In defining a common roadmap for European cities towards a post-carbon future, understanding the needs and determinants for policy priorities in different types of cities will help tailor a common roadmap that can be adopted under various socio-economic contexts. This paper provides an analysis of results collected in a participatory case study exercise undertaken within a research project on post-carbon urban futures (Post‐Carbon Cities of Tomorrow, POCACITO). It is based on local workshops organised in the European case study cities of the POCACITO project, which employed a three-step methodology consisting of an initial assessment, vision building and backcasting exercises. The case study cities include a selection of eight cities across Europe, and all exercises have a strong focus on the inclusion of stakeholders. Comparison of the visions and scenarios resulting from these workshops provides insights into drivers that determine different directions in policy action for cities working to transition toward post-carbon futures. Results from the case study cities show similar elements in the local strategies that have been proposed by local stakeholders, focusing primarily on urban projects for energy efficiency and transition to non-fossil energy resources. On the contrary, the specific mix of strategies envisaged for each city has been influenced by local issues, such as the geographical location or the size, as well as different points of departure with regards to emission reductions.