France’s capital has beaten off 31 other European cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants to clinch the 2017 European Capital of Innovation iCapital award.
The European Commission presented Paris with the title, which comes with a prize of €1,000,000, on November 7 at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon. The award is part of the EU’s research and innovation program ‘Horizon 2020’ and was bestowed on the French capital for its unique innovation strategy.
The judging panel was particularly impressed by the ‘Reinventing Paris’ project, launched in 2015, calling for interdisciplinary teams to submit innovative urban development projects to transform a number of key sites in the city. The initiative led to the selection of 22 projects out of the 372 proposals received. The second phase of the initiative, ‘Reinventing Paris 2’, started in 2017, focusing on 34 underground sites, including abandoned tunnels and metro stations, disused railways and former technical facilities.
Other cities rewarded for their contribution to urban innovation were Tallinn (Estonia) and Tel Aviv (Israel), which each received €100,000.