Adelaide has been announced as a partner city in the European Union’s World Cities program, which pairs leading smart and sustainable cities together in order to share experiences and best practice on urban innovation, green development and start-up policy.

The city has been paired with Manchester in the UK, recognised as a leading smart city with its CityVerve project, which is pioneering the use of Internet of Things technologies for services including transport and healthcare.

Adelaide is also seen as having strong smart city potential, with an Internet of Things innovation hub launched in conjunction with tech conglomerate Cisco; the City of Adelaide’s Ten Gigabit City project, which aims to make the city a high-speed internet zone; and the state government’s $4.6 million program to offer internet up to 100 faster than the national average for businesses within innovation precincts.

Responses to climate change, including energy and renewable energy, will also be a core focus of the partnership, with the project expected to help Adelaide on its journey to become the world’s first carbon neutral city.

Climate change minister Ian Hunter said acceptance into the program was recognition of the efforts Adelaide was taking to capture the benefits of a low-carbon economy.

“The world is taking action to limit carbon pollution and it is great to see to Adelaide recognised for its leadership in emissions reductions and renewable energy,” Mr Hunter said.

“This partnership will place Adelaide amid the European Union’s efforts to create more sustainable cities while working in collaboration with Manchester.”

He said the two cities were “ideally paired” to share learnings because they were of similar size, connectedness and “innovative endeavour”.

UK government minister Nick Gibb was in Adelaide to celebrate the “twinning” of the cities, and said the link between the two “advanced digital cities” would have economic and environmental benefits.

“The UK Government is committed strongly to the smart use of technology to help our cities achieve both economic growth and environmental sustainability,” he said.

City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese said the program was set to put the southern city on the global stage.

“It will demonstrate to the world our capacity to embrace new technology and explore great ideas, as well as provide an opportunity for the City of Adelaide to be a global leader in sustainability and responding to environmental change,” he said.

World Cities is a project of the EU managed by the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission.

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