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Cities for a better future

Urban centres around the world are growing all the time. Germany supports global efforts to make them places that are worth living in.

Bogotá in Colombia is supported by TUMI.
Bogotá in Colombia is supported by TUMI. © Anton Blanke -

Dystopian urban environments like the ones depicted in the cult film 'Blade Runner'? Or resplendent oases like the cities in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'? What will the city of the future look like? Urban areas will absorb almost all of the world's population growth up to 2050; according to the UN, 68 percent of the world's population will live in urban centres by 2050. For a billion people, living conditions in cities are already inhumane, often catastrophic. Improving this situation is an important concern of German policy, and the Federal Republic therefore supports its partner countries in their efforts to create liveable cities.

How does Germany support its partners?

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the state development bank KfW promote moves towards sustainable cities worldwide. In 2021, the KfW provided €2.2 billion to support urban development projects. For example, sustainable urban transport systems were promoted for 1.8 million people; about 5,700 apartments were newly built or modernized.

Three example projects

The Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) is the leading global initiative for sustainable mobility. Its aim is to change mobility in a future-oriented way for the benefit of people and the environment. Around €2 billion has been invested for this purpose to date. Since its inception in 2016, TUMI has provided 26.5 million people with access to better mobility, saving 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. TUMI was created on the initiative of the BMZ, together with 11 national and international partners.

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The Resilient Cities Action Package (ReCAP) links recovery from the Covid19 pandemic with climate-smart urban development and the promotion of urban resilience. Cities in Rwanda, Bangladesh and Mauritania are receiving primary health-care and health-management support through ReCAP. The programme is financed by special funds from the BMZ.

The ASEAN Strategic Plan on Environment (ASPEN) seeks to develop environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient cities in member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The German Foreign Office is supporting the project by funding technical and planning advice.


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