Sustainable and Livable Cities Initiative

Building the foundations of our work with cities

Bus rapid transit (BRT) in Belo Horizonte. Photo by Luisa Zottis/WRI Brasil Sustainable Cities. 

The Sustainable and Livable Cities Initiative (SLCI) enables key decision makers in China, India, and Brazil to make informed decisions and take effective actions to improve quality of life and environmental sustainability in cities. Since 2006, Caterpillar Foundation’s support has been vital in helping pioneer the mobility work of EMBARQ and its expansion into WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, allowing WRI to scale beyond the relationship’s immediate impact. SLCI develops solutions in the following areas:

  • Bus rapid transit (BRT), bus systems and route rationalization
  • Accessibility, road safety and mon-motorized transport (NMT)
  • Transport demand management (TDM)
  • GHGP for cities (GPC)
  • Green power market development
  • Low carbon planning
  • Water-energy nexus

The project’s overall strategy consists of four phases, creating a cycle of activities:

  1. Engage government actors.
  2. Assess and measure to collect accurate data and information.
  3. Use pilot projects to experiment with new solutions.
  4. Scale up to other cities or regions.
The project's impact has grown beyond the four initial focus cities and scaled to additional cities:


  • Belo Horizonte, Brazil 
  • Brasilia, Brazil 
  • Curitiba, Brazil 
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 


  • Beijing, China 
  • Changsha, China 
  • Hefei, China
  • Jinan, China
  • Xiangyang, China 


  • Chennai, India 
  • Karnataka, India 
  • Tamil Nadu, India  

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