Urban and industrial environmental management

The rapid economic growth of many developing and emerging countries is concentrated in many urban and industrial areas. In 2008 the proportion of the world’s population living in cities exceeded 50% for the first time, equivalent to 3.3 billion people. In 1950 the figure was less than 30%, just over 730 million people; in 2030 it will be an estimated five billion people.

Industrialisation and urbanisation are closely linked to severe local and global environmental problems. The health and livelihoods of many people are threatened by waste and refuse as well as air, water and soil pollution.

Additional problems are posed by emissions that are harmful to the climate and ozone layer and by the mass consumption of resources in urban-industrial growth areas.

We advise our partner countries on the drafting of environmental policy and implementation of effective and efficient environmental management. Our objective is to separate economic growth from the consumption of natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions. Although the structural changes required to achieve this call for considerable efforts, these can also boost innovation and the creation of new jobs. GIZ acts on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Examples of our work


Resource efficiency

GIZ defines resource efficiency as including all measures aimed at improving the input–output relation of material, water and energy consuming or transforming processes, and which at the same time help to mitigate negative effects on the environment.

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Solid waste and contaminated site management

The improper disposal of waste pollutes groundwater and soils, and creates contaminated sites. Clean-up of these sites is difficult and expensive. GIZ supports sustainable waste management worldwide.

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GIZ Proklima – Green cooling for a warming world

Proklima is assisting partner countries towards introducing and disseminating environmentally friendly technologies that neither harm the ozone layer nor contribute to global warming.

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Detlef W. Schreiber

Related themes

Advisory services and projects

In this section you can find out more about our services, methods and approaches.