The Cities Investment Facility (CIF) is a multi-stakeholder initiative that strives to unlock significant capital flows to inclusive, sustainable urbanization projects. 

Through its three pillars – Cities Investment Portal, Cities Investment Advisory Platform, and Cities Investment Vehicles.

The Cities Investment Facility supports project promoters with:

  • the marketing of their projects to a global audience of construction finance providers; 

  • advice regarding the project preparation process of ideation, feasibility, development, and financial closure; and 

  • funding (both grant and private capital) for these processes, to secure construction financing from other external lenders and investors.

By convening and preparing a pipeline of SDG-compliant bankable infrastructure projects, the Cities Investment Facility, makes a significant contribution to achieving the UN’s Agenda 2030, as cities and urban infrastructure enable economic activity and growth.

The achievement of UN-Habitat's second domain of change; is closely linked to the development of SDG cities. The SDG Cities initiative aims to recognize cities' efforts in accelerating sustainable development by addressing key challenges and setting development priorities in an approach that incorporates social, economic, and environmental dimensions. The appendix will in-depth explore the SDG Cities initiative. The achievement of SDG cities relies on the need for strategic planning, the institutional capacity of cities, and, most significantly, investment in impact, hence the need for CIF.

CIF Structure and Process

Learn more about CIF:  CIF Brochure

The Challenge

Cities currently host 4.2 billion people (55% of the world’s population) and materially impact their surrounding territories. By 2050, 68% of the global population will be urbanized as the global urban footprint will nearly double.

Recent estimates put the global annual municipal infrastructure funding gap over US$3.2 trillion. While there are several factors; contributing to the gap, one of the primary obstacles relates to the lack of investment-ready projects

Local governments in low and middle-income countries often lack the funding and institutional/technical capacity required to ensure that project preparation is according to international standards and the requirements of international financial institutions or potential investors. 

There is significant global private capital available not only for bridging this gap if projects are developed properly, and are considered bankable by investors/lenders, but also for supporting implementation financing to boost sustainable development and address rapid urbanization.

News and Stories

Featured Stories & Videos

Featured Stories & Videos

CIF has helped
Projects from local governments around the world to be showcased on Cities Investment Portal, accepting wider public awareness.
CIF has provided bankability advisory and technical support to
Projects through the Cities Investment Advisory Platform, enhancing their financial feasibility.
CIF has supported
cities pitch to a panel of diverse investors at WUF10, with 3 projects successful in their journey to attract private investment commitments.

Related Sustainable Development Goals

Related Sustainable Development Goals

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Donors and partners

The Cities Investment Facility (CIF) is a multi-stakeholder initiative which aims to leverage the resources and capacity of different parties to support sustainable urbanization development.

  1. By coordinative efforts through cities authorities, we collect detailed information of the projects and co-develop project design and implementation strategies with them. CIF also provides capacity building to the cities government to enhance their ability to develop sustainable, bankable, impactful projects in the future. Where technical assistance and advisory support is provided through CIF, the recipient may be charged a reasonable service fee.
  2. Through partnerships with a global network of donors and investors, such as retail and institutional investors, such as Development Finance Institutions, philanthropic organisations, Islamic funds, and government donors, we are able to access diverse sources of finance and pool resources to finance de-risked, SDG-aligned assets.
  3. For programme implementation, we forge partnerships with a broad range of NGOs, not-for-profit private companies, and advisory firms, which have track records on building and financing sustainable bankable urban development projects, to provide technical support and bankability advisory to the projects.

Our Experts

Neil Khor
Programme Manager
Office of the Executive Director
Dyfed Aubrey,
Inter-Regional Advisor, Programme Development Branch, UN-Habitat
United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-Habitat
Erastus Njuki
Coordinator, Cities Investment Facility-Office of the Executive Director, UN-Habitat
United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-Habitat