We aim to drive a shift away from business-as-usual by empowering national governments with the evidence-based rationale and policy tools they need to prioritise more compact, connected, clean urban development. In this way, the initiative helps catalyse and inform implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda, and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
While many organisations share the overarching goal of supporting the decarbonisation of cities around the world, our work fills a critical gap by bringing national government decision-makers into the process.
National leaders – including ministers of finance, transport, energy and urban development – hold many of the powers and levers that directly or indirectly affect cities. However, few recognise this dynamic: only around two in five countries globally have a national urban policy, and even fewer have embedded urban policy within their core economic development strategy or have sufficient capacity for implementation. Our work shows national decision-makers that smart urban policy is central to achieving national economic, social, and environmental goals.