The Policy Transfer Platform is linked with other institutions, networks and urban awards supporting its development. On this page, you can browse and learn more about our partner network.

Partner institutions and networks

Partner institutions and networks

The Circles Project / Western Sydney University

We are a research association, collaborating across a number of universities and international organizations to develop and apply the Circles approach. 

The Circles Project is convened by the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. It is supported in particular by the Senate Department of Urban Development and the Environment (Berlin) and Metropolis, the World Association of Major Metropolises (Barcelona and Paris). But its base is much broader. It is a collaborative network of colleagues and associates who have been working together in various capacities since 2007 to contribute practically and theoretically to a more sustainable planet.

Circles of Sustainability is a method, part of the larger Circles of Social Life approach, developed through collaboration between Metropolis, the UN Global Compact Cities Programme, and other organizations such as the International Real Estate Federation (FABCI), the Cultural Development Network, and World Vision.

The method is used for assessing sustainability and for managing projects for socially sustainable outcomes. It is intended to handle seemingly intractable problems. We live in a world with increasing pressures of global climate change, globalization, urbanization, and intensifying social change. In response, we need more sophisticated and subtle approaches for acting upon sustainability issues. It seems that the more complex the problem, the less that contemporary approaches are useful. ‘Sustainability’ is in danger of becoming an empty phrase. Circles of Sustainability provides a possible way out of these limitations.



World Urban Campaign


The World Urban Campaign (WUC) is an advocacy and partnership platform to raise awareness about positive urban change in order to achieve green, productive, safe, healthy, inclusive, and well planned cities. Its goal is to place the Urban Agenda at the highest level in development policies. It is coordinated by UN-Habitat and driven by a large number of committed partners - currently more than 190 partners and networks - from around the world.


Localizing the SDGs Initiative (UN-Habitat, UNDP and the Global Taskforce)

The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depends, more than ever, on local action, community buy-in and local leadership, well-coordinated and with all levels of governance. 'Localizing the SDGs' is a global initiative to support local and regional governments, as well as other relevant local policy makers and development practitioners, to contribute to the local implementation of the SDGs. It is facilitated by UN-HabitatUNDP and the Global Taskforce of local and regional governments. We support awareness-raising for local governments to better understand the SDGs and to increase ownership to make the SDGs a transformative tool able to support local and regional governments in delivering better to their citizens.

Under the Localizing knowledge and sharing platform, the initiative today has developed several materials to support local stakeholders and their networks in promoting integrated, inclusive and sustainable territorial development. The platform offers practical tools, a roadmap, a series of case studies and learning activities to facilitate the implementation, monitoring and review the SDGs locally and to make decision towards its achievement. It builds on existent experiences and it promotes examples of inspiring, replicable local solutions or tools to enable learning and upscaling of successes. All relevant actors are encouraged to enrich this global exercise by uploading and sharing their experiences and stories with all the participating partners. Take a look at the presentation video here.


UCLG Learning

Cities and local and regional governments have the need for practical solutions to fulfill the citizen’s demand. In this regards, sub-national governments are strong partners and supporters regardless of their development stage. Therefore, learning cannot be conducted alone but has to be part of partnerships with other authorities, academies, associations, international organizations and even private actors.  

Built on the challenges and positive experiences accumulated by our members and partners, the UCLG learning agenda offers a platform where new ideas and methodologies can be tested, and where learning themes are developed, addressing the concrete interest of our members. It will serve to share and disseminate the experiences and knowledge for the capacity building which finally leads to the cooperation between our members and partners.


UCLG Urban Innovation Community

The Urban Innovation Community was established in June 2014 at the United Cities and Local Governments Executive Bureau meeting in Liverpool, England. The aim of the Community is to promote innovation and further enhance the learning agenda of UCLG.

Urban innovation includes combatting the social, economic, environmental and governance challenges facing cities today; all with the intention of improving the quality of life for a cities’ citizens.

UCLG, in conjunction with Metropolis and the City of Guangzhou, host the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation biennially.

The Urban Innovation Community enhances the success of the Guangzhou Award by ensuring the continuity of the successful initiatives of the Award’s finalists. It also serves to increase international exchanges and cooperation in urban innovation; facilitate relevant research and development, provide suggestions for policy and decision-making and ensure the future work of UCLG.


Connective Cities

Connective Cities is a joint venture between the Associati­on of German Cities (Deutscher Städtetag), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Service Agency Communities in One Wor­ld (a division of Engagement Global). This International Community of Practice for Sustainable Urban Develop­ment is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Connective Cities provides demand-based services desi­gned to improve cooperation among urban practitioners at global level. The platform enhances the sharing of good practice examples, expert knowledge and solution-orien­ted peer-to-peer consulting, and creates opportunities for partnerships among its stakeholders.

