The World Bank and environmental advocacy group Global Environmental Facility (GEF) together have launched a new Urban Sustainability Framework (USF) during the World Urban Forum to support cities to achieve a greener future. The USF will serve as a guide for cities seeking to enhance their sustainability. The guide supports cities along the sustainability pathway, from creating a vision to identifying financial resources to implement their plans.
The USF lays out six key dimensions of urban sustainability: governance and integrated planning, fiscal sustainability, economic competitiveness, environment and resource efficiency, low carbon and resilience, and social inclusiveness. The Framework is a collaboration among cities, organizations, and experts who have contributed to the development of the Framework.
The new USF guidance document includes a Four-Stage Approach for cities to improve their sustainability status through the following process: defining a vision with priorities, determining financing, and, finally, monitoring and evaluating their project implementation progress.
Cities can understand the USF’s dimensions of urban sustainability by using its Measuring Framework, which includes a selection of indicators that help cities track their progress toward their sustainability goals, while comparing against their peers, to promote an integrated approach to sustainability.
The USF is part of a larger collaboration for knowledge exchange on sustainable urban planning. Financed by the GEF and led by the World Bank, the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities was launched in March 2016. It was designed to meet the need for an enabling environment – a platform that allows cities to exchange ideas, share experiences, use analytical tools, and, most importantly, steer investment toward long-term sustainability.
The GPSC assists cities in tapping into cutting-edge knowledge and expertise on topics ranging from urban planning to low-carbon strategy, transit-oriented development, and sustainable financing. Together with various partners in the urban realm, the GPSC is creating a suite of knowledge products and tools that will help cities drive their development agenda. The platform currently comprises of 28 cities from 11 countries.