Case Studies
Policy Areas


Cities in the EBRD regions face several pressing challenges, including insufficient infrastructure investment, demographic change, poor air quality, and historical legacies of high carbon intensity. Many cities in these regions are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and ensuing increases in heat stress and extreme weather events.

To address these challenges, the EBRD Green Cities programme was launched in 2016, with the aim of building a better and more sustainable future for cities and their residents. With over EUR 1.5 billion in funding, the programme builds on the EBRD’s proven track record in helping cities identify, prioritise and connect urban environmental challenges with sustainable investments and policies.


Our experience shows that successful Green Cities require a critical mix of both investments, as well as, policy initiatives that can strengthen and support those capital expenditures. Good policy and inclusive consultation processes help tap into the energy and resources of local communities and the private sector, and further ensure the interests and buy-in of all groups is taken into account.

The aim of this website is to facilitate such wide-reaching insight into effective policy instruments to improve urban sustainability. The content draws on EBRD’s extensive experience from the Green Cities programme, to present a menu of policy instruments that are backed up by real-world case studies of these policies in practice.

The policy instruments and case studies presented are structured around seven critical areas of decision-making. Five are sector-specific and include: (i) Urban Transport, (ii) Solid waste, (iii) Water and Wastewater, (iv) Energy and buildings, (v) Land planning, green space and biodiversity - and 3 cross-sectoral policy areas: (vi) Governance, (vii) Finance and (vii) Digitalisation.

Policy instruments and case studies are presented in a concise and interactive format to facilitate ease-of-reading for a variety of stakeholders. Each case study is no longer than 2-3 pages, while policy instruments are even more compact.


Our aim is not to cover high-level policies or visionary plans that are more suitable for central governments. Instead, this Toolkit focuses on practical and operational policies which municipal authorities can implement within a 5-year time horizon, and can expect to generate material impact within 5-10 years.

Among others, such measures might include policies related to planning, regulation, incentives, skills development, and funding and financing, as well as information programmes and behavioural attitude campaigns.

Expected Use

It is envisaged that this Policy Tool will serve two main purposes. First, to provide a wide range of stakeholders with a source of information and inspiration on relevant policy instruments, their likely resource implications, expected impacts, and implementation challenges. Second, to be used as a reference point for respective city authorities or consultants during the initial scoping and diagnosis of policy shortcomings in a given city.

Through these channels, it is expected that this Policy Tool can inform and empower all relevant stakeholders to enhance their participation in the Green Cities agenda, and help lift the quality of policy discussion and implementation.

While this Policy Tool has been produced in the context of EBRD Green Cities and all policies and case studies have been selected and presented with the EBRD regions in mind, it is highly relevant for any city seeking green solutions, regardless of its location.

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