The global landscape of construction and design is undergoing profound changes in response to the challenges of rapid urbanization and climate change. Accounting for 37 per cent of CO2 emissions and over 34 per cent of global energy demand, the building sector plays a pivotal role in mitigating environmental impact. However, this focus extends beyond conventional urban spaces to include over one billion people residing in informal areas, a number projected to rise.

This webinar explores the imperative of sustainable construction and design in uplifting the living standards of those in informal urban settlements. It examines sustainable materials, traditional techniques, and participatory approaches, illustrating their central role in addressing the needs of marginalized communities amidst broader global challenges.

The event is the first of a new global peer-learning series on Urban Innovation to Achieve Just and Sustainable Cities, proposed by GIZ and Cities Alliance, in collaboration with partners including ICLEI, Slum Dwellers International, and the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa.

Throughout the session, the objectives include showcasing exemplary sustainable construction projects from the global south and international initiatives, discussing the barriers and opportunities inherent in sustainable construction within informal urban contexts, demonstrating the scalability of sustainable construction projects for marginalized urban populations, and evaluating the current global landscape to advocate for necessary changes to transform construction practices for underserved urban communities.

The webinar convenes decision-makers and municipal staff from cities worldwide seeking innovative urban solutions, technical professionals engaged in German and international development cooperation, as well as civil society representatives, academics, and other stakeholders committed to sustainable urban development.


Moderator: Lorenzo Kihlgren Grandi, Founding Director, City Diplomacy Lab


  • Sheela Patel, Founder and Director, SPARC
  • Alexandre Frediani, Principal Researcher, Human Settlements Group, IIED
  • Laura Lima, Head of Global Programmes, Cities Alliance

Watch the session recording on Youtube


GIZ-Cities Alliance webinar series 2024. Event 1: Sustainable construction in informal areas. Flyer
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