About this sector
Urban planning decisions made today will have a major impact on the carbon emissions, resilience, and quality of life of tomorrow. Sustainable land use planning measures help cities avoid and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the effects of climate change, and promote spatial equity.
Mayors are working together to build cities that are safer and greener for all city residents by creatively using their significant authority over urban planning regulation. This commitment to sustainable urban planning helps move cities away from the paradigm of auto-oriented sprawl and toward a model of compact, connected, and resilient communities with a better quality of life for all.
C40’s Urban Planning team helps to share best practices, establish inclusive policies, and create healthy neighbourhoods across our network of cities.
High-impact actions in this sector include:
- Promoting development in transit-oriented locations, with an emphasis on affordable housing
- Implementing “15-minute city” or “complete neighbourhood” policies that provide public amenities, essential shops, and a mix of economic activities within a short walk or bike ride of residents’ homes
Networks & Programs
Land Use Planning Network
C40’s Land Use Planning Network provides a platform for cities to accelerate the development and the implementation of sustainable and inclusive land use policies, such as comprehensive land use plans and zoning codes that promote a mixture of uses, liveable densities, and low carbon mobility; transit-oriented development (TOD) strategies; preservation of open space; and mainstreaming climate resilience into urban design guidelines and regulations.
Cities participating in the network have prioritized five focus areas around which they are actively sharing policies, strategies, ideas and challenges with one another.
- Comprehensive planning for denser, more liveable cities
Sharing of strategies to create comprehensive planning policies and zoning codes that reduce urban sprawl, preserve green and open space, and promote mixed-use and well-connected cities, both for formal urban development and informal settlements.
- 15-minute city policies
Transforming urban spaces into connected and self-sufficient “complete” neighbourhoods through planning regulations, local economic development programs and urban infrastructure improvements. 15-minute cities encourage neighbourhoods to feature a diversity of housing options that allow a mix of incomes, active streetfront retail, and a flexible built environment that can serve different uses at different times of the day and of their lifespan.
- Enabling transit-oriented development
Designing and implementing equitable transit-oriented development policies and projects through planning, financing, and public engagement.
- Integrating climate change and adaptation priorities into land use plans and policies
Aligning climate action plan and adaptation priorities to enable the integration across land use policies and tools.
- Inter-departmental collaboration, community outreach strategies and quantification of the impact of sustainable urban planning policies
Facilitating the development or adoption of the above policies.
Cities participating in this network are:
Abidjan, Accra, Athens, Auckland, Barcelona, Bogotá, Boston, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Chicago, Curitiba, Dakar, Dubai, Durban (eThekwini), Freetown, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Lagos, Lima, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Madrid, Medellín, Melbourne, Mexico City, Portland, Quezon City, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Salvador, São Paulo, Seattle, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, Tshwane, Vancouver, Washington DC
- UN Habitat, Streets as Public Spaces and Drivers of Urban Prosperity, 2013.
- UN Foundation, 2016.