Making Cities Work Better for Everyone
WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities helps turn cities into resilient, inclusive, low-carbon places that are better for people and the planet.
More than half the world’s population lives in cities. Urban areas are engines of economic growth and innovation — but also huge consumers of resources.
How cities are designed and governed affects quality of life for billions of people. Over the next 30 years, 2.5 billion people and as many as 1 billion more vehicles will be added to urban centers. Three-quarters of the infrastructure that will exist in cities by 2050 has yet to be built.
Cities are at a critical inflection point: Decisions made today will determine whether we continue on a path of fractured, unsafe, polluting growth, or succeed in creating a sustainable, resilient, more inclusive future.
of global GDP is produced in cities
of energy-related emissions come from cities
of city dwellers lack reliable access to at least one core service, like housing, water or electricity
Congestion costs 2-5% of GDP in Asia every year
WRI sees this moment as an opportunity for transformative change. We help decision-makers navigate competing tensions to shape a future where cities work better for everyone.
Our network of local and international experts work in more than 100 cities across 75 countries. We produce practical, data-driven research on how fast-growing urban areas can sustainably deliver core services like transport, housing, clean water and sanitation to all residents. We work hand-in-hand with local leaders to advance solutions ranging from electric mobility to air quality improvements to better urban land use. And we forge long-term partnerships and coalitions to ensure that cities not only create change, but sustain it.
Impact in Action
408,000 direct beneficiaries since 2017 of new national housing guidelines in Brazil
95 metric tons of air pollutants eliminated daily by Beijing Low-Emission Zone
The World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City focuses on helping cities in rapidly urbanizing regions alter their development trajectories as demand for infrastructure and services grows. This series of research papers and case studies examines whether providing equitable access to core urban services and infrastructure, like housing, water, sanitation, energy and transportation, leads to more economically productive and environmentally sustainable cities.
WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities works on Urban Mobility, Urban Development, and Urban Efficiency & Climate. Explore all projects in depth.
Improving quality of life, health and opportunity in cities through sustainable and safe transport and urban design.
Designing and influencing urban spaces that build resilience, improve health, and equitably connect people and opportunities.
Safe & Sustainable Mobility: Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety
Reducing road traffic fatalities and injuries through a comprehensive, data-driven approach.
Digital Transport for Africa
A collaborative digital commons supporting urban mobility projects in Africa through open standardized data, open-source software and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.
A global program transforming cities for people and planet through sustainable, integrated and inclusive approaches to urban development.
WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities
Transformative projects, igniting citywide change.
Mobility and Accessibility Program
Improving quality of life through sustainable transport and mobility solutions
NUMO, the New Urban Mobility Alliance
Channeling tech-based disruptions in urban transport to create joyful cities where sustainable and just mobility is the new normal
Clean Air Catalyst
A global partnership for accelerating clean air and climate solutionsPart of Air Quality
Urban Water Resilience Initiative
Building sustainable, adaptive, resilient urban water systems.Part of Water
Decarbonizing India’s Road Freight: Toward A Cleaner, Greener, and Electric Future for Commercial VehiclesConference Proceedings January 31, 2023
Recommended Total Cost of Ownership Parameters for Electric School Buses: Summary of Methods and DataTechnical Note January 30, 2023