Sustainable Cities Platform

The Joint Strategic Framework (JSF) Sustainable Cities was launched in early 2022 under a grant programme funded by the Belgian federal government DGD (Directorate General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid). The JSF Sustainable Cities is a platform within which actors consult, exchange and collaborate around the contribution to the sustainable city worldwide through international cooperation.

Who are the members?

The Sustainable Cities platform has five active members:

  • VVSG (Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities) - the platform's lead organisation
  • UVCW (Union des Villes et Communes de wallonie)
  • Brulocalis (Association of the City and Municipalities of Brussels)
  • NGO Echos Communication
  • NGO Rikolto

A number of other NGOs, institutional actors and Enabel are closely involved.

Why a Sustainable Cities platform?

Rapid urbanisation is one of the main challenges of the coming decades. By 2050, 70% of the world's population will live in urbanised areas. Governments must respond to this, including by transferring powers and resources to lower levels of government and building capacities in local governments. Cooperation between the public sector, the private sector and civil society must also be reviewed.

Internationally, the importance of Sustainable Cities is increasingly recognised. Thus, 1 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) was specifically dedicated to the theme, namely SDG 11 'Sustainable Cities and Communities'. This SDG is directly linked to the achievement of all other SDGs. The sick are taken care of in hospitals in cities (SDG 3), education is organised in the local community (SDG 4), municipalities are taking measures to combat global warming (SDG 13), urban people need to be fed (SDG 2), the unemployed and young people are looking for jobs in cities (SDG 8), and so on. Everything anyone undertakes anywhere in the world will increasingly happen in the city. More and more, governments, private companies, NGOs, knowledge institutions, etc. will be required to make the link with what happens at the urban level.


Within the platform, the members aim to discuss on their strategies, collaborate on creating sustainable cities worldwide and foster mutual learning on sub-themes of the sustainable city.

Our objective

From the Sustainable Cities platform, we want to work towards sustainable cities that realise the SDGs. The sustainable city operates within the ecological limits of the planet while guaranteeing the minimum social conditions necessary to ensure the well-being of its inhabitants.

Our strategy

To make the sustainable city a reality worldwide, members are working on

  • Capacity building of citizens, schools, private companies, local authorities, etc. so that these players can make their contribution to the sustainable city
  • Making local government policies more sustainable globally in co-creation with all actors present in the city
  • Strengthening a sustainable, inclusive economy in the city


Platform members work together to achieve the following:

  • Visibility/recognition of the platform and importance of themes such as urbanisation & decentralisation
  • Sharing and experimenting with good practices around sustainable cities
  • Common lobby
  • Joint international representation

Activities in 2023:

  1. The members of the Sustainable Cities platform have developed a cartography that shows at a glance what the platform does, where the members are active, around which themes, etc. Have a look at the cartography (Dutch, English, French, Spanish) and get inspired.
  2. Session at the Brussels Urban Summit (13 June 2023) with Brulocalis, Echos Communication, VVSG and Enabel on 'Engaging citizens within cities in transition'.
  3. Launch of the platform's biannual newsletter: view the newsletter (December 2023) in Dutch, English, French, Spanish. Subscribe here if you also want to receive the newsletter in the future.
  4. Research on the vision of the 'sustainable city' from the Global South. Members of the Sustainable Cities platform commissioned research on what the sustainable city means to partners from Africa, Asia & Latin America. More information.
  5. Webinars on co-creation. The Sustainable Cities platform organised 3 digital seminars on the theme of co-creation. Read the article summarising the content and watch the recording/presentations.

Activities in 2024:

  1. 'The sustainable city under the microscope' conference on 22 January 2024 in Brussels.
  2. Research/exchange around the basic conditions for a sustainable city. The aim is to provide in 1 to 3 pages tools for local actors to contribute to a more sustainable city.
  3. Digital seminars on one specific theme linked to the sustainable city. The theme for 2024 is still to be determined. 

In which countries do we operate?

Click on a country on the map to open a sheet with more information on how the Sustainable Cities platform works in that country (which actors are active, in which cities, around which themes, etc.). Consult the legend of the sheets in case of uncertainty.

Platform members operate in the following countries:

  • Belgium
  • Asia: Indonesia, Vietnam
  • Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, South Africa
  • Latin America: Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru

Have a look at the cartography (Dutch, English, French, Spanish) and get inspired.

Useful information

Want to know more?

Contact Karlien Gorissen ( or 02/211 55 96).

Subscribe to the biannual newsletter here.