Working with Cities

Embedding systems thinking approaches into city planning processes to unlock value and drive sustainable performance

City regions in the next 5 years


Of the world's city regions by 2030

Brokering investment and impactful solutions

Our phased offering allows cities to gradually onboard, test and embed systems thinking approaches that will help them reap the benefits by:


  • Increasing infrastructure productivity to reduce the need for investment by up to 40% through smart partnerships and performance based PPP investments.
  • Improving management of resources and multi-hazard risk , including adverse impacts of climate change.
  • Putting citizens’ wellbeing at the centre of planning and investment decisions.
  • Scaling the approach to support the delivery of global sustainable development goals.
We are linked to a global network of investors who are constantly on the lookout for bankable ideas and feasible projects. Our investors’ community is fully aligned to our values and approaches. They are particularly attracted to the risk-reduction and infrastructure savings that can be achieved through through our collaborative, integrated systems planning approach and stand ready to engage with cities in detailed discussions to finance suitable interventions.

We offer cities access to a global marketplace of breakthrough technologies, services and policy solutions and integrate them into different modelling scenarios. This allows to test and compare the performance of a specific solution in the context of a particular project scenario to support procurement decisions.

Taking cities on a learning journey of transformational change



City Analysis

  • Stakeholder & governance
  • Policy, resilience & SDGs
  • Procurement & project pipeline
  • Investment
  • Research & knowledge
  • Institutional capacity
  • Data

City Routemap

Landscape Analysis

  • Priority needs/topics
  • Prototype model data & tech requirements
  • Access to funding
  • Practical next steps

Cross-network opportunities
Results Matrix (RM)



City Analysis

  • Regional priorities, focus area
  • Prototyping & discovery
  • Learning & capacity building
  • Investment
  • Brokering solutions

Prototype Model

  • Data maturity support
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Topic-expert user group
  • Model interoperability

Use Cases

  • Enhanced data use & analytics
  • Realistic simulation of a sector solution

City Routemap

  • Finalised & adopted by project actors
  • Investment proposal (outline)
  • Integration of relevant solutions


Systems Modelling Platform

  • Cloud-based software application for integrated systems modelling
  • Enabling scenario testing to support project/service design and investment decisions
  • Codeveloped with expert user group
  • User Friendly interface: making complexity “accessible”
  • Collaborative approach to “turning data into wisdom”
  • Hackathon for introduction to city champions and and cross-sector leaders

Learning & Capacity Building

Training, knowledge sharing & Increasing learning power

Brokering investment & solutions

Connecting investment & innovations to bankable projects

An ambitious global initiative designed to support the transition to resilient development paths

Resilience Brokers champion a holistic approach to systems change that is driven by the power of collaboration, innovation and disruptive technology. We have developed a five-year Programme, to facilitate demonstrations of the transition to sustainable and inclusive development paths in 200 city regions, globally. This ambitious initiative has unprecedented potential for scalability. It is expected to trigger the great global mobilisation required to speed up the transition to resilient development paths in all economies and regions. Our goal is to help advance the delivery of the Global Goals and Paris Agreement targets, and the implementation of the Sendai Framework and the New Urban Agenda.
Efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development need to go beyond diplomatic efforts and Government programmes. The civil society, academia and the private sector–all have to be mobilized–to find the resources needed to achieve the Goals, and apply them in the best possible way. Antonio Guterres,

Secretary General of the UN, February 2018

The CHEER Approach

The Programme champions a new Collaborative – Human – Ecosystems – Economics – Resource systems approach (CHEER approach), to harness data and scientific evidence for decision making, by integrated modelling of social and natural systems and their interlinkages. The CHEER approach promotes collaboration across sectors, claiming neutral ground between government, academia, private sector and communities, placing human wellbeing at the centre of systems. The CHEER approach supports:

  • inclusive valuation of ecosystems to inform planning for their preservation
  • multi-hazard risk assessment
  • circular economy approach to resources

