Apartment complex in Tirana, Albania

Improving urban quality of life and protecting the climate Key areas of sustainable urban development

Germany’s development cooperation activities focus on areas of urban development that have a direct impact on quality of life for people living in cities. At the same time, Germany’s measures in this area also contribute to global climate action. Particular support is given to the areas of construction, mobility, water and solid waste.

Sustainable construction

German Development Cooperation presents its work in its own pavilion during the World Urban Forum 11.
Use of geographic information systems for monitoring land use in Belém, Brazil

Growing urbanisation means that new housing and new infrastructure needs to be built on a large scale. The goals of the Paris Agreement cannot be met if the cities of the future continue to be built mainly from cement, steel and glass. Construction urgently needs to become more environmentally friendly. By modernising older buildings and ensuring that new ones are constructed in a way that conserves resources, by 2050 the energy consumption of buildings could be reduced by half. Nature-based solutions offer sustainable additional options or alternatives to traditional approaches.

Germany promotes the use of local, organic, resource-efficient, low-emission construction materials and the reuse of building materials within circular systems. The aim is to create liveable, affordable, accessible living spaces and upgrade previously underserved areas, with a focus on benefiting poorer and disadvantaged population groups. The goal is also to equip buildings and supply infrastructure to cope better with the impacts of climate change.

Estimates suggest that between 4.5 and 5.4 billion US dollars need to be invested in climate-friendly and sustainable infrastructure each year. In order to continue supporting cities in coping with this massive need for investment, Germany is involved in various international alliances and financing instruments.

Green public spaces

Green spaces and open areas contribute to a good quality of life in cities. Not only do they provide local spaces for leisure and recreation for the urban population, they also lower the temperature in surrounding residential areas and improve air quality. Open public spaces in urban areas thus have a direct positive impact on the health of the population. They also increase resilience against the effects of climate change and contribute to maintaining and fostering urban biodiversity.

As at: 15/04/2024