Resource-efficient and Productive City

Resource-efficient cities ensure that their socio-economic development is significantly decoupled from resource exploitation and ecological impacts. Productive cities go beyond improving the efficiency of current or future urban systems, with the aim of becoming net productive systems in ecological, economic and social terms.

Our Programs

ICLEI helps cities improve their overall resource efficiency and better manage their natural resources like soil, water, fauna and flora, minerals and energy through our four main work streams of water, resource, sanitation and productive cities.




ACCESSanitation - Accelerating City-to-City Exchange for Sustainable Sanitation
A three-year project supported by the European Union and coordinated by ICLEI European Secretariat since 2009, the project aims to improve the sanitation situation in 10 selected cities in India and the Philippines by developing local capacity to plan, design and implement sustainable sanitation systems.

Eco-efficiency challenge

Launched by ICLEI World Secretariat and the City of Incheon, the challenge aims to give cities new incentives to become more eco-efficient and sustainable.

Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM)

Drawing on the methodology, tools and experiences of SWITCH - Managing Water for the City of the Future, this newly developed program aims to transform global, cutting-edge research results on IUWM into training modules and project opportunities, with a dedicated sanitation component to cities and local governments. 


Operationalizing the Urban NEXUS
The Urban NEXUS project 2013-2014, funded by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ on behalf of BMZ) provides a framework and approach to the integrated design of urban development solutions for optimized resource management.


Productive Cities
Productive Cities sees cities as creators and manufacturers. Covering the themes of urban food production, ecosystem services and cyclic economy, this research and pilot initiative aims to promote greater self-reliance among cities for global sustainability. 

The 10 Year Framework Programme on SPP

SPP is a program comprising of a policy implementation framework, an international network and a series of seminars and conferences that aims at helping cities to make more cost-effective purchases and manage their resources more efficiently. 

Water Campaign™
An international freshwater management program initiated by ICLEI Oceania that provides direct assistance to local governments to reduce water consumption and improve local water quality.


Our Tools and Services

ICLEI’s global network of 12 offices provides a broad range of concrete services to help cities promote greater resource efficiency, covering the areas of eco-efficiency, productive cities, land use, water management, food security, urban agriculture waste management and recycling.


An environmental management system developed by ICLEI Europe based on the logic of municipal budgets to help local governments manage natural resources.

Eco-efficiency challenge
Launched by ICLEI World Secretariat and the City of Incheon, the challenge aims to give cities new incentives to become more eco-efficient and sustainable.

Guidebook on biodiversity and ecosystem services
Produced in association with IUCN and the CBD Secretariat, this guidebook provides practitioners with comprehensive guidelines on biodiversity management and eco-system services from multiple perspectives.

Sustainability Cycle

A cyclical, integrated sustainability management tool developed by ICLEI Europe to lead local governments advance their sustainability level and implement the Aalborg Commitments.

SWITCH Training Kit
Developed by the ICLEI European Secretariat in the context of the SWITCH project and available via the SWITCH Training Desk, the Kit consists of 6 training modules covering the key aspects of Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the Future (available in English, Spanish and Portuguese).

Water Campaign Resources
An online guide to the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and Millennium Development Goals, focusing on water, sanitation, and human settlements.


Our Networks

With over 1,200 Member cities, ICLEI acts as a nodal point for local actions and global dialogue, where leaders interested in waste reduction, water management and sustainable transport can exchange expertise and experience on resource efficiency. 


CITYFOOD: Linking Cities on Urban Agriculture and Urban Food Systems
In partnership with RUAF Foundation and others, the action and learning network aims to build on the knowledge of urban food systems, address food and nutrition security through developing urban-rural linkages, markets, infrastructure and local job creation.  Learn more


Our Advocacy

ICLEI helps cities enhance resource efficiency by representing our Members in major sustainability conferences, and working with our global partners including UNEP, World Water Council, UN-Water, UN-HABITAT and International Water Association and other international institutions.

Find our more about our Partners.


The Sustainable Procurement Center, based in Freiburg, Germany

offers tailor-made assistance and customized solutions to cities who prefer to engage in specific national contexts, as opposed to joining a global network.
Email us now!

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