Increasingly complex, interconnected global challenges

Today, cities all over the world face a growing number of challenges. In 2016, an estimated 54% of the world’s population lived in urban settlements. By 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60% of people, globally, and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants. Rapid urban population growth, coupled with the adverse effects of climate change, are having a devastating impact on city region’s support structures. As a result, communities all over the world face increasing levels of poverty, inequality and vulnerability. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, adopted by the UN member states on September 2015, triggered an unprecedented consensus for global cooperation to end poverty, protect the planet and to ensure prosperity for all. It also reaffirmed sustainable urban development as a global priority, and key to delivering the Sustainable Development Agenda. Three years on, we have made sound progress: increasing alignment by member states with UN agencies’ sustainable development plans and strategies; new forms of cross-sector collaboration; innovative regenerative solutions fueled by breakthroughs in research and technology development; a shift to more sustainable business practices and green finance; and the engagement and involvement of young people and community groups, who are increasingly taking a more active role in shaping the way our cities are planned, developed and governed. So, in spite of the growing global challenges and doom-mongering, there is still a great deal of hope. However, the current pace of progress is just too slow to support the delivery of the ambitious global agenda. Over the past few years, it has also become evident that no country or organization alone can tackle these issues at the speed and scale required to deliver the Global Goals. Siloed approaches to solving these issues, tend to create vulnerabilities elsewhere in the system and often lead to suboptimal solutions.
Successfully implementing the full spectrum of SDGs will hinge on succeeding around the urban components of the Goals. And that will only happen through the integrated delivery of multiple SDGs by cities and other local governments. Sustainable urbanization and addressing the “local to global” urban agenda are necessary conditions to accelerate the successful implementation of the SDGs. This will enable UN member states to enhance peace, security and sustainable development for all its citizens and to ensure that no person or place is left behind. The Resilience Brokers Programme is designed to close existing gaps in commitment, capabilities and resources from the local to the global scale to enable a clear “line of sight” for implementation of the SDGs by 2030. Aromar Revi

Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)

Conventional process

Deprioritises environmental and social elements and promotes siloed, sequential, short-term development.

CHEER systems health approach

Increasing investment and shared stakeholder value through interactive design, systems thinking and collaborative urban‑rural approaches.

The technology –

Described by leading experts as the most sophisticated city-region modelling platform being developed in the world, enables users to overcome the limitations of existing data-mapping applications, city visualization software and big data tools connected to smart city sensors.
The new technology highlights the interlinkages between systems, ensuring that individual project requirements are informed by a representative set of city-region needs; which, in turn, allows for accurate projection and evaluation of social, environmental and economic impact.


Resilience Brokers approach to development is intended to overcome siloed thinking. We work with communities within city regions to provide the tools and support that will enable them to better understand the needs of their local economy, environment and society, which will contribute to more robust, transparent and accountable decision making processes.

The role of the collaboratory

  • Engaging private, public, third, academic and community sectors
  • Coordinating data collection or providing data
  • Testing the model
  • Helping to develop locally-relevant user interfaces
  • Securing funding
  • Developing eligibility criteria for projects applying to the Urban Development and Investment Fund
  • Communications and dissemination
  • Monitoring and evaluation
Collaboratories (collaborative laboratories) bring together individuals and organisations from the private, government, academic and communities sectors to support the transition from “business as usual” to new ways of thinking. The role of the collaboratory is to stimulate powerful transformational change within the community, by assisting with developing suitable financial, institutional and technical infrastructure, governance and communication. Members of the collaboratory play a vital role during the development of the platform and establishment of an Urban Development Investment Fund (UDIF) within their region. They will act as ambassadors for the Programme, encouraging others to develop and use the platform. We aim for anyone within the community to be able to use the tool, and to lift collaborative intelligence above the level that individuals or sectors can achieve on their own. At this stage, the collaboratory will serve as a regional forum for cross-sector collaboration and planning.

Because “business as usual” is no longer an option

The challenges we face today call for an urgent global mobilization of governments, business, civil society, science and academia. They call for new ways of thinking and collaborating, and smart cross-sector partnerships backed by effective technologies and breakthrough business models. The good news is the rapid, transformational change required is actually feasible. There is unprecedented momentum driven by UN agencies, access to data and technology and available finance. However, we are still lacking new institutions for collaborative mobilisation in what is now called “the missing middle”.
The “missing middle”. Resilience Brokers are facilitators in a neutral space, providing city regions with access to effective tools and support and facilitating a thriving environment for multi-sector partnerships to form and flourish. We encourage all actors to work collaboratively to identify the best solutions to their region-specific challenges. This approach empowers communities to take a leading role in the planning and development processes. Most importantly, it helps creating a long-term legacy of solid partnerships and learnings, critical to supporting a permanent shift to sustainable development and a circular economy in city regions all over the world. Turning data into wisdom. Our work is fueled by data, science, evidence-based thinking and pioneering, open source systems models (, networked across global to local scales. The Resilience Brokers Programme is supported by a global knowledge and data sharing infrastructure that enables the advance of leading research; dissemination of learnings; and the rapid evolution and adoption of innovative solutions across city regions worldwide.

Introducing key innovations

A holistic approach to systems change

With a focus on improving human, ecological and resource systems health. A regenerative, resilient development model in which human and ecological systems health are central to land use decisions. Resilience Brokers champion a Collaborative, Human, Ecological, Economic and Resource systems approach (CHEER approach) to harness data and scientific evidence for decision making, by integrated modelling of social and natural systems and their interlinkages.

