Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative
Accelerating the implementation of sustainable urban solutions through new business models
A global movement to change how we treat the planet and each other is underway. In the past two years, we’ve seen leaders and citizens come together to declare climate change action and sustainable living to be the sensible path forward. At the center of action are cities—places that half the world’s population call home. And millions more will join them in the decades ahead.
Cities are uniquely positioned to deliver sustainable solutions that can positively impact the lives of over half the world’s population. Yet solutions such as mass public transit, bike sharing systems and energy efficient buildings need a strong business model behind them to come to life. Cities worldwide are experimenting with new ways to invest in sustainable solutions, but progress often remains isolated and does not result in scalable and replicable change. Developing a common understanding of smart approaches to building cities will move us from talk to action.
The Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative is a partnership of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Citi Foundation, helping cities develop business models to accelerate the implementation of sustainable urban solutions. This collaboration leverages the international experience and the complementary capabilities of each partner: WRI’s analytical and research competencies and long-term engagement with cities, the high-level connection with city leaders of C40 and the Citi Foundation’s urban economic progress agenda.
The Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative consists of three key components:
- the development of a city and investor learning community;
- the provision of on-the-ground technical assistance to cities; and
- the delivery of an online engagement platform.
Through these activities, the Initiative is identifying the ingredients of business models from sustainable urban projects around the world and sharing the experiences of cities and investors on what to invest in, how to pay for it, how to mobilize investment capital and how to structure contracts and institutional frameworks.
The current focus is on transit-oriented development, bike sharing systems, electric buses, bus rapid transit systems, energy efficient new buildings and retrofitting existing buildings. The results of this work will be shared through a series of events, publications and an online platform. The platform will make our findings on business models for sustainable solutions freely available to cities, investors, solution providers and partner organizations. In doing so, the partners aim to support the growing ecosystem of people working to reduce global emissions and improve the quality of life for urban residents around the world.
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