The Cities Investment Facility strives to unlock significant capital flows to inclusive sustainable urbanization projects. Through three multi-stakeholder instruments – The Cities Investment Portal (CI Portal), The Cities Investment Advisory Platform (CIAP), The Cities Investment Vehicles (CI Vehicles), CIF provides comprehensive support to urbanization projects in the processes of pre-feasibility, SDG profiling, and financing.

CIF Overview & Structure

The Challenge

 

Today, 4.2 billion people live in cities and that number is growing by 1.5 million each week. 90% of this urban growth will occur in developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. By 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in cities.Urban infrastructure enables this growth and the underlying economic activity. However, there is an annual infrastructure financing gap in excess of US$3.2 trillion, which cannot be addressed through traditional public resources: it requires engaging a diverse range of actors to attract substantial private capital to sustainable urbanization.


Simultaneously, there are too few bankable sustainable infrastructure projects are being developed in low- and middle-income cities. Projects, often proposed by municipalities, are not sufficiently aligned with investors’ financial and impact requirements. For these reasons, many projects are delayed in the pre-feasibility stage. It is at this upstream stage that the CIF will make the greatest impact.

 

News and Stories

CIF has helped
37
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
17
Projects through the Cities Investment Advisory Platform, enhancing their financial feasibility.
CIF has supported
9
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

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Leaving no one and no place behind

Hover over or click the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

To ensure that CIF’s work is improving human rights metrics such as access to services and secured supply chains, we employ an SDG Profile tool on each project in the pipeline. This ensures that projects are contributing to a wide variety of SDG targets, and advises the projects on where any negative externalities need to be mitigated.


Further, CIF will be involved in the monitoring of projects that it supports towards financial close. As part of this monitoring work of projects, there will be specific human rights questions and related KPIs, beyond those of the project targets.

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Sustainable urban infrastructure is essential to foster equal opportunities, to connect left-behind regions, ensuring easy access to public services for citizens and, in general, to improve life quality. Women are often also important users of and contributors to social infrastructure such as education, health, childcare centres, and other social services, as well as public spaces such as parks, and transportation services. Increasing provision of urban infrastructure therefore plays a major role in improving the status of women, and achieving gender equality.


To ensure that CIF’s work is improving the status of women and is gender responsive, we employ an SDG Profile tool on each project in the pipeline. This ensures that projects are contributing to a wide variety of SDG targets, including achieving gender equality.

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To ensure that CIF’s work is improving, and not harming, the lives, of children, youth and older persons, we employ an SDG Profile tool on each project in the pipeline. This ensures that projects are contributing to a wide variety of SDG targets, and advises the projects on where any negative externalities need to be mitigated.


Further, CIF will be involved in the monitoring of projects that it supports towards financial close. As part of this monitoring work of projects, there will be specific questions and related KPIs, beyond those of the project targets, that track the projects’ inclusion of children, youth and older persons.

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The UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020-2023 mentions that “sustainable urban development, including in the context of poverty reduction, can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and can to access their rights.” To ensure that CIF’s work is taking into account the lives of disabled persons, we employ an SDG Profile tool on each project in the pipeline. This ensures that projects are contributing to a wide variety of SDG targets, and advises the projects on where any negative externalities need to be mitigated.


Further, CIF will be involved in the monitoring of projects that it supports towards financial close. As part of this monitoring work of projects, there will be specific disability strategy questions and related KPIs, beyond those of the project targets.

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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