About us

People in a workshop are holding up coloured pieces of paper
Urban Lab participants during a workshop in Léon, Mexico. © IIED Argentina

Cities account for 75 per cent of carbon emissions worldwide, making urban leadership critical for achieving zero carbon emissions. To be sustainable, rapid decarbonization has to be socially just. Such transformation must be inclusive and driven by the needs and views of diverse groups of stakeholders, including citizens, policymakers, the private sector and community-led organizations. 

Transformative Urban Coalitions (TUC) aims to contribute to the zero carbon emissions by 2050 target by providing support to cities in transforming their social, technological and political structures towards more sustainable systems in realizing their urban zero carbon goal. 

This project is facilitating the establishment of transformative urban coalitions in five Latin American cities to develop new strategies for addressing local challenges in urban development and inequality, while at the same time reducing carbon emissions.

It plans to do so in two phases: 

To become a zero carbon community requires a huge societal transformation on many levels. In the first phase of the project, a broad range of local stakeholders will be identified to help enable this shift bottom-up. This bottom-up strategy is crucial as time after time experience has proven that top-down strategies fail when attempting to achieve goals that require deep, systemic change. Five Urban Labs divided over cities in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina will serve as TUC pilots where stakeholders will work together to realize rapid sustainable transformation. Expected results include insights from locally driven processes and projects that contain elements that will enable this transformation towards zero carbon cities. 

The results of the first phase will form the basis of the second, which will evolve around the transferability and replicability of outcomes to a citywide, regional, national and international level. Through sharing knowledge and experience, successful approaches can be replicated and adapted to local circumstances to help others in the transformation to zero carbon societies. 

Transformative Urban Coalitions (TUC) is a coalition between United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS), World Resources Institute (WRI) and International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), with support from Germany's Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action.



Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag)
IKI: International Climate Initiative


World Resources Institute - Ross Center
iied: International Institute for Environment and Development
IDOS: German Institute of Development and Sustainability