Connective Cities addresses questions of how to achieve sustainable development through innovative strategies and practices. It highlights good practice examples in the over­arching fields of good urban governance, integrated urban development and support of local economic development strategies. Connective Cities creates a base for knowledge sharing and the development of transformative solutions in local contexts that are customised to local requirements for sustainable urban development.

By conducting dialogue events, Connective Cities faci­litates exchange among urban practitioners on relevant themes, and functions as a platform for a networking strategy. To implement the strategy Connective Cities also organises trainings, study tours, project workshops and virtual discussion forums. Working within Connective Cities can result in new forms of cooperation among the actors involved. The platform also aims to facilitate the initiation of joint projects among urban stakeholders from various local settings. 


Seoul Solution

Seoul Solution is a think tank dedicated to promoting examples of successful urban development policies and projects conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

The organisation gathers case studies that form good practice and is tasked with disseminating Seoul’s experience and know-how to interested citizens and urban practitioners in Seoul and to other cities worldwide. In addition, Seoul Solution gives advice and tools to cities that are rapidly growing on how to achieve urban development in a more sustainable way. Seoul Solution is co-managed by the Global Urban Partnership Division of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Institute.


C40 Cities Finance Facility

The C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) facilitates access to finance for climate change mitigation and resilience projects in urban areas by providing technical assistance to develop cities’ sustainability priorities into bankable investment proposals. The CFF aims to deliver project preparation and capacity development, and to widely share knowledge and establish partnerships between cities and financiers. Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Government of the United Kingdom and the United States Agency for International Development, the initiative is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH together with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Bogotá & Mexico City are the first cities to receive technical assistance.


URBACT enables cities to work together to develop new and sustainable solutions to major urban challenges, through networking, sharing knowledge, and building capacities for practitioners. URBACT is a European Territorial Cooperation program fostering sustainable integrated urban development in cities across Europe. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and EU Member and Partner States since 2002. By sharing knowledge and successes, like URBACT 's Good Practices, the programme contributes to faster and better progress in cities and to driving change towards sustainable urban living. URBACT’s Good Practices are tested approaches to common urban challenges that deserve to be shared so that a greater number of cities can adopt them. All Good Practices uphold URBACT’s key values: an integrated approach (economic, social, environmental) and a strong local participation. An Assessment Panel reviewed and selected applications from cities and other public authorities in all EU Member States, plus Norway and Switzerland, according to URBACT’s criteria.



The Sustainable Cities Collaboratory is a practically oriented research body. It brings together the knowledge and skills of mayors, municipal officers, urban practitioners and academic researchers to develop principles and policies for good urban practice. Its role is to develop practical roadmaps for sustainable urban development in the participating cities and beyond.

The Cities Collaboratory comprises a group of Metropolis cities, together with a small number of global advisors and a selection of important research centres from around the world. It is supported by a general secretariat in Berlin, and a working group in the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University.




Apolitical is the first global platform for government that helps public servants find the ideas, experts and partners they need to solve societies’ hardest challenges. It's used by public servants from all levels of government, in 140+ countries, including mayors, ministers and former heads of state. 
Public servants globally are tackling common problems — from harnessing the potential of big data and AI, to generating local and equitable economic growth, or even overcoming internal bureaucracy. Now they don’t have to constantly reinvent the wheel. On Apolitical, they can read about the most interesting policy innovation from around the world. They can write about their own their own experiences, celebrating and getting recognition for their innovative and important work in government. And, they can also access the insights of thousands of peers and experts through Apolitical’s private network for policymakers — avoiding duplication and costly mistakes in their policies. 
You can join the network of policymakers and tap into their wisdom at: It’s free for policymakers. 

Urban awards

Metropolis Awards

The Metropolis Awards are bestowed every three years, along with each edition of the Metropolis World Congress. The 6th edition of the Metropolis Awards will be awarded in 2017.

They recognize outstanding urban development experiences from Metropolis member cities related to improving their citizens' quality of life, preferably in the areas of environment, housing, public transport, safety and economic, social and cultural development. Special consideration is given to cases with positive impact on women, young people and people with some form of disability.

A first, a second and a third prize are awarded to the applications with the best evaluations from the jury. In addition, up to three honourable mentions are awarded. 


Guangzhou Award

A combined project between UCLG, Metropolis and the city of Guangzhou, the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation aims to recognise and award city initiatives that are innovative in improving the livelihoods of their citizens.

The Award is presented biennially and encourages innovation in public policy, projects, business models and practices. The first Award was was held in 2012 and received 255 entries from 153 cities, in 56 countries across six continents.

