Cities Investment Facility (CIF) Progress Report, Quarter 1, 2021

Monday, 19 April, 2021

Cities Investment Facility (CIF) Progress Report, Quarter 1, 2021

by Cities Investment Facility (CIF) | April 2021

Key Milestones achieved since WUF 10 (March 2021 Report)​

  1. Building the Cities Investment Facility (CIF)
    • The CIF Concept Note was formally reviewed by a selection of high-level executives from international banks and asset managers in a joint workshop held by IBM and UN-Habitat in April 2020. Following this workshop CIF strengthened its project documentation, working with partners to develop a detailed proposal for the Cities Investment Advisory Platform (CIAP) and the Cities Investment Portal (CIP). In June 2020, CIF was presented to the UN-Habitat Executive Director, UN-Habitat Executive Board and later to all UN-Habitat colleagues at a well-attended brownbag.
    • The success of the brownbag led CIF to create a network of focal points from each regional office and division of UN-Habitat. This has enabled CIF to work closely with the whole house and remain relevant to a diverse range of urban challenges.
    • Having undergone all preparatory stages, CIF was approved by the UN-Habitat’s Pre-Project Review Committee (PRC) in September 2020.
  2. Cities Investment Portal (CIP)
    • The Cities Investment Portal (CI Portal) is an online marketplace that allows city officials to reach out to a global audience of investors, bringing together a community of stakeholders at the ideation stage. The Portal displays information about available projects, hosts a grant platform, and a knowledge hub. It was developed at the BETA phase (available here: in preparation for the Tenth World Urban Forum (WUF10) by Think City. It currently presents project information for the top 37 projects which applied to the pre-WUF10 October CIP open call.
    • CIP achievements/innovative approaches since WUF 10:
      • Addition of a “Project Origination Form” to give project promoters the option to make submissions directly to UN-Habitat via the website, as well as to illustrate one of the functionalities of the CI Portal.
      • Plan to integrate this form with the SDG Project Assessment Tool online (lite version) developed by the UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab, in order to assess better the infrastructure project’s alignment with the SDGs.
      • Present case studies from UN-Habitat’s ongoing project preparation work in the area of climate financing, in order to exemplify the impact that UN-Habitat and its partners can create in project preparation and pre-feasibility support.
      • Received feedback from prospective donors, project promoters and investors, and is constantly undergoing updates and changes.
  3. CIF Dashboard
    • The CIF Dashboard was developed using Microsoft Power BI and is embedded in the Microsoft Teams site of CIF. The Dashboard was developed, using the data from the CI Portal, to allow UN-Habitat personnel to have at-a-glance overview of CIF and its projects/ impact across various sectors and geographies.
  4. CIF Branding
    • In light of the growth of CIF and its multiple online presences, the CIF team developed a branding scheme for the Cities Investment Facility and its sub-elements (CI Portal, CIAP, and CI Vehicles). The branding scheme is made up of the three Sustainable Development Goals targeted by CIF: SDG 9 (yellow), SDG 11 (orange) and SDG 17 (dark blue). Each sub-brand retains the “C” shape identifying itself as one part of a whole.
  5. CIF onboarding of Implementing Partners
    • In conjunction with the consolidation process of CIF, the team undertook a formal procurement process to identify and onboard Implementing Partners. Nineteen expressions of interest were received for the three streams of CIF. Of these nineteen, CIF has proceeded in discussions and the construction of MoUs with five (see page 12 for further information).
  6. Urban Finance Masterclass/Webinar Series
    • UN-Habitat partners Think City and Global Development Incubator have held a series of Urban Finance Webinars targeting local government officials. The successful webinar series has led to a discussion on how to create an Urban Finance Masterclass – an online course with a set curriculum, expert lecturers, and an end of course certification. This masterclass will sit alongside the CIF with possibilities of closer integration at a later stage.
  7. CIF Open Call for Urban Development Projects 2021
    • CIF launched an internal open call for Urban Development Projects between 17th February and 15th March 2021. Forty-four project submissions were received, covering different geographical regions and various UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Download the attached PDF to read the full progress report

The Cities Investment Facility strives to unlock significant capital flows to inclusive sustainable urbanization projects. Through three multi-stakeholder instruments – The Cities Investment Portal (CI Portal)The Cities Investment Advisory Platform (CIAP), The Cities Investment Vehicles (CI Vehicles), CIF provides comprehensive support to urbanization projects in the processes of pre-feasibility, SDG profiling, and financing.