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

21 June 2023

INCLU:DE – Tailored social equity support measures in cities’ climate actions


How can balcony solar subsidy programmes benefit low-income and other vulnerable groups? How should cycling and pedestrian experiment zones be distributed across a city district so as to benefit all residents equally? How can energy retrofitting of residential buildings be implemented in an equitable and socially sensitive way? These are some of the questions that the German cities of Bonn, Dortmund, Heidelberg, Ludwigsburg and Essen seek to find answers to as part of the INCLU:DE project.

Social justice is becoming an increasingly important factor for city officials tasked with the design and implementation of climate actions. Undoubtedly, many past and present climate measures have been implemented in a socially responsible way, with city officials concerned with ensuring that they benefit the population at large.

Yet the question of how to measure social impact is not always clear, and something that citymakers have only more recently begun to systematically consider. Despite a variety of theoretical guides on this topic, city officials can feel ill-equipped to define and apply social equity indicators to their climate actions.

INCLU:DE workshop in the City of Essen (Credit: ICLEI)

ICLEI recently travelled to the five cities to hold workshops with city officials and bring together different relevant departments. The aim of this meeting was to build on the official kick-off in Dortmund in March, and work with each city in developing their individual socially equitable climate actions.

The meetings generally took the form of dynamic and engaging brainstorming sessions, where city officials grappled with the opportunities and difficulties they are having in relation to the given climate action, as well as the data that they would have access to which could support their understanding. Together with ICLEI, the time was also spent thinking through other aspects of the project, including appropriate indicators to apply and consider, specialist thematic support ICLEI can provide, and the kinds of international cities that might be able to provide guidance on the chosen climate topic.

The next steps will consist of a baseline analysis of relevant social and environmental factors in the city, with a focus on social risks and opportunities related to the selected climate action in each city. This, in turn, will help with the tailoring of social equity indicators for each climate action in the second half of 2023.

Participants of the INCLU:DE workshop in the City of Bonn (credit: ICLEI)


Cities’ climate initiatives and ambitions need to be socially just and consider vulnerable populations, to ensure that no-one is left behind. INCLU:DE aims to support local inclusive transformations and foster dialogue exchanges to generate positive equity outcomes for all citizens involved. The project is implemented with the support of Stiftung Mercator. More information about the project can be found on the SustainableJustCities.eu website.

ICLEI World Secretariat
European Secretariat
Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg, Germany
Brussels Office
Av. de Tervuren 35
1040 Bruxelles
Berlin Office
St. Oberholz ROS Team Room 4.02
Rosenthaler Str. 72a
10119 Berlin
Physical address:
Unit 1, 2nd Floor,
South Tower
Sable Park, 14 Bridge
Century City
Cape Town
South Africa
Tyger Valley, South Africa
ICLEI Africa Foundation
Ebène Junction, Quatre Bornes, Mauritius
North America
USA Office
536 Wynkoop St.
Suite 901
Denver, Colorado
USA 80202
Canada Office
401 Richmond St. W
Studio 204
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3A8, Canada
British Columbia Office
Victoria City Hall
1 Centennial Square
BC V8W 1P6
Québec Office
Montréal City Hall
275 Notre-Dame St E
QC H2Y 1C6
Central America & the Caribbean
Mexico, Central American and Caribbean Secretariat
Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas 13
Building Miguel Abed, Floor 5 Of. 506 and 507,
Col. Centro, CP 06050 Del.
Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City, Mexico
South America
South American Secretariat
Rua Marquês de Itu 70, 14° andar.
São Paulo, SP, Brasil
CEP 01223-000
Colombia Office
Carrera 53 N° 40A - 31,
Medellín, Antioquia – Colombia
Argentina Office
Boulevard Gálvez, 1150 Planta Alta.
Rosário, Santa Fé, Argentina
South Asia
South Asia Secretariat
c, 3, Green Park Extension Road, Block B, Green Park Extension, Green Park, New Delhi, Delhi, India
Southern Center
Door No. 6-3-596/47/2
Sri Venkata Ramana Colony
Hyderabad 500 004
Andhra Pradesh
East Asia
East Asia Secretariat
14/F, Seoul Global Center Building, 38 Jongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (110-110)
Japan Office
1-14-2 Nishi-Shimbashi,
Tokyo, Japan 105-0003
Kaohsiung Capacity Center
4F. No.436, Daye N. Rd.
Xiaogang Dist.
Kaohsiung City 812
Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Korea Office
217-59 Kintex-ro, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 10390, Republic of Korea
Beijing Office
B1010 Xiaoyun Center, No. 15
Beijing 100125,
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia Secretariat
c/o The Manila Observatory Ateneo de Manila University Campus Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1101 Manila, Philippines
ICLEI Indonesia Project Office
Jl. Karbela Sel. No.46, RT.2/RW.4, Kuningan, Karet, South Jakarta City, Jakarta 12940, Indonesia
Oceania Secretariat
l8/225 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia