Urban Fabric

The challenges of sustainable development are increasingly being played out at the city level.

  • Firstly, as public actors, local authorities have control over many skills that are key for ecological transition: habitat, mobility and waste management.
  • Secondly, as the urbanization of our planet progresses, the city is increasingly becoming the living space for the majority of the population. 

It is also at the local level that public authorities are the most likely to get the population on board with the profound transformations needed for sustainable development, through

  • citizen participation or the support of projects developed by civil society. 
  • Local elected representatives are also increasingly present and active in international conferences dealing with sustainable development, and today the question arises of their place in the architecture of international sustainable development governance.


In this context, IDDRI analyses urban policies in the fields of

  • housing (new tools for affordable housing),
  • mobility (energy vulnerability, collaborative mobility, autonomous vehicles) and
  • digital technology (crowdsourcing and citizen participation),

with the aim of identifying the conditions for sustainable development and the sharing of its understanding of the issues with local authorities and urban operators.


IDDRI’s Urban fabric team also contributes, in cooperation with the Governance team, to the consideration of the role of cities as actors for sustainable development: what can be their place in the implementation of SDGs? How can these actors be funded in the context of international development financing?