Cities are complex systems. The components of urban systems, from food distribution networks and energy grids to transport and greenways, are interconnected and dynamic. Intervening to create change in any one of these components may impact others, creating systemic change. Designing solutions that take these interconnections into account is critical to sustainable development.
The five ICLEI pathways towards low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development are designed to create systemic change. When these pathways guide local and regional development, urban systems becomes more sustainable. The pathways provide provide a framework for designing integrated solutions that balance the patterns of human life and the built and natural environments. They encourage holistic thinking. For instance, working together, the local and regional governments and global experts of ICLEI consider how nature-based development contributes to resilience, or how to bring equity into low emission development.
We design our work to integrate as many pathways as possible. Each individual pathway is multidimensional, incorporating numerous strategies for sustainable development. When more pathways are integrated into any given activity, such as a project, partnership or initiative, a greater degree of change can occur. Often, our activities are guided by a predominant pathway or set of pathways. In any given city or region, multiple activities may be implemented along each pathway.
This searchable digital collection of our activities worldwide includes technical resources, including digital platforms, methodologies and tools, as well as networks, projects, programs, partnerships, events and initiatives that guide action along the pathways, spark new partnerships and create city-to-city and city-to-region connections.
Each entry in this digital collection is marked with predominant pathways, keywords and related Sustainable Development Goals.
We improve coordination and integration among African and European stakeholders active in water and climate initiatives, to improve resilience to climate change across all five regions of Africa. (5 regions: Africa)
We provide a global platform for local and city-region biodiversity and nature-based targets, highlighting solutions and tools to mainstream green infrastructure options into all sectors such as planning, budgeting, health, water and infrastructure. (globally)
We engage local governments in transformative societal change, through academic and professional education on theory and practice, and peer-to-peer learning processes between 15 frontrunner cities and twice as many other cities within Europe to create a multiplier effect across Europe. (15 cities: Europe)
We conduct thorough needs assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services and craft the necessary capacity development and knowledge exchange strategies to improve human well-being, alleviate poverty and strengthen resilience among the urban poor across Africa. (8 cities: Africa)
We seek and promote innovative local solutions to complex issues around natural capital and the degradation of ecosystem services by integrating urban development and biodiversity management at the local level worldwide. (6 cities: globally)
We provide a unique platform that enables local governments to exchange knowledge on emerging issues and innovations to achieve a paradigm shift for more sustainable, resilient and equitable urban water and sanitation practices in Africa. (Africa)
We enable integrated urban water management through participatory catchment planning, decision making tools, preparation of catchment level action plans and multi-pronged financing to enable climate change adaptation measures in urban ecosystems of South Asia. (2 cities: South Asia)
We prepare a coherent and representative framework on sustainable water management at local level to support the implementation of the European Union water policy and the SDG's. (25 cities: Europe)
We strengthen local and regional government capacity to effectively and equitably manage protected areas and other area-based conservation measures, leading to a 5 percent increase in the number of new areas registered in national systems each year. (South America)
We engage cities in refining and mainstreaming innovative mechanisms for climate change adaptation and greater human well being through nature-based solutions. (Europe, South America)