The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Research Project: Global urban transformation: involving New Urban Agenda, SDGs and the Paris Agreement into Germany‘s local and national urban development

Project briefing

International and European agreements like the New Urban Agenda, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the Urban Agenda for the EU give new impetus and place demands on cities. In order to make municipalities future-compliant and to strengthen them and partners in the context of the process of implementation, new basic conditions and offers have to be created.


Due to various developments, cities in Germany and Europe face new challenges and tasks. Thus the global community has for example adopted several ground-breaking decisions being relevant for urban actors. The New Urban Agenda was adopted as a global roadmap for cities. Cities will also take a key role in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. On the European level, decisions like the Urban Agenda for the EU place new demands on cities.

However, the concrete relevance and impact of these frameworks at local level has hardly been found out so far. Besides, there is a lack of experience how national urban development policies, being an important step towards implementing the Agendas, may take up the target agreements in an integrated way. Updating the Leipzig Charter and the Urban Agenda for the EU in the context of the German 2020 EU Council Presidency offers current political reasons to face these issues and to derive political rooms for manoeuvre. To this end, the implications of the Agendas and their follow-up processes with regard to implementation have to be better understood though.


The objective of the "global urban transformation" project was therefore to process the practical experience of municipalities when dealing with the global and European agendas and to formulate recommendations how they can be considered when further developing the German National Urban Development Policy programme, when updating the Leipzig Charter and the Urban Agenda for the EU. The project pursued five main objectives:

  1. understanding the relevance and implications of international and European agendas and their follow-up processes for local planning and the National Urban Development Policy in Germany;
  2. reviewing local transformation paths and considering local experiences when applying global and European agendas;
  3. identifying basic conditions and supportive mechanisms in a national and European context which might help municipalities to integrate the agendas strategically in their work;
  4. formulating recommendations for developing the National Urban Development Policy, for updating the Leipzig Charter under the German 2020 EU Council Presidency and for the Urban Agenda for the EU;
  5. promoting the local exchange of experiences and local implementation efforts by spreading the project results in the process of implementation.

The project was conducted by adelphi, a consultancy company, in cooperation with Urban Catalyst studio.


  • Dr. André Müller
    Division RS 3 "European Spatial and Urban Development"
    Phone: +49 228 99401-2341

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