Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative

Cities are uniquely positioned to deliver sustainable solutions that can positively impact the lives of the growing global urban population. Yet solutions such as bike-sharing, public transit systems and energy efficient buildings need a strong financial model behind them to come to life.

The Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative was created to help accelerate investment in sustainable urban solutions. This groundbreaking partnership between C40, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, and the Citi Foundation is identifying the ingredients of successful sustainable urban projects around the world, and helping city governments and investors bridge from innovation to implementation.

The Initiative consists of three key components:

  • the development of a peer-to-peer learning community;
  • the provision of technical assistance;
  • and the delivery of an online engagement platform.

Through these activities, we are pioneering a common language between cities and investors and providing a forum for collaboration to connect urban transformation ideas with people invested in making cities prosper.


Events, Finance Academies and Technical Workshops

The Initiative has created a first-of-its-kind annual Financing Sustainable Cities Forum, convening senior decision-makers from government, financial institutions, and the private sector to collaborate on innovative business models for sustainable urban solutions. The first C40 Financing Sustainable Cities Forum brought together over 130 representatives in Rio de Janeiro on 5 April 2016 from government, non-government organisations and financial institutions from across the globe. The second Forum is an invitation-only event for global finance and city leaders in London on 4 April 2017.

Cities and technical experts also have an opportunity to come together in smaller workshops and Finance Academies through the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative. These solution-focused workshops bring together a select group of city officials to learn from the experiences of their peers in other cities and collaborate with technical experts on new business models for specific projects in the areas of low carbon buildings and transport. To date, global and national workshops have taken place in Brazil, Columbia, India, the United States and South Africa.

Financing Sustainable Cities Platform

The Initiative is working closely with cities across the globe and we will be sharing the results through a series of publications and an online Financing Sustainable Cities Platform. The Platform is under development in close consultation with city stakeholders and will be publicly launched in late 2017. This online platform will make our findings on business models for sustainable solutions freely available to cities, investors, solution providers, and partner organizations. In doing so, we aim to support the growing ecosystem of people working to implement the New Urban Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement to create more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable cities.

Mexico City's Green Bond - click here to learn more about innovative climate action finance in Mexico City via a recent webinar with the city’s Secretary of Finance, Edgar Amador, Secretary of Environment, Tanya Müller, and HSBC's Yumar Muñoz.