Sustainable urban development: Helping the BMU adapt its funding guidelines

NEW YORK CITY - JUN 3: High Line Park in NYC seen on June 3rd, 2012.The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattans West Side.

Cities can make a major contribution to climate protection. In doing so, they can also improve the quality of life of the population through sustainable development. That is why one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to make cities and municipalities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) support sustainable urban development in developing countries through two funding programs: the International Climate Initiative (IKI) launched in 2008, and the Export Initiative for Environmental Technologies from 2016. Both funding programs need to align more closely with the goals of the New Urban Agenda, the Leipzig Charter for European Cities and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).

To help the BMU and BMI adapt their funding guidelines and project selection process, adelphi carried out a study in collaboration with South Pole and Urban Catalyst. The study provided the BMU and BMI with an analytical basis to answer the following key questions:

  • In which countries and types of cities is the need and potential for climate protection and adaptation measures in urban development particularly high? 
  • Which measures are particularly suitable for reconciling the goals of climate protection and adaptation with other goals of sustainable urban development?
  • To what extent do German companies or urban planners have a comparative advantage over other countries? In which area and with regard to which of the measures identified above is this the case?
  • Which other national and international donors are already active in the areas and countries mentioned above?
  • What comparative advantage does the BMU or Germany have over other donors and in which areas or in which projects is this advantage apparent?