Urban Transitions Alliance

Industrial legacy. Sustainable future.

Urban transitions provide exceptional opportunities for cities with an industrial legacy to define their own paths towards more vibrant, sustainable economies and improve their local environments and the lives of their residents.

Defining new paths for sustainable urban development

Since the first industrial revolution, extractive and manufacturing industries have formed the backbone of many local economies and led to rapid urbanization of their surrounding areas. However, the industrial city as a model for urban development proved not to be sustainable: the decline or progressive phase-out of local industries put many industrial cities on a path of transition, requiring them to create new visions for their future. In the process of building sustainable local economies and establishing more resilient urban systems, cities with an industrial legacy around the world have much in common and can benefit greatly from cooperation and knowledge exchange.

View the Urban Transitions Alliance brochure

Turning challenges into solutions, solutions into actions

The Urban Transitions Alliance, an initiative managed by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and funded by Stiftung Mercator, presents an opportunity for industrial and former industrial cities across the world to become global leaders in sustainable urban development. The Alliance provides the infrastructure and support cities need to identify common challenges, share knowledge, co-create solutions and forge strong working relationships with local government peers, experts from the research community and private sector solution providers.



Define challenges

Cities are at the center of the Alliance. They will jointly decide on three main themes to be addressed in trans-disciplinary working groups.

Share knowledge

Participating cities will be able to share knowledge through our dedicated online platform. The outcomes will inform the guidance that will be provided to the Alliance.

Co-create solutions

The results of each working group’s efforts will be condensed into briefing sheets and solution roadmaps to be shared with all cities in the Alliance.


Alliance kick-off

The Urban Transitions Alliance will be launched at the TWINS Conference Ruhr - Cities in Climate Change, in Essen, Germany, and during the first week of the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany in November 2017.

View the step by step process

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