about these cities!


The Crowther Lab’s research reveals that 77% of the cities around the world will experience a striking change of climate conditions over the next 30 years. At the same time, we’ve shown that strategic tree reforestation on a global scale could significantly counteract excess carbon emissions. This research has captured the imagination of over 139 million people worldwide and sparked a renewed conversation on the potential for nature-based solutions to address climate change. Our most recent paper in Nature  analyzes the relationship between Urban Heat Islands (UHIs), population, precipitation and vegetation,and calls for nature to be combined with innovative solutions to reduce the UHI effect. Such innovations need to reduce energy use and carbon emissions, improve air quality, and benefit public health.

This map outlines the current UHI, precipitation, and population figures for 300 major global cities – what’s your cities UHI, and how do you think they could offset that? See our Knowledge Pack case studies for some ideas!

Cities Award

Putting all this new knowledge together, it becomes apparent that next to technological and policy innovation, nature provides a currently underused avenue to combat the effects of climate change. Yet the power and potential of nature-based solutions to climate change have not been fully explored. The Climathon Awards serve as a far-reaching global call for city leaders to collaborate with scientists, NGOs, entrepreneurs and other innovators to develop innovative local solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change, especially those that employ nature-based solutions. There will be a strong focus on ‘systemic innovation’ as the most effective solutions need to encompass both domestic and international governance, policy, and the financial and market structures that influence behaviour. 


Taking innovative ideas and implementing them at the city level will be critical. This is where the City Award comes in: you as a local authority can apply with a systemic action plan of what you would like to do, whether alone or with local partners, and win support to make your vision a reality.

Cities are leading the fight against climate change and driving innovative thinking. Local authorities can apply with a systemic action plan of what you would like to do, whether alone or with local partners, and win support to make your vision a reality. The focus this year will be on cities who leverage EIT Climate-KIC’s systemic change framework whilst harnessing the potential of nature to address climate change at the local level. 

Why participate?

Cities are in a remarkable position to lead the world in crafting, testing and implementing nature-based solutions because these activities could vastly improve the local environment, economy and overall livability of a city -- all while combating climate change. Examples of areas where cities could be introducing change:
  • Nature-based infrastructure and ecosystem regeneration 
  • Zero emission mobility service systems 
  • Deep building retrofitting 
  • Clean energy supplies 
  • Circular resource loops 
  • Urban food production and nutrient recycling 
  • Growing fair, prosperous and sustainable local economies 
  • Healthy, vibrant, creative and accessible public spaces
  • City/regional authorities (ideally as consortiums with further local partners) including cities where Climathon 2019 takes place

By participating, you have the chance to win tailored support from world-leading experts on your proposal, international media attention, seed funding, a trip to the ChangeNOW Summit in Paris to join us in full-day implementation training, and an opportunity to learn more and connect to the EIT Climate-KIC’s Deep Demonstration programme. The day before the Awards Ceremony, we are organising a technical bootcamp for the five finalist cities to finalise their proposals and prepare their pitches. The Climathon Global Awards Ceremony will take place on 31 January 2020 at the ChangeNOW Summit in Paris and the winning proposals will be selected by a high-profile jury (stay tuned for more info about this!). We have developed a Knowledge Pack with case studies of how cities are already using innovative solutions to the climate crisis to inspire creativity amongst applicants.

Want to learn more?

We are excited to bring together citizens and cities from around the world for a true celebration of innovative climate action. Visit the website for more information or contact