Photo of a tree in an city square

Our approach

UrbanShift’s approach to transformative urban development is two-fold: local action at the city level combined with a global capacity-building offer.

Cities consume two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for about 70% of global greenhouse emissions. It’s clear that traditional urban development approaches are inadequate to tackle the complex, overlapping challenges posed by rapid urbanization and the climate crisis. A change in course is essential, not only to meet shared climate and sustainable development goals, but to provide a just, livable future for all urban citizens.

UrbanShift aims to achieve this transformation in two ways: 


Through on-the-ground investments in participating cities, we engage directly with local officials, urban practitioners and national governments to plan and implement innovative, cross-cutting solutions that address multiple urban issues. These solutions apply pilot approaches that can be easily scaled up and replicated and cover a range of focus areas, from sustainable transport to affordable housing, green infrastructure to waste management and more.

Click here to learn about our local projects in China, India, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Morocco, Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina.


To complement our local projects, we've created a suite of capacity-strengthening activities to connect cities with global expertise and cutting-edge research in the field of integrated urban development. These activities tap into the unique capabilities and extensive networks of our partner organizations and offer cities opportunities to enhance their strategic urban planning skills, engage with the private sector, and exchange best practices with their peers at virtual and in-person events.

Click here to learn about the various activities offered to cities as part of UrbanShift's global initiative, including labs, forums, climate action, and more.