Development & Investment

Solutions for Cities & Destinations

Intersector Forum

Autumn 2023







The Sustainable Development & Investment – Solutions for Cities & Destinations forum promotes circular economy solutions for sustainable development projects of public-, private- and third-sector stakeholders.  For this, the stakeholders – city planning authorities, urban developers and other providers of solutions for a sustainable built environment, financers of community development and investors, legislators, politicians, and community businesses and other stakeholders – must collaborate.


Sustainable Community Development

Developing Community Sustainability

Sustainability is essential in the process of community development and plays an important role in the long-term success of communities. There are various approaches to making communities more sustainable, to ensure a better quality of life for all community stakeholders now and for future generations.

Sustainable communities are designed and managed to meet the highest standards of community sustainability.  Creating sustainable communities is a complex task that integrates livability and place-making policies and design concerns with the more functional smart growth planning concerns.

Sustainable development is a process of social advancement that integrates social, environmental and economic, considerations in policy-making.  Socioeconomic sustainability focuses on the development and design of the built environment to accommodate the needs of current and future generations.

Circularity, which begins at the local level, is key to the transition of communities toward sustainability.  It calls for the transformation from linear models to a circular economy approach without negatively impacting economic growth or placing added hardships on the community.

Sustainable Community Construction

Building Communities and Destinations

Sustainable community construction minimizes the negative environmental impact while maximizing the social and economic aspects of development. To achieve the sustainability of communities, the built environment must be sensitive to the needs of residents and designed to deliver improved quality of life.

The public sector plays a central role in the development of sustainable communities.  Local, regional and national governments set policy that directly influences development, hold assets, and make procurement decisions that have a significant impact on the local built environment of communities and destinations.

Infrastructure is crucial for the development of communities and plays a critical role in meeting social, environmental and economic goals.  This puts infrastructure at the very heart of the efforts and commitment of countries to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 timeline.

Sustainable destinations contribute to solving global problems of environmental degradation and climate change while benefitting from the development of destinations.  For this, destinations and hotels, tour operators, and other tourism companies must apply the SDGs in their operations and daily business.

Financing Community Development

Development Funding and Investing

A range of different methods raises and deploys financing for the development of sustainable communities, where each has its strengths and weaknesses. Sustainable finance takes environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into account when funding and investment decisions are made.


Financing community development encompasses funding and investing in commercial real estate development and infrastructure projects to asset management.  Various financing sources are sensitive to territorial specificities and supportive of community-based development and place-based strategies.

Sustainable finance taxonomy is a classification tool to help investors, lenders and others make informed investment decisions on sustainable economic activities.  They provide standard environmental or social criteria and clarity for qualifying development projects that are eligible for sustainable financing.

Successful Community Development

Stakeholders, Engagement and Governance

Stakeholders are potentially affected by the development of a community, have a vested interest in it, and draw on its resources. The interests of all stakeholders along the development project value chain and whole life cycle need to be considered in achieving sustainable development goals and project success.

For community sustainability, development initiatives and projects must be linked to the stakeholders and local governance.  Community-based approaches to environmental management, development, and disaster risk reduction follow the basic principles of community ownership, leadership, and participation.

Local action is essential for reaching the goals for a sustainable future.  Local public and private actors must employ new ways of redistributing wealth, producing and delivering social solutions, facilitating transportation, producing and consuming energy, protecting nature from degradation, etc.