Every year, the EIB dedicates 20-30% of its lending to build resilient cities for future generations, construct social and affordable housing and provide sustainable urban services.
While providing critical services to citizens, cities have also been on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis. They now need to focus on combining a sustainable economic recovery with a green recovery. See our main priorities.
replacing vehicle fleets with electric or other green fuel vehicles
investments in charging infrastructure
Social and affordable housing
The EIB is active in promoting social and affordable housing. Our support covers the retrofitting of existing housing and the construction of new social and affordable accommodation. Our offer ranges from housing schemes in small towns and rural areas with demographic challenges to development projects in large cities with very severe housing shortages.
We concentrate on:
increasing the supply of social and affordable housing to tackle market supply constraints and affordability issues
improving energy efficiency, accessibility and the overall quality of social and affordable housing
enhancing social inclusion and promoting diverse neighbourhoods
Education and training
Investment in education and training is essential to promote growth, competitiveness and inclusion. Our support includes the upgrade of education-related infrastructure to meet climate resilient and pedagogical needs, but also investments to equip and enhance teachers’ skills, such as digital and pedagogical competences.
The most common city-supported investments are:
primary and secondary schools
higher education and vocational training
adult teaching centres
Health and life science
Our support for the health sector is aligned with the EU’s strategic priorities and aims to improve health outcomes, welfare and economic gains.
The EIB can support projects in the below sectors:
innovation in health
medical education and training
integrated and community care
Water, sewerage and solid waste
Solid waste management
The EIB lending policy in the solid waste sector contributes to the implementation of EU policy. Our investment concerns solid waste projects for the:
separate collection of recyclable materials and bio-waste and facilities for treatment of such waste streams, including composting, anaerobic digestion and material recovery facilities
treatment of the residual waste that remains after upstream recycling, such as mechanical biological treatment plants and incineration plants with energy recovery
closure and rehabilitation of old landfills and, outside the European Union, the construction of new engineered landfills
ensure reliable provision of sustainable and affordable water and wastewater-related services both in quantity and quality to all stakeholders
promote the increase in energy efficiency measures and recovery mechanisms.
Cultural and administrative buildings
The EIB recognises the critical importance of public buildings to support sound public administration, enable provision of municipal services and contribute to education, culture and local economy.
Such investments include the:
renovation or construction of public administrative buildings, such as law courts, community centres, municipal administration buildings
renovation or construction of cultural buildings and infrastructure, such as theatres, concert halls, museums, monuments, heritage trails and their associated public realm
Digitalisation is a key priority area for the European Commission and the EIB recognises the importance of digital transformation. The digital economy sector is key for smart and productive cities and regions.
Such investments include:
Better access to ultrafast broadband connectivity, mobile networks and relevant infrastructure to support digitalisation of city processes and digital services
Projects that help the introduction and deployment of digital solutions, technologies, platforms and services in the functioning of the urban economy (for example, through innovation districts) and digital public services (including education, healthcare, culture and public administration/services).
Projects that improve the integration of digital technology, adopt emerging technologies, improve cybersecurity or contribute to climate, environmental sustainability and the green transition.
Financing approach and advisory support
The EIB has had an important role in urban investment over the past twenty years. As the EU climate bank, we welcome the EuropeanGreen Deal and will contribute significantly to its implementation. Urban and regional investment will play a key role in this.
Within the EU, the EIB uses its full range of instruments in the urban sector. The Bank has established direct relationships with many cities through several instruments, such as:
The Gap Fund paves the way for cities to deliver ambitious infrastructure development for low-carbon, resilient and livable cities. It provides technical assistance for early-stage planning and project preparation. It unlocks a pipeline of financially viable urban investments that contribute to local transformation, global climate goals and green recovery.