Five winning cities are selected and in 2012 they included: Kocaeli (Turkey), Lilongwe (Malawi), Seoul (South Korea), Vancouver (Canada) and Vienna (Austria).

The fields for submission include Public Services, Organization and Administration, Partnership and Citizen Involvement, Smart City and Sustainable City.

The second Award was even more successful with 259 initiatives submitted from 177 cities worldwide. This cycles’ winners were Antioquia (Colombia), Bristol (U.K.), Christchurch (New Zealand), Dakar (Senegal) and Hangzhou (China).

An extra three winning categories were also added in 2014 to promote public participation in the Guangzhou Award. These categories are: an online-popular city, a media-popular city and the preferred city by the attendees of the Conference on Learning from Urban Innovation.



EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities. Our members are the elected local and municipal governments of major European cities. EUROCITIES was founded in 1986 by the mayors of six large cities: Barcelona, Birmingham, Frankfurt, Lyon, Milan and Rotterdam. 
EUROCITIES awards showcase outstanding achievements by our member cities in the delivery of local activities or practices which improve the quality of life for citizens. The theme of the awards changes every year in line with the EUROCITIES annual conference. 
Each year, we invite our member cities to submit examples of projects and practices of which they are particularly proud. Entries are submitted in one of three categories, which usually remain the same from year to year but occasionally change to accommodate the theme of the annual conference.
With the exception of 2013, the three EUROCITIES awards categories are as follows:
  • innovation: innovation in the planning and implementation of activities or practices by a local authority
  • participation: activities or practices of a local authority which are successful in actively promoting citizen participation
  • cooperation: awarding cooperation efforts undertaken by a local authority together with partner organisations 

The EUROCITIES awards have been running since 2006. Past examples of winning projects include a project encouraging citizens to become successful community leaders in Bristol; a cultural network designed to improve quality of life for elderly citizens in Espoo; and the renewal of an old industrial island in Bydgoszcz to become a centre of culture, leisure and entrepreneurship.

Many of these projects have gone on to achieve further success at national and European level.

Each shortlisted award entry is required to submit a short video of its project. You can browse the shortlisted entries and winners using the awards menu on the EUROCITIES website:

City to City Barcelona FAD Award

Founded in 1903, FAD (Fostering Arts and Design) is a Barcelona based private nonprofit that aims to improve the environment and people's lives through design and creativity. FAD, which is divided into five associations representing the various disciplines of design, intervenes through its activities (excellence awards, conferences, exhibitions and other events) in social, cultural and economic nationally and internationally.
Within the wide array of activities that FAD promotes, City to City Barcelona FAD Award was born in 2008 in order to track and assess initiatives from around the globe, which proposed effective answers to the challenges that contemporary cities face and will face in the near future. During these years, the award, developed in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council and the Government of Catalonia, has acknowledged hundreds of international projects, both big and small, which have successfully been able to improve the every day life in their cities. 
Along the way, the prize has evolved, focusing more and more on projects brought about by citizens’ initiatives, or by the collaboration between inhabitants and institutions, a combination which leads to new directions in a complex and ever changing world. 
Since 2016 edition, the award has become biennial and thematic. In this new stage, first focus subject was learning initiatives in the city. We searched for all kind of projects in the intersections of public space and collective production of knowledge. City to City is an open platform, which means everyone, from individuals to institutions or collectives may send their proposals or invite others to join our initiative. In the end, we received 132 candidates from all over the globe, covering the very diverse and rich landscape of education and learning in the city, an urgent and important matter in a somewhat entangled global situation, in which growing cities are called to gain more and more political and social presence. Currently, we are working on our 2018 edition.

Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award

The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award is a travelling prize presented to initiatives within a specific city that utilise partnerships to improve the quality of life and the quality of the urban environment.

The winners are selected by an independent jury following an open call for applications. The Alfred Herrhausen Society, which is the international forum of Deutsche Bank and initiator of the long-standing Urban Age Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science, created the award to encourage people to take responsibility for their cities and form new alliances. 

Since 2007, the award, worth USD 100,000, has been presented to bottom-up community initiatives based in Mumbai, São Paulo, Istanbul, Mexico City, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and most recently in New Delhi. 

In 2014 there were 135 applications from the Delhi region, reflecting the vibrancy and creativity of Delhi’s citizens in dealing with the social and urban challenges facing their city.

Many projects highlight the cooperation between the various stakeholders such as social activists, community groups, foundations, architects and designers, local authorities, universities, and governmental organisations. The submissions represent a diverse range of projects. The initiatives fall into various categories including education, culture, environment, sanitation, public space, transport and recycling.

Learn more about the Delhi award edition in this brochure (pdf).