Integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda in cities and city regions

Project description

Title: Integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda in cities and city regions
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)Countries: Germany 
Lead executing agency: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2012 to 2021


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Urbanisation is changing the economic, social and environmental living conditions of people all over the world. It is particularly affecting emerging economies and developing nations in Africa, South Asia and South-East Asia. The number of megacities will continue to rise, but urban growth is primarily occurring in small and medium-sized cities that are closely linked to their surrounding areas and rural regions. These often merge to form city regions. Making urbanisation sustainable will play a significant role in successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This will require concepts that are integrated on a geographical and technical level, that promote collaboration between shifting administrative and governmental levels and that also strengthen cooperation with civil society, academia and the private sector.

The complex and interdependent nature of urbanisation poses new challenges for development cooperation, while at the same time offering fresh potential. However, integrated strategies and approaches to urban development have not yet been fully incorporated into the development activities of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the implementing organisations. The potential for cities and city regions to implement the 2030 Agenda and to fight climate change is not being adequately recognised or harnessed. Local strategies are particularly suited to upholding the principles of the 2030 Agenda, namely universality, indivisibility, leaving no one behind and interconnectedness. To this end, tried-and-tested urban and regional development concepts must be adapted, refined or re-designed to meet current challenges such as adapting to climate change, gender-oriented employment promotion, food security in the context of rural/urban links and poverty-oriented basic services. In this way, challenges such as climate change, hunger, poverty and peaceful co-existence can be addressed more effectively and significant contributions to implementing the sustainable development goals can be achieved.


Implementation-oriented strategies and approaches to the integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda in cities and city regions are anchored in German development cooperation.

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The project focuses on implementation of model measures including selecting and devising them, providing advice to support their implementation and evaluating them. Using this practical test, approaches and advisory services will be refined and anchored in the German development cooperation portfolio. This will be done in cooperation with the BMZ regional departments and the implementing organisations. The project is divided into three closely related fields of activity:

  • Advisory services to BMZ
  • Implementation of model measures
  • Anchoring experience from models measures in the implementing organisations.

The topics of the project are integrated regional development and urban/rural links, basic urban services and food security, pro-climate and environmentally friendly urban development, as well as local economic development and employment promotion.



The project has collaborated with partner organisations to produce analyses and collections of case studies on various aspects of city region development. It has also created training concepts such as the urban nexus approach. This approach was implemented in two pilot measures in the area of energy efficiency/material cycles in Nashik (India) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). The project also developed instruments such as the Metropolitan Capacity Assessment Methodology (MetroCAM), promoted the exchange of technical information at workshops, and contributed to portfolio development. In addition, it provided advisory services, with the result that city region and integrated approaches are now also anchored in BMZ strategy and concept documents and at federal government level. At international level, for example in the United Nations Habitat III process, the German Government encouraged the visible anchoring of the topics of sustainable development of city regions, urban/rural links and integrated approaches in the New Urban Agenda as a result of advice from the project.

The current phase has a stronger focus on implementation. An ideas competition is being held to implement model measures so that the added value of integrated concepts in implementation of the 2030 Agenda can be presented in an urban context. The results are being used to refine technical and methodological approaches. In this way, the German development cooperation portfolio in the area of integrated urban development is being expanded. The project is also using the ideas competition to ensure that the topic receives greater attention within BMZ and the implementing organisations.