City-City Powerhouse Criteria

UEC Powerhouse Projects are the most comprehensive and ambitious joint EU-China city-city partnerships which focus on sustainable urbanisation. The UEC Powerhouse Projects are used as exemplars for the UEC City-City Partnership Programme which aims to provide support, guidance and encouragement for EU-China city-city pairs who are looking for information and advice on how other city pairings have achieved success.

The assessment criteria were developed based on evidence from published literature. These studies indicated that five factors affected the success of a city-city pairing: human, mutual interest, support, publicity and management factors. However, the literature also identified several key challenges to assessing and comparing city-city partnerships which relate to the diversity of models used to match, develop and maintain city pairings, the length of the relationship between the cities, data availability (due to sensitivities around how tax-payers funds are used to support these partnerships) and also sensitivities around city-city partnerships which were considered to be failing or have failed.

To be considered for selection as an UEC Powerhouse Project, the cities must first be willing to engage with URBAN-EU-CHINA project activities and secondly, be capable of providing the necessary level of information to justify their success. The next Call will be published shortly, and the second award ceremony will take place in Beijing Dec. 2019.

Assessment criteria






The Cooperation Plans and Guidelines report (pending EU approval)

describes the results of joint activities between European and Chinese cities. It talks about the process of selecting, facilitating and documenting the matching of European and Chinese cities and how they create joint urban sustainability projects. This report helps to achieve some of the objectives of URBAN-EU-CHINA project:

  • Create a more effective, productive, accessible and predictable stream of collaboration and innovation projects and initiatives, compared with the current manifold but fragmented landscape

Report 2..3

  • Create a critical mass of EU and Chinese cities cooperating with each other on urban innovation, sustainability and quality. Monitor and document cooperation processes and results to facilitate
    fast learning and a large experience base for replication towards other cities.

You may download our report; Cooperation Plans and Guidelines here (pending EU approval as of June 2019).