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Scaling-up financing for sustainable urban infrastructure – experiences from the UNECE region

Amie Figueiredo


date June 28, 2022 | 15:30 - 17:00
Multifunction Hall Room 14
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Future urban economy and finance
NE 74


Investments in sustainable urban infrastructure made today will play a key role in limiting the impact of climate change, and in the creation of liveable and sustainable cities. Designing and financing well planned urbanization is an investment in our present and future that enables progress towards achieving the SDGs. In the UNECE region, many cities have been unable to develop the required supporting infrastructure to keep pace with sustainable, climate resilient urban growth. Cities face common challenges to scale-up sustainable urban infrastructure delivery, from inadequate enabling environments and policy frameworks, human and financial capacity constraints and low creditworthiness, among others. Needless to say, that the war has brought these challenges to a whole new level for some cities. The outbreak of the war in Ukraine has caused unprecedented destruction and damage of infrastructure that was built by generations of Ukrainians. Entire cities will have to be rebuilt and that is a big undertaking.

Since 2020, UNECE has been leading the UNDA12th tranche project Smart Sustainable Cities with Innovative Financing. Support has been devoted to enhancing local capacities in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Tbilisi (Georgia), Podgorica (Montenegro), Grodno (Belarus) and Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) for urban planning and sustainable urban infrastructure project preparation, localizing the 2030 SDGs, implementing the New Urban Agenda, and promoting urban resilience and smart sustainable development. UNECE has also been supporting the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv since April 2022 through the project UN4Kharkiv: Integrated Rehabilitation of Settlements (Territories) in Ukraine. UNECE is working together with the Norman Foster Foundation to coordinate the development of the new Master Plan of Kharkiv. Given the thorough knowledge of UNECE on the housing and land management systems of Ukraine, the Government of Ukraine invited UNECE to inter alia elaborate city-based financing mechanisms for infrastructure projects.


The side event aims to showcase UNECE’s support to cities under the UNDA12th tranche project Smart Sustainable Cities with Innovative Financing as well as the project UN4Kharkiv: Integrated Rehabilitation of Settlements (Territories) in Ukraine. The event highlights the power of multi-stakeholder projects, in helping close the sustainable urban infrastructure financing gap. In so doing, the side event aims to contribute to strengthening the capacities of local governments to design, develop and implement plans and projects that promote sustainable, resilient, and inclusive urban planning.

More information on UNECE’s events at the World Urban Forum: 

Session speakers

Dmitry Mariyasin
Deputy Executive Secretary
Vakhtang Lomjaria
Head Municipal Department of Economic Development
Tbilisi City Hall
Dejana Radovic
Head of IT Center
Podgorica City Hall
Olga Demianenko
Director of the Department for cooperation with International Agencies and Financial Institutions
Kharkiv City Council
Lukas Prinz
Maxine Mueller
City Coordinator
C40 Cities Finance Facility
Kristian Mjøen
Head of Centre for Sustainable Development
Centre for Sustainable Development
Svetlana Dogotaru
Chief Architect of Chisinau