Global Environment Facility Sustainable Cities Impact Program (SCIP)

Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN Environment (UNEP), World Bank, UN Development Programme (UNDP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)


The GEF-7 Sustainable Cities Impact Program (SCIP) will support 24 cities in 9 countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone) and create a global platform to coordinate among the projects and provide value added policy and technical advice to cities along with creating global knowledge products and advocating urban sustainability in global forums. The program will advance the integrated approach of urban planning and bring together global, national, and local stakeholders to work together towards a common vision of sustainable, inclusive, gender sensitive, and resilient development. The SCIP will engage Mayors, the private sector, city networks, UN agencies, multi-lateral development banks, and other partners to support national and city governments in their sustainability ambitions and design innovative solutions and implementation models. The Program includes following interlinked support to countries and cities:

  • Improved governance and evidence based integrated urban planning.
  • Sustainable and integrated low carbon, resilient, conservation and land restoration investments in cities.
  • Innovative financing and municipal capacity to access finance.
  • Knowledge exchange, partnerships and advocacy for urban sustainability.

In summary, through TA, grant capital and co-finance mobilized from MDBs and other investors through the program, SCIP will support cities in integrated urban planning, support development of infrastructure projects (e.g. waste management, wetland restoration, e-mobility, etc.) and link them with investments for implementation. In addition, the program’s global project will hold investor round tables, city-business marketplace events, capacity building/training session on project development and financing and other forums to facilitate flow of finance to cities. The program is not as such an open project preparation facility for cities, but includes a dedicated program component to support development of sustainability projects and facilitate access to finance focusing on the countries listed above.

The SCIP is funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UNEP, UNDP, WB, ADB, IADB who lead country specific projects. At the global level, the SCIP is led by a consortium composed by UNEP, WRI, C40 and ICLEI.

Assistance Criteria

  • Political buy-in
  • Co-finance
  • Global Environment Benefits potential e.g. GHG reduction, biodiversity benefits, land restoration benefits, climate resilience
  • Integrated approach

Projects must be located in one of the following cities:

  • Argentina (Salta, Ushuaia, Mar del Plata, Mendoza, Buenos Aires)
  • Brazil (Belem, Teresina, Florianopolis)
  • China (Chongqing, Chengdu, Ningbo)
  • Costa Rica (San Jose)
  • India (Chennai, Guwahati, Pune, Surat)
  • Indonesia (5 cities selected among Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang, Balikpapan, Medan, Tarakan, Bitung)
  • Morocco (Marrakech)
  • Rwanda (Kigali)
  • Sierra Leone (Freetown)



Country projects range from $7 million to $28 million USD, average of 16 million USD. The total funding to 9 countries and the global project is nearly $160 million. This includes support on policy and planning, project development, access to finance and knowledge and capacity building. Project development and access to finance support varies from project to project. Typically, it will consist of 30-50% of total funding support.

Support Type

  • Grants
  • Technical Assistance


Project Stage

  • Local Government Capacity Building
  • Concept/design/scoping
  • Pre-feasibility
  • Feasibility


  • Renewable Energy
  • Water, Sanitation, and Waste
  • Transportation/Mobility
  • Low Carbon Technology (ITC/Open Data)
  • Urban Public and Green Space
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Land Use and Nature-based Solutions
  • Adaptation and Resilience
Photo Credit: Lize Festers-