ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.


ICLEI World Secretariat
Kaiser-Friedrich-Str. 7
53113 Bonn

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

ICLEI Regional Secretariats and country offices


Urban Transitions Alliance

Project description

The Urban Transitions Alliance, an initiative led by ICLEI and supported by the Germany-based Stiftung Mercator, presents an opportunity for industrial legacy cities across the world to demonstrate their commitment to inclusive and sustainable urban development. Launched in 2017, the Alliance is a city network and knowledge-exchange hub of innovative urban transition policies and projects. It supports industrial legacy cities from across the globe to identify common challenges, share knowledge and develop equitable solutions to successfully guide their individual sustainable transitions. Severe job loss in legacy sectors and ongoing disinvestment that primarily impacted former worker’s neighborhoods have led to social inequality as a major transition challenge in Alliance cities. The equity aspect of urban transitions constitutes a joint priority, guiding the conversations and helping to identify clear objectives for cooperation. Throughout the activities, the Alliance is building a knowledge base on how sustainability plans and programs can be designed to benefit all residents and increase equity. This can provide value to local governments worldwide and raise equity ambitions locally.

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Measured KPIs

Feedback from cities on achievements of targets set for their implementation actions.

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Measured, quantitative outcomes / project impact

The Urban Transition Alliance connects industrial legacy cities from Europe, USA and China committed to accelerate ambitious and inclusive transitions, as well as showcasing their sustainability leadership. Alliance cities share their own transition experiences, knowledge and good practices based on social, economic and environmental challenges within their unique industrial legacy context. Through a tailored exchange platform hosted by ICLEI, the Alliance helps cities to identify and leverage expertise to co-create implementation strategies for sustainability-related projects. During the current project phase, the ICLEI further encourages the Alliance member cities to include an equity-based approach in their transition projects, not only to achieve climate and environmental targets, but also to provide opportunities to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. Alliance cities receive support on key equity-focused sustainability issues through annual challenge cycles with 4-5 challenge topics selected per round. The outcomes of these challenge support cycles will shape a blueprint of lessons and good practices for cities worldwide on how social equity and climate action can reinforce each other.

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Related ICLEI Pathways
  • Circular development
  • Equitable and people-centered development
  • Low emission development
  • Nature-based development
  • Resilient development
Related SDGs
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Related publications

Urban Transitions Alliance Equity Framework - How industrial legacy cities are advancing climate justice locally
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Urban Transitions Alliance Roadmaps: Sustainability Transition Pathways from Industrial Legacy Cities
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Urban Transition Insights from Industrial Legacy Cities
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