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Transforming cities for people and planet

UrbanShift supports cities around the world to adopt integrated approaches to urban development, building an equitable, zero-carbon future where both people and planet can thrive.

We live on a rapidly urbanizing planet, but our cities are struggling to provide basic services to their people – from clean air and water to reliable public transport and safe, affordable housing. As a result of this unprecedented urban growth, carbon emissions are on the rise and pressures on vital ecosystems are intensifying.  

Annual Report Cover 2021-2022

Annual Report 2021-2022

UrbanShift was launched at Climate Week NYC in September 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges, we made tremendous progress over the course of the year, working together with cities, countries, organizations and governments to pave the way for sustainable and inclusive urban transformation. Read about the milestones accomplished in UrbanShift's first year of action.


The need for cities to transform their development trajectory has never been more urgent. UrbanShift works with more than 23 cities across nine countries, bringing together local leaders, national governments and a range of global stakeholders to enable urban development that is both nature-positive and human-centric. Hover over the map below to see the 23 primary cities and 16 secondary cities that form part of UrbanShift (GEF-7 cycle). You can also see the 28 cities that participated in the pilot program  (GEF-6 cycle).

Brazil Colorful Houses


UrbanShift is the brand name of the Global Environment Facility’s Sustainable Cities Impact Program. It is led by the UN Environment Programme and implemented in partnership with the World Resources Institute, C40 Cities, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the UN Development Programme, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. UrbanShift builds on the lessons and experiences of the Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot, facilitated through the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities.