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Strong Cities 2030

Promoting global collaboration and knowledge sharing for sustainable urban development

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Strong-Cities-2030 / Stadtpanorama imran shahabuddin / flickr / CC BY 2.0
Strong Cities 2030 is an initiative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung with the aim of promoting urban development towards greater sustainability, resilience and inclusion.

Urbanization is a defining issue of the 21st century. In 2050, two-thirds of the world's human population will be living in cities.

The process of urbanization is accompanied not only by new chances and opportunities, but also by enormous economic, environmental and socio-political challenges. Sustainable urban development is one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of Agenda 2030. SDG 11 (“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, healthy and sustainable”) shows that urban development should be seen as an independent issue and no longer just as a cross-cutting issue will will. This change promises a new impetus for future urban investment and action.

With the global initiative “Strong Cities 2030” (SC2030), which was launched in September 2018 as part of a conference in Essen, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) is helping to build capacities, transfer know-how and best practices and to promote international cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development.

The goal: sustainable urban development by networking different policy areas

Through the global exchange of knowledge, concepts and practices in transnational collaboration, local politicians are empowered to develop politically competitive plans for their cities that meet the changing demands of increasing urbanization and offer high quality of life for residents. This is the case when sustainability (economic, ecological and social development), security, education, health, culture and recreation are developed in harmony with one another in such a way that they support each other.


The concept: mutual learning to implement integral solutions

The core is made up of selected politicians at the municipal level as well as experts in the field of urban development and planning (from science, business, administration, citizens, NGOs) from the global KAS network. Their networking is the basis for mutual global learning as well as the joint development and local implementation of integral solutions.

Topics such as sustainable construction, climate-friendly and inclusive mobility, efficient administration, water and waste management, circular economy and the role of cities in overcoming global challenges such as climate change or the corona pandemic are dealt with.

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Strong Cities Brief

Short policy briefs for sustainable urban development


Strong Cities 2030 brings together expertise and ideas for sustainable, resilient, and inclusive urban development worldwide. Network members come from politics, science, administration, and urban development, with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The exchange within Strong Cities 2030 aims to learn successful urban development concepts from different regions and gain ideas for their own work.

The Strong Cities Briefs also contribute to this exchange. The short papers outline a problem and its context, provide a solution option, examples from practice, and policy recommendations, all related to sustainable urban development. The authors are members of Strong Cities 2030.

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Decarbonising public transport in cities through private public partnerships

Strong Cities Brief, Issue 1

Zero-emission buses are considered a strategic tool to improve air quality in the city of Santiago. Additionally, through its National E-Mobility Strategy, the Chilean government has committed to ensure a fully electric fleet by 2040 to help the country meet its GHG emission reduction targets (NDCs). In Santiago, transportation represents 79 per cent of CO2 emissions, 33 per cent of MP2.5 emissions, and 93 per cent of NOx emissions. Diesel buses are responsible for a considerable portion of these.


Low-carbon and sustainable mobility in cities

Strong Cities Brief, Issue 2

With increasing populations in urban areas, cities are playing a key role in improving residents’ livelihoods as well as achieving the climate objectives set in the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Cities need to set science-based long-term roadmaps and implement best practices to achieve these goals. This paper provides examples and recommendations on achieving low-carbon and sustainable urban mobility.


Waste management and awareness raising in cities

Strong Cities Brief, Issue 3

As many cities continue to experience high levels of urbanisation, waste management has become an increasing challenge due to high consumerism.


Make recycled materials hip again

Strong Cities Brieg, Issue 4

The construction industry is responsible for the largest flow of materials in the global economy, generating increased energy consumption and emissions. Challenges of the climate crisis and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for new ways of buildings development. One of the models adapted by cities calls for convert economic models from linear to circular. In contrast to the “take- make-waste” model, the Circular Economy aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources, based on designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.