Image of people walking, trees around


Funded by the Global Environment Facility and led by the UN Environment Programme, UrbanShift is working to transform cities for people and planet through sustainable, integrated, zero-carbon urban development.

From coastal management measures in Surat, India to low-emission zones in Teresina, Brazil and upgraded informal settlements in Kigali, Rwanda, UrbanShift’s mission is to cultivate an urban development practice that is rooted in equity and integration, addressing not just one urban challenge, but many.

We’re collaborating with more than 23 cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America on a range of cross-sectoral strategies, reducing carbon emissions and conserving biodiversity while fostering sustainable, equitable growth. We’re also building a knowledge and learning platform that connects cities worldwide with the tools, training and advocacy they need to put these strategies into action.


Cities are home to 4.2 billion people – more than half of the world’s population. These bustling human habitats are where our daily struggles unfold, where we strive to build a better future for ourselves and our families. But cities today face unprecedented challenges – floods, storms, heatwaves, deteriorating air quality, deepening social inequity – compounded by the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though the circumstances are daunting, there’s a flip side: cities are the engines of the global economy, hubs of creativity and innovation, and have always possessed enormous potential for change.

UrbanShift’s goal is to catalyze this potential. By empowering city leaders to work together with businesses, institutions and governments, we’re shaping healthy, vibrant communities where natural ecosystems are restored and protected and carbon emissions neutralized, tilting the balance in favor of people and the planet.

Annual Report Cover 2021-2022


UrbanShift's inaugural annual report serves as an inspiring portfolio of the program's first year in action as well as a handbook for our strategy to achieve sustainable, low-carbon growth in more than 23 cities across three continents.