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Finance Support

Through its Global Platform, UrbanShift offers cities a range of support for accessing financing for climate projects, from technical assistance to networking opportunities with funders.

Financing is essential for transforming integrated planning concepts into tangible, impactful projects. UrbanShift offers participating cities a range of support opportunities in the early stages of project development to assist in developing bankable projects, understanding barriers and how to overcome them, connecting to potential investors and ultimately implementing and scaling infrastructure projects that support sustainable urban development.  

Through UrbanShift’s Global Platform, cities can access various levels and types of financing support, depending on project maturity and needs.

UrbanShift's Finance Offer

UrbanShift assists cities by providing guidance and support around ensuring project feasibility and bankability, including:

  • ICLEI’s Transformative Actions Program (TAP): Cities within the UrbanShift network are invited to submit their sustainable infrastructure projects to ICLEI’s TAP to have them screened for quality. Through TAP, ICLEI verifies the project’s potential, itsalignment with national and subnational strategies, its connection with the Sustainable Development Goals and its potential benefits for climate resilience, adaptation, and inclusion. If needed, TAP will recommend improvements or adjustments to strengthen the project. Selected projects receive the “TAP Seal” of approval and are connected to TAP partners for development and financing support.   
  • Climate Finance City Academy Module: Led by ICLEI, this training module helps and empowers local governments to develop innovative and bankable projects and access finance for low-carbon and climate resilient developments. In the course, participants learn about climate finance architecture to better understand potential international and national funding sources and learn about the range of available financing solutions for projects. To equip cities to see their projects through to implementation, this module will also train participants on project structuring and pitching to increase their chances of receiving support from investors and funders. This module will be offered in person across UrbanShift’s three regions, and an online version of the course will be available to all interested city-level practitioners. Learn more about the Climate Finance City Academy Module  

  • C40 Finance Academies: C40 Finance Academies focus on accelerating and scaling up infrastructure investments for urban solutions that deliver global environmental benefits. These intensive three-day workshops held at the regional level bring together city officials, technical experts, private sector representatives and financial institutions to address financing challenges and identify solutions. The content of the Finance Academies is tailored to the needs of participating cities, and intended to assist cities to overcome barriers they are facing to financing critical projects. Read about the Adaptation Finance Academy for Latin American Cities, hosted in Santiago in November 2022. 

  • Light-Touch Technical Assistance: Cities that participate in the C40 Finance Academies can apply for this support to receive more bespoke assistance as they develop their projects. Through this offering, the UrbanShift Global Platform will grant up to $20,000 in finance-specific support to meet the needs laid out by cities. The goal of this offering is to support cities to access financial knowledge and tools to develop viable business models and financing mechanisms for successful investment projects.   

  • High-Level Investment Roundtables: For relatively advanced projects (I.e. those that have received the TAP Seal or Light-Touch Technical Assistance), the UrbanShift Global Platform will convene these Roundtables, in conjunction with the UrbanShift Forums, as opportunities for cities to present their projects to investors and lenders in a facilitated space. Participating investors will be leaders in the urban finance space, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Green Cities Program, the Asian Development Bank’s Cities Development Initiative for Asia and Urban Financing Partnership Facility, and the World Bank’s City Resilience Program, among others. These Roundtables are intended to provide a structured environment for cities to present their projects for financing and receive feedback and potentially financial support. Learn more about the High-Level Investment Roundtable hosted during the UrbanShift Asia Forum.