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 actively contribute to the reform efforts to make the United Nations system fit for the sustainable development agenda and ensure enhanced collaboration with all levels of governments, including the development of customized strategies at the national level.
We support provide infrastructure for industrial legacy cities around the world, to identify common challenges, share knowledge and co-create solutions as part of managing their environmental, economic and social transition to a sustainable future. (11 cities: East Asia, Europe, North America)
We use multilevel action to accelerate low-emission development and climate resilience across cities worldwide, strengthening cooperation and data sharing across national and local governments and working at the city level on capacity development, pilot projects and finance models designed to advance implementation and deliver on global climate goals. (60 cities: globally)
We guide all levels of governments on 13 action areas that promote integration, coordination and cooperation in developing and implementing National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans under the Convention of Biological Diversity. (globally)