European Green Deal: No urban infrastructure, No sustainable development

Research Paper by Nicola Bilotta



To promote long-term sustainable development, the European Green Deal needs to start from urban infrastructure.

The European Green Deal’s ultimate goal is to transform the EU economy paving the way towards a new model of sustainable development. To achieve this goal, however, the European Green Deal needs to put at the core of its vision cities and their infrastructure as fundamental factors to address sustainability. UE urban governments manage 1/3 of public spending and 2/3 of public investments. Even though urban governments have been provided with a key responsibility for infrastructure provision, they often lack the capacity and resources to properly translate their sustainable ambitions into practicable solutions. The European Green Deal offers a unique opportunity to mitigate these key challenges and, finally, unlock the potential of cities. However, within the framework of the European Green Deal, an effort should be put in further engaging with local authorities while improving their capacity and channelling private investments in sustainable infrastructure projects.


About the author

Nicola Bilotta is a researcher at the Istituto Affari Internazionali where he works on political economy, digital economy and geofinance. He is also Senior Research Analyst at the Banker Research Team (Financial Times). He was the coordinator of the T20 Task Force ”Infrastructure Investment and Financing” in 2021. He co-wrote the paper “Reviving and Reorienting Growth after the Pandemic: The Role of Local Infrastructure Investments” mentioned in the Annex of the 3rd G20 Financial Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting 2021. He co-edited the volumes “The Rise of Tech Giants. A game changer in global finance and politics” and “The (near) Future of CBDCs. Risks and Opportunities for the global economy and society”.

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