Research and consulting to accelerate actions

Applying science to real life urban issues

What we do

We provide knowledge and innovation to our Members, city and local governments and organizations working on urban sustainability around the world.

ICLEI does research and develops methodologies, tools and platforms for reporting and knowledge sharing across our 10 Urban Agendas for a sustainable world. We do projects and work with researchers to link research and local practice, including:

  • Connecting researchers and practitioners – e.g. and the tri-annual ICLEI Researchers’ Symposium
  • Educating the new generation of urban professionals – e.g. Capstone projects with Sciences Po’s Urban School (students of the Master Governing the Large Metropolis), the SUSTAIN project and partnering with Lund University’s MOOC on Greening the Economy: Sustainable Cities (click here to join the free open online course!)
  • Cutting edge exploration of new concepts and methodologies, e.g. the Urban Productivity Collaborative with The Next Practice and university partners, the Urban NEXUS (with GIZ), and more!

In short, we apply science to meet the needs of real life urban issues.

Click here for more information about Ongoing and completed research projects >>



Who do we work with

The collaborations that enrich our programs and products can be on a project basis or long-term partnerships.

Some of these include:

  • Case studies developed with local governments and researchers
  • Research projects with renowned universities in Brazil, Canada, UK, USA, South Africa and many more worldwide
  • Contributions to UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5), UN-Habitat's The State of African Cities reports, and other United Nations reports
  • Think tanks and expert forums with German ministries and city representatives

See a list of our Research Partners >>

How we can help you

Our in-house inter-disciplinary teams, along with researchers and experts worldwide, can assist with the following:

  • Worldwide collaborative research projects (surveys as well as qualitative action-research with local governments)
  • Dissemination of applied research and good practice examples (global reports, case studies)
  • Information briefs on select themes (e.g. ICLEI Briefing Sheets)

How can you tap into the knowledge of our expert staff and Member cities? We put at your disposal our expert global knowledge base where you can obtain valuable research results on different international sustainability issues, and will be happy to hear from you regarding potential research collaboration.

Click here for a full list of our Publications >>



The Urban Research team in the Global Capacity Center at the ICLEI World Secretariat executes and coordinates research projects across ICLEI offices and with external partners; cares for ICLEI's general relations with research institutions and scientific communities; provides internal support and guidelines for mobilizing research to ICLEI projects and teams; edits and oversees the ICLEI Case Studies, ICLEI Case Stories and ICLEI Briefing Sheets series, and produces Global Reports on various research topics; and assists with incorporating international debates on cities, sustainable development and related international processes into ICLEI’s global strategy and the promotion of our work.

Find out how we can help you.

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