A busy street in Istanbul, Turkey. © Alex Berger/CC BY-NC 2.0
In 1900, London was the only city in the world with a population over 5 million. Today there are more than 70 cities with at least as many people—and the world’s urban population is growing quickly, particularly in emerging markets.
With more than 80 percent of global economic output generated in cities, the speed and scale of urbanization brings both opportunities and challenges, including accelerated demand for affordable housing, well-connected transport systems, other municipal infrastructure services, and jobs.
IFC is uniquely positioned to help mayors and municipal leaders meet these demands. Through our Cities Initiative we have forged strategic partnerships with cities around the world in which we take a holistic view of needs and offer solutions in urban transportation, water and waste management, street lighting, affordable housing, energy efficiency, and climate resilience.
Drawing on our global network, IFC can mobilize commercial financing for priority projects, connect cities with capital markets, and help improve credit-worthiness through financial management training. IFC also offers expertise in sustainability—including environmental and social best practices—and can advise on technology and business model selection across multiple sectors.
Our goal is to support mayors and municipal leaders in their quest to build inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities that “work,” open new markets, and create opportunities for all. Learn how we can help.