Urban Transformation

Urbanisation is one of the decisive trends of our time: an increasing number of cities are home to a growing urban population, while the demand for natural resources and space is on the rise. Global challenges therefore increasingly require urban solutions, whether for climate change, managing scarce resources, or rising social inequalities. Based on ten years of experience in diverse fields, adelphi advises local, national and international decision-makers with the goal of creating cities of the future in the present as places of integrated, inclusive transformation. To this end we develop concepts and strategies on global urban governance, urban resource management and climate-friendly urban and municipal development, as well as consulting on the issues of infrastructure and mobility.

  • Complex, urban challenges such as provision of public services and infrastructures demand integrated approaches and new forms of multi-level cooperation and leadership from local authorities. Indispensable factors for inclusive and sustainable urban development therefore comprise a planning process that cuts across sectors and departments, as well as active integration of a broad spectrum of actors from the public, private and civil sectors. In order to prepare cities for these challenges as well as provide them with support, adelphi offers a range of services: from specific policy analyses and the development of capacity-building measures to the development of new dialogue formats. Furthermore, adelphi analyses inter-state cooperation initiatives between cities as well as the role of urban actors in international negotiations.

  • Environmental risks in cities worldwide are increasing due to the effects of climate change, while also being significantly influenced by the ways in which cities grow. The development of effective approaches to address the immediate and future risks of climate change is therefore urgently needed.

    adelphi works at the interface of urban planning, climate adaptation, and disaster risk management and combines its comprehensive expertise in these three areas. This is a key success factor of integrated approaches that are needed to develop innovative solutions for increasing urban climate resilience. In addition, possible opportunities and potentials that climate change presents for sustainable urban development can be easily identified and harnessed.

    Our international and national partners benefit from our experience in the design and implementation of risk and vulnerability analyses and from our expertise in integrating climate adaptation into urban development. Our analyses use both qualitative and quantitative, data-driven methodological approaches. We develop and test creative adaptation options in the field of urban development. We also plan preventive measures and develop strategies for risk communication in cities. These services support our partners worldwide in strengthening the climate resilience of cities. In doing so, we work at the international, national and local levels.

  • Energy grids, streets, housing stocks and urban infrastructures are all under increasing pressure. They must withstand rapid population growth, play an important role in avoiding climate change and simultaneously adapt to possible climate change impacts in the present. Moreover, due to their long-term time frames, infrastructures determine urban development for decades, which makes forward-looking planning imperative. adelphi offers support in the conception phase and in implementing feasible measures. Its range of services include vulnerability analyses and strategies for climate adaptation, concepts for smart cities and new forms of mobility, as well as the development of funding instruments for low-emission energy systems.

  • Cities and local authorities occupy a central role in climate mitigation. They are consumers and providers; they regulate access to resources and offer advice to their citizens. Because of this, adelphi is both investigating how local authorities can be best supported in climate mitigation and generating ideas for the optimisation of national support programmes. At the local level, adelphi advises decision- makers on the implementation of their own climate mitigation measures. To this end, adelphi is developing approaches in stakeholder mapping and analysing coordination requirements in order to unite the governing and implementing bodies in various dialogue formats, and intensifying stakeholders’ mutual learning at the local level.

  • The interplay between cities and resources is highly diverse and complex. Some 75% of all natural resources worldwide are consumed in and by cities, and the quality of land, air and water is majorly impaired by harmful emissions, sealing and waste water. Explicitly urban problem-solving approaches are increasingly coming into focus, such as the agricultural use of fallow land, resource recovery from waste, and nature conservation in cities. In the field of resource management, adelphi has offered expert advice, support for innovative technology transfer, and accompanying research in the implementation of projects worldwide for many years. adelphi also has extensive experience in the fields of water and waste economy, minerals and mining, sustainable tourism, biodiversity and nature conservation.

  • The increasing socio-spatial segregation, especially in large cities, as well as increased mobility and migration presents new challenges for urban policies and planning. In the face of these structural changes, how can one reach or guarantee social cohesion? And how does one cope with the constant growth of megacities and informal settlements, especially in Africa, Asia and South America? This requires inclusive and sustainable urban development strategies and planning instruments that guarantee equal access to service delivery, public spaces and participatory opportunities. adelphi advises cities and relevant actors in creating these strategies and instruments and develops tailor-made participatory and dialogue formats that strengthen the exchange between municipalities and civil society and establish new forms of cooperation.