WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities focuses on integrated solutions to long-standing and new urban challenges. Through innovative research, deep engagement with urban leaders, and global partnerships, our network of local and international experts puts cities on a trajectory of more sustainable and equitable development. We accelerate transformative urban initiatives that turn cities into resilient, inclusive, low-carbon places that are good for people and the planet.

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We work in hundreds of cities with dozens of partners around the world.

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We are a team of 400+ local and international experts with deep expertise in urban planning and development, mobility, energy efficiency, resilience, housing, water management and more. About 80% of our staff is based in offices in Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey. WRI Ross Center combines the research excellence of WRI with two decades of on-the-ground impact in transport and urban development by the EMBARQ network to catalyze innovative solutions in other sectors, including air quality, water, buildings, land use and energy.

We focus primarily on cities in low- and middle-income regions: Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific. Cities here represent the greatest opportunity for a radical shift in how urban areas are planned, built and governed. We also work at the front lines of the mobility and energy revolutions, including in the United States.

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WRI Ross Center Advisory Group

WRI Ross Center’s Advisory Group is a globally recognized assembly of city leaders and urban experts, chaired by Stephen M. Ross, who generously contribute their expertise and influence to advancing WRI Ross Center’s mission.

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  • Stephen M. Ross, Honorary Chair; Chairman and Founder, Related Companies
  • James A. Harmon, Chair Emerita of the Board, World Resources Institute; Chairman, Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund; Chairman, Caravel Management LLC
  • Carolina Tohá, Minister of the Interior and Public Security, Chile
  • Dirk Messner, President, German Environment Agency (UBA)
  • Frannie Léautier, Senior Partner, Southbridge Group; CEO, Southbridge Investments
  • Harini Nagendra, Director, Research Center, Azim Premji University (India)
  • Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman of the Board, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Limited
  • Jeff Olson, Architect, Planner, Author & VP, re:Charge-e
  • Li Xiaojiang, Former President, China Academy of Urban Planning and Design
  • Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
  • Mónica Araya, Executive Director of International Affairs, European Climate Foundation
  • Parks Tau, Minister of Trade, Industry & Competition, South Africa
  • Robin Chase, Co-Founder and Former CEO, Zipcar
  • Rohit Aggarwala, Chief Climate Officer and Commissioner of Environmental Protection of New York City
  • Sameh Wahba, Regional Director for Sustainable Development in Europe and Central Asia (ECA), World Bank
  • Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, London
  • Vera Rodenhoff, Head of the Division for International Cooperation on Climate and Energy, Implementing Initiatives, BMWK
  • Claudia López, Former Mayor, Bogotá, Colombia


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