Urban and regional development


Urban development relies on balancing different interests. GIZ supports joint solutions between administrations and civil society.

Most people around the world now live in towns and cities. GIZ sees rapid global urbanisation as an opportunity to help shape dignified and environmentally sound lifestyles. Its activities are underpinned by international agreements, especially the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement and the New Urban Agenda. It promotes regional development to create equality of opportunity and tap into regional potential.

Working with governments, administrations and representatives of the private sector and civil society, GIZ devises solutions for the sustainable development of towns, cities and local communities. Balancing competing interests is always central: all those involved should reach a consensus and take joint responsibility for development goals. This is the only way that many people will have an opportunity for a good life.

GIZ works in the following areas:

  • With policy advice on urban and regional development, it cooperates with decision-makers at national and regional level.
  • It supports decision-makers at local level in designing and implementing municipal development strategies.
  • It opens up opportunities for municipal institutions and companies to deliver services cost-effectively and based on citizens’ needs.
  • It advises towns, cities and municipalities that host large numbers of refugees and migrants and helps them provide local services and ensure integration.
  • It also advises towns, cities and municipalities on strengthening their local finances, improving their environmental sustainability and boosting their efforts to achieve their climate targets.
  • Using digital solutions, GIZ supports and promotes participation by citizens and facilitates access to services for all.

The guiding principles of GIZ’s advisory services:

  • Citizen focus and good governance: urban administrations manage towns and cities transparently, in line with the principles of integrated urban development and with the participation of citizens.
  • Resilience, emissions reduction and resource efficiency: resilient towns and cities reduce the risk of natural disasters, create a dignified and future-proof urban environment, and use natural resources sustainably to provide basic services and ensure food security.
  • Productivity and creativity: local and regional administrations create a favourable environment for the private sector, strengthen the business environment and promote employment.
  • Inclusion and security: urban administrations address the causes of social, economic and political exclusion. Through urban development, they take account of the needs of poor groups in the population and drive prevention of violence at municipal level.
  • Cooperation and networks of municipalities: towns and cities determine the relationship between urban areas and surrounding areas. They participate in urban networks and partnerships.

Additional information