A pioneering systems modeling platform that combines computer representations of human and business activity, resource flows and infrastructure of a city region, to generate an integrated view that highlights the interlinkages between the systems. The platform supports Earth Systems modelling, down-scaled to city-region scale for multi-hazard risks, to enable scenarios and investments to be risk-assessed and fully backed by science and research. The platform development team–from Imperial College London (ICL), the Institute for Integrated Economic Research (IIER), and NUS Engineering Singapore–continue the ongoing multi-sectoral expansion of use cases from the Greater Accra datasets, as described in several peer-reviewed journal articles.

Technology, business and social innovations, global scale up platform

To “broker” appropriate solutions into design and planning decision-making processes. Local innovators and research hubs will be able to add their inventions and new business models to the App Library to generate sales and exports to cities all over the world

Involvement of the world’s major Faith groups

To support this transformational change Programme, through a global mobilisation of their followers and by bringing forward significant faith-consistent investment–in line with their commitment to use their wealth to protect and improve “our sacred planet”.

New ways to engage with young people and the wider community

To broaden understanding of the Global Goals and empower young people and the wider community to lead change at the systems level (including a “gaming” version of and a “societal platform” approach).

Financing the Global Goals in city regions

Infrastructure systems all over the world are already struggling to cope with current demand. From 2016 through 2030, the global economic infrastructure investment required to support sustainable growth and the Global Goals in cities is $5 trillion a year. But the actual global spent is 60% of this figure–$3 trillion a year. Despite expert consensus around the urgent need to close this gap–backed by research from world-leading experts–infrastructure investment has declined as a share of GDP in 11 of the G20 economies since the global financial crisis, including the United States, the European Union, Russia and Mexico. Years of underinvestment in critical infrastructure such as transportation, water treatment, and power grids is now catching up with city regions around the world. If these gaps continue to grow, they will slow down growth and productivity, having a devastating impact in the lives of millions of people. It is therefore critical to get finance flowing into urgently needed projects. The Resilience Brokers model is designed to unlock and redirect trillions of dollars into sustainable development projects, through a blended public-private finance approach including green/climate, social impact and municipal bonds. The integrated systems planning and design approach to project portfolio development can reduce investment need by up to 40%.
Thanks to ICT tools that foster a true systemic approach, such as, we can help and support city regions to reduce their future transition costs by 40%, compared to the current project-by-project, and silo-by-silo methods of today Bob Bishop

President and Founder, ICES Foundation

Bridging the investment gap

Bringing solutions to key challenges

Replacing the siloed approach to sustainable development to tackle resource inefficiencies. By mobilising a global network of partners and supporters to enable a rapid and seamless deployment to any region in the world–in line with existing UN agencies’ plans and frameworks for the Global Goals. Filling the “data gaps”. In terms of both availability and accessibility, to improve our ability to target resources, develop policies and track accountability.
Helping to bridge the existing infrastructure investment gap. By reshaping unproductive and unrewarding finance and redirecting investment into building resilience in city regions. Activating disengaged groups. Youth and community initiatives designed to engage, educate and influence “bottom-up” behaviour. Creating a long-term legacy necessary to support transformational change at the systems level. Introducing a holistic risk-layer approach at scales. Development of a global-to-local risk assessment approach to support development, planning and design processes and to inform investment decisions.

Unprecedented capacity for global scalability

  • Access to open data and pioneering modelling technology.
  • Multiplying impact through Partners and supporters’ global networks.
  • Engagement and mobilisation of young people and communities, globally.
  • Access to finance and tools to develop a pipeline of bankable projects in all city regions.
  • Planned open source release of the modelling platform with the aim to trigger a rapid scale up to 70% of all city regions in the world by 2030.

Accelerating positive impact

We are committed to accelerate the positive impacts of transforming cities into thriving communities for current and future generations, including the most vulnerable and least resourced.

All different elements of our Programme are designed to work together to support the transition to ethical, resilient and ecologically sound city-region development pathways. Impact and progress will be measured against the Global Goals.
 Individual project targets will be set through the agency of business leaders, municipal and national government leaders, faith and community groups and academia. Project targets will be modelled using the platform.
Impact measuring tools and approaches will be codeveloped with local stakeholders and will form the basis of future decision making and local approaches to governance and investment.


Integration: City region, Earth systems and technology -
  • City-region scale integrated systems modelling of human, cultural, social, ecological health, including soils and nutrients, economics and resources.
  • Earth scale integrated systems modelling of weather, climate, ocean, biosphere and landscape dynamics.

