Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative 

The FSCI 2019 Report is now available for download here

Our vision is a world where all cities can access the financing they need to implement vital sustainable infrastructure and achieve their ambitious climate goals – limiting global temperature rise and improving the lives of their citizens both today and for generations to come.

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time, posing an urgent threat to the lives and livelihoods of people across the globe. The need to respond with new sustainable infrastructure could not be greater.

For effective urban sustainable solutions to materialise, however, they need solid financial foundations – this is why the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative (FSCI), funded by the Citi Foundation, was created. Through its work with the world’s biggest cities, FSCI connects city leaders with investors to bridge the gap between idea and implementation in the urban sustainability landscape and change the trajectory of the fight against climate change. 


The FSCI sees cities as not only drivers of positive change but also exciting investment opportunities. Our work is focused on immediate impact with long-lasting positive effects for cities, their residents and the global climate. Everything we do is outcomes driven, with the needs of cities at its core.


The FSCI currently works on the municipal-level financing challenges of three main areas within C40’s wider work – finance for clean transportation, clean energy and adaptation. Going forward, the work of the Initiative will both deepen in the below areas and expand to explore business models for new sectors, such as waste infrastructure.

Through years of working with city officials and leaders, we have established core pillars of our work that we have refined to achieve the best results with cities:

Finance Academies 
At the core of the FSCI’s work are Finance Academies: intensive three-day workshops that bring together city officials from approximately 10 cities, with technical experts, to address financing challenges preventing implementation of a particular climate solution e.g. solar, electric buses, flood defences etc. Each city that wishes to participate is required to nominate a senior city official with expertise and power to act in both the sector being discussed (e.g. Head of Transportation) and the financing decisions of the city (e.g. Chief Financial Officer).

Technical Assistance 
Sometimes city practitioners face a lack of good models that can be shared via peer-to-peer learning, or existing examples fail to account for a challenge with a specific local context. In these instances, cities require a more bespoke, specialist approach. To support cities in this situation, FSCI developed its Technical Assistance Programme, a package of resources that can be allocated to cites to help unlock finance and accelerate or scale progress towards clean transportation, clean energy and climate adaptation.

The Financing Sustainable Cities Forum is the FSCI’s flagship public event. Previous Forums have been held in Rio de Janeiro, London, New York and Johannesburg from 2016-2019 accordingly. The Forum is an invitation-only, one-day annual conference that brings together global leaders in sustainable city finance, including investors, the private sector, philanthropy, non-profit leaders, and city and national government representatives, to make the case for accelerating investment in green urban infrastructure. FSCI Forum’s have explored themes such as women in climate finance, financing resilient urban infrastructure, financing inclusive cities and creating more impactful relationships between cities and the private sector.

Knowledge Sharing
In addition to the more in-depth support offered to cities via Academies and Technical Assistance, FSCI promotes knowledge sharing and adoption of best practices though light engagement activities including webinars, blogs, and publication of research.


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The Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative is supported by the Citi Foundation.