The Urban NEXUS is an approach to the design of sustainable urban development solutions. The approach guides stakeholders to identify and pursue possible synergies between sectors, jurisdictions, and technical domains so as to increase institutional performance, optimize resource management, and services quality.
It counters traditional sectoral thinking, trade-offs, and divided responsibilities that often result in poorly coordinated investments, increased costs, and underutilized infrastructures and facilities. The ultimate goal of the Urban NEXUS approach is to accelerate access to services, and to increase service quality and quality of life within our planetary boundaries.
The Urban NEXUS project 2013-2014 was funded by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ on behalf of the BMZ) to develop the "Operationalization of the NEXUS approach in cities and metropolitan regions", including a baseline study (GIZ and ICLEI, 2014), identifying and documenting existing good practices (case studies), and implementing two action-oriented pilot projects supported by the German Development Cooperation.
The full GIZ-ICLEI study “Operationalizing the Urban NEXUS: towards resource-efficient and integrated cities and metropolitan regions” is available here for free download.
Download the Executive Summary here.
The study builds upon established concepts and practices of integrated planning, and the Urban NEXUS Development Cycle provides a strategic design process for translating integrated policy and planning objectives into feasible projects, technical solutions, and operations.
ICLEI, as implementing partner of the Urban NEXUS project, is responsible for the content of this webpage.
The Urban NEXUS project included the piloting of the approach with the implementation of two projects in Nashik, India and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. These cities took first steps in implementing an Urban NEXUS approach to finding urban solutions that integrate two or more systems, services, policy or operational “silos”, jurisdictions or social behaviors.
In the limited duration of the pilot projects, the Urban NEXUS brought together a wide range of stakeholders who had never before been sitting together at one table, thus generating new “institutional nexus”. They collaboratively designed and implemented innovative solutions and programs for optimizing water, energy and land resources in peri-urban agricultural practices (Nashik), and improving the learning environment at two municipal schools while installing integrated energy efficient technologies, rainwater catchment and vertical food production systems (Dar es Salaam) to demonstrate the benefits of Urban NEXUS thinking to local communities and government officials.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Demonstrating the Urban NEXUS approach to link water, energy and food resources in schools (01)
Nashik, India: Demonstrating the Urban NEXUS approach to optimize water, energy and land (02)
Vancouver, Canada: Targeting NEXUS food security: Vancouver's Regional Food System Strategy (03)
Hannover, Germany: Kronsberg District - scaling up integrated planning with KUKA (04)
Tianjin, China: A bilateral institutional NEXUS for cutting-edge sustainable metropolitan development (05)
eThekwini, South Africa: Urban NEXUS opportunities at the Mariannhill Landfill Conservancy Plant (06)
Lille Métropole, France: Waste to fuel - biogas powered buses in Lille Metropole (07)
Medellín, Colombia: The Integral Urban Development Project - fighting crime with urban interventions (08)
For this Urban NEXUS study, ICLEI wished to mobilize the insights and perspectives of experts in the field, and thus invited a range of prominent practitioners and researchers to contribute to the study with brief articles, statements or quotes.
These quotes and brief articles are referenced throughout the study report, and are available for free download here (PDF).
The lead-author Jeb Brugmann, and Joanna Flatt, further authored a brief Background Paper on the movement towards integrated planning and management in the public and private sectors since the early 1990s, leading to the Urban NEXUS approach.
We thank all of our kind expert contributors:
The Water Energy & Food Security NEXUS Resource Platform
Urban-Nexus - coordination and support action funded by the European union