The intuitive user interfaces of will provide easy access to and growing understanding of the complexities and planetary context of each city region. Integrated data systems and structures in city regions will add value by helping stakeholders identify areas where they can reduce development costs and ensure that we are on track to achieving our targets (eg., Global Goals metrics) Technology and social innovations will be modelled and made available through Apps to enable other city regions to access and use them. This will give businesses, universities and entrepreneurs an added incentive to develop great ideas in their own city region, knowing the potential for scaling both locally and globally.

Intelligence: Knowledge and interdisciplinary research
  • Global, sectoral and local research initiatives aimed to ‘plug the gaps’ in existing interdisciplinary research to support collaborative, evidence-based, systems-level interventions.
  • Coordination across research institutions and councils–including integration across the social and natural sciences–to achieve maximum impact.

Through linking in local research, indigenous wisdom and citizen science and data, we will foster shared ownership and support the move from knowledge to action. This workstream will deliver impact and effective evaluations of the Programme’s interventions. It will also support the establishment of a global knowledge sharing network to feed learnings back into new practice.

Implementation: Collaboration, capacity and scaling
  • Establish collaboratories (collaborative laboratories).
  • Set up regional hubs to facilitate and scale city-region demonstrators.

Collaboratories will convene and network government, business, community, faith and academia communities in all 200 target city regions. Resilience Brokers will equip these cross-sector teams with the tools, training and support they need to work collaboratively to make informed decisions that reflect systems impacts that cascade across sectors. Collaboratories Activity will be coordinated through regional hubs which will contribute to capacity building, disciplined learning and innovation and practices that scales  city regions, globally. Regional hubs will facilitate a number of city-region demonstrators–with the appropriate culture and language variations–to improve networking and collective learning. We therefore anticipate that different versions of the platform will evolve locally to suit the needs of different cultures and regions.

Investment: Project aggregation, capital mobilisation and insurance
  • Help to establish Urban Development Investment Funds (UDIFs) in city regions
  • Aggregation of projects at city-region scale
  • Private sector engagement
  • Innovative funding model

UDIFs will enable the redirection of global capital flows into aggregations of resilient, risk-reduced initiatives to improve city-region development. We will engage the private sector through the promotion of innovations in project finance; insurance and risk-financing (including cooperative and mutual micro-finance and insurance); and the use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Aggregation of projects at city-region scale is expected to reduce total investment cost to deliver the Global Goals by up to 40%*. Savings can be achieved through:

  • decentralised energy supply and storage systems,
  • integrating built environment change with urban mobility and human wellbeing,
  • wastewater recycling and flood management linked to ecological restoration and redesigning, and
  • recycling and reusing resources and existing assets within a circular economy.

(*Globally scaling up systems approaches to city region investment can reduce overall spending by up to 40% was a key finding of the analysis in:

Supporting activities
We have identified certain audiences inviting a more targeted approach. We have developed a set of additional supporting activities aimed to target and engage with these groups in more depth: Working with partners who have access to global networks of young people, we plan to create a cohort of young global leaders within the Programme. We are also planning a gaming and education version of, designed to engage with young people and other community members and help them understanding of how their region works. We expect to encourage high levels of youth participation in the planning and design of the city regions where they live. Our innovation and technology scaling process will support social and technical entrepreneurs to model their innovations and make them available to all the Programme’s city regions, as platform Apps.

Programme management and governance

Resilience Brokers Ltd will coordinate the delivery of the Resilience Brokers Programme. Operating within a governance structure of world leading expertise, we aim to foster a collaborative and emergent working environment to balance global reach with leading-edge practice.

Management approach

The Resilience Brokers team brings in the expertise and experience required to deliver this global, groundbreaking Programme. We will apply particular assurance tools to ensure that all activities are delivered to the highest standards and meet targets and expectations of all stakeholders in city regions, global networks and Resilience Brokers Capital investors. Our work is guided by an independent group of world leading experts–the Resilience Brokers Independent Programme Board–which ensure that transparency, fairness and accountability are always at the heart of all our strategic decisions and operations.

Role of the Programme Management Team

To maintain effective and assured Programme management while building a global culture of best practice and to facilitate the collaborative working environment:

  • Project establishment, governance, communications, online workflow platform and tools, partner working, detailed programme PERT–including mobilisation and recruitment.
  • Regular Independent Programme Board meetings and Advisory Panel meetings.
  • Maintain contracted links to Resilience Brokers Capital Ltd and flow of investment to inform Programme planning.
  • Maintain Alliance contracted relationship with Resilience Brokers delivery partners and a functioning collaborative project delivery environment.
  • Resilience Brokers induction programme development.
  • Independent evaluation.
  • Communications.