View of the city of Cuenca in Ecuador

Core area “Responsibility for our planet – climate and energy” Making urban development and mobility sustainable

About two thirds of Ecuador's people are living in cities. The medium-sized cities in particular are dynamic centres of development. However, their capacity for making growth sustainable is limited. Germany is helping its partners to implement their first national strategy for sustainable urban development.

Climate-friendly urban development and mobility

Cities are important players both for climate change mitigation and for adaptation to climate change. About 64 per cent of Ecuador's people live in urban areas, many of them in medium-sized cities. While this is a smaller proportion than in some of Ecuador's neighbouring countries, these cities are expected to continue to grow significantly over the coming decades. This rapid growth is leading to challenges for Ecuador's economic, social and environmental development. Medium-sized cities in particular are poorly equipped to deal with these challenges. This is resulting in deep social inequality and disproportionately high levels of resource use and greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2020, the BMZ and its Ecuadorian partners therefore agreed to increase their cooperation on sustainable, climate-friendly cities and transport infrastructure. Measures for urban energy efficiency and for the expansion of public transport systems, including the use of electric vehicles, can make a major contribution towards mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and supporting the country's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Cities as a place for social transformation

The influence of cities is a key factor in political decision-making and an important aspect with a view to strengthening the connection between the state and society. Germany therefore uses its development cooperation to foster initiatives that provide strong support to public participation and engagement with a variety of social groups, with a view to lending new impetus to public debates. On behalf of the BMZ, GIZ is providing support to selected medium-sized cities in Ecuador to help them implement the national agenda on urban development, with a focus on climate and environmental aspects. Areas of activity include the improvement of housing and neighbourhoods, food security, and adaptation to climate change. There is a special focus on involving civil society to a greater degree in political discussions and decision-making.