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City WORKS is conceived as a set of interlinked tools that help cities realise, analyse and tackle the implications of global agendas locally. It is based on the systemic thinking of GIZ’s Capacity WORKS and offers a targeted step-by-step process for the purpose of implementing global agendas at the local level.

To foster the integrated implementation of global agendas at local level, City WORKS explains the relevance and impact of global agendas for cities, offers different tools to identify, prioritise and plan local action that is linked to e.g. the SDGs, and also addresses stakeholder participation and mobilising financing for implementation. In that way, City WORKS represents a compass for advisors and cities along all stages of a typical planning cycle to overcome urban challenges and align local action with global agendas.

As process-oriented approach and combination of technical and methodological tools, City WORKS is designed around the universal principle of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind and broadens it to the principle of leaving no place behind. City WORKS thus aims at enabling municipal actors to:

  • recognise the relevance of global agendas for local development, 
  • analyse and identify the specific needs for action at city level, 
  • develop and prioritise clear options for action, and 
  • identify and mobilise relevant actors and resources for implementation. 

City WORKS aims to integrate already existing tools by various stakeholders and organisations to make the most effective use of synergies. Where no tools are currently available, the City WORKS team adapted existing tools or developed new ones.


City WORKS aims to support the implementation of global agendas at local level. It seeks to enable urban stakeholders in realising, analysing and tackling the implications of global agendas in their specific context.  


The main orientation for City WORKS comes from the imperative of an integrated and coherent implementation of all relevant global agendas at the local level. In that sense, it is also key to have in mind the different national strategies and priorities. They also play an important role in defining how a given city can implement relevant measures that really leave no one and no place behind.


The main target group for City WORKS is advisors, consultants and experts from international and/or development cooperation. These practitioners are ideally in the position to support and accompany an urban development project or programme or directly support local governments. This could also apply for academia, non-governmental organisations and civil society as well as private sector representatives. The secondary target group is thus policy makers, practitioners and staff from municipal, metropolitan, regional and/or national authorities who are to be actively involved in the different steps and processes described by City WORKS.   


There are various entry points for City WORKS. And there are different timeframes that can be chosen. The scope and depth of applying City WORKS depends mainly on desired outcomes, and whether City WORKS can build upon new or existing city processes. Examples range from an awareness raising campaign or a report showcasing current contributions of local activities to the global goals to more complex processes, such as the alignment of current municipal plans and policies along the global targets (e.g. master or development plans, or sectoral and budget plans). Other entry points could be the creation or review of a city vision or the detailed development of new projects and measures.  


City WORKS is a process-oriented approach which offers technical and methodological tools along the phases and steps of typical planning cycles. In this sense, its tools and ideas can be easily integrated into existing processes and adapted to context-specific needs. That is why City WORKS cannot and does not offer a one-size-fits-all solution. It is determined and influenced by a broad set of variables that can produce more than one result in every case.