Cities Programme

A wide ranging programme of work, encompassing multiple projects, designed to catalyse productive partnerships between UKGBC members and cities to drive forward the delivery of sustainable places.
Cities Programme


September 21, 2017


Policy & Advocacy




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Cities are where health, wealth and quality of life inequalities are most keenly felt. They are on the frontline of climate impacts, they are where we generate most waste and consume most resources. The buildings and infrastructure of our cities can contribute to these problems or they can provide solutions.

The Cities Programme was first launched in early 2017 following the UKGBC Sustainable Cities Leadership Summit. It brings together diverse but linked activities, all designed to support a single purpose: to unleash productive new partnerships between city policy makers and progressive businesses in the built environment sector which catalyse the delivery of genuinely sustainable places.

The Programme was established as a multi-year initiative, and is now in its second year. It is firmly aligned to UKGBC’s 10 Year Ambitions, and supports a number of organizational goals including:

  • Strengthening the relationship between industry and local government
  • Driving stretching sustainability standards and best practice in cities and on major projects
  • Developing active UKGBC local networks

Cities Programme cross-cutting objectives:

  • Develop policy & market solutions at the community/city scale
  • Advocate, communicate & build relationships
  • Embed solutions & nurture partnerships
  • Monitor progress & recognise leadership

For further information on our local networks in Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester, see here.


Sustainability standards in new homes

This is a crucial project, which is being run in association with Core Cities UK. Having consulted with over 30 UKGBC members and local authorities we will launch a series of recommendations and resources at an event on March 26 2018.

Measuring social value

A major new workstream, we are producing guidance for industry and local government on social value measurement in construction and property. Includes workshops in London, Manchester and Bristol. The outputs will be aligned to the new homes work – albeit apply across all sectors and building types – and will be launched in parallel on March 26 2018.

Retrofit-led regeneration

We have now completed a long-standing task group examining how retrofit can be used as a catalyst for regenerating low income areas. Follow up work has begun, with roundtables being planned for early 2018 with target city-regions. This will bring together local authorities and key stakeholders to discuss piloting finance and delivery innovations.

Mayoral roundtables 

We are in the process of delivering private roundtables with the mayors of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Greater Manchester and the West of England.


Relevant work in recent years includes:

  • Birmingham Summit: A partnership with Birmingham City Council saw us take a process of ‘breakthrough innovation’ to the city, working with stakeholders to tackle some of the city’s key built environment challenges and co-create solutions.
  • Manchester Summit: UKGBC’s inaugural City Summit was a collaborative policy-making and education exercise with Manchester City Council, designed to inform the city’s long term city strategy.

With thanks to our programme partners

  • british_land
  • Artboard-58
  • gva
  • rockwool