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 strategize ways to increase the value of existing buildings through significant energy and architectural transformation, ranging from facade additions to rooftop extensions, in order to reach the Nearly Zero Energy Buildings and extreme renovation goal in Europe. (Europe)
We raise awareness on how local and regional governments can impact city-region food systems, by developing knowledge materials to advance a shared understanding of, advocate and enable subnational government leadership on sustainable and resilient food systems globally. (globally)
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 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 support and promote sustainable production of renewable resources from land, fisheries and aquaculture, and their conversion into bio-based products and bio-energy to drive growth in new jobs and industries in the bio-economy in Europe. (Europe).
We mobilize and guide local and regional governments in Europe to develop long-term energy policy priorities, while promoting a multilevel governance approach and supporting the development, financing and implementation of integrated sustainable energy and climate action plans, enabling cities to achieve climate resilience and carbon neutrality by 2050. (70+ cities: Europe)
We provide cities with expert advice and mentoring to deliver circular procurement approaches as a catalyst for market uptake of innovative circular products and services. (3 cities: Europe)
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 implement City Learning Labs to gather a broad range of knowledge-holders and decision-makers in developing a deep, shared understanding of the most critical urban issues linked to climate in European cities. (Europe)
We promote and enable subnational government engagement in food policy and action with a focus on the global targets and ambitions articulated in Sustainable Development Goal 2 and through initiatives such as the Milan Food Pact. (8 cities, 1 region: Africa)