NCE Coalition for Urban Transitions: National Policy workstream

New Climate Economy

The Coalition for Urban Transitions is a Special Initiative of the New Climate Economy (NCE). LSE Cities co-leads research into national policy tools available to facilitate more compact and connected urban growth in collaboration with the OECD.

The Coalition for Urban Transitions is an international initiative to support decision makers to meet the objective of unlocking the power of cities for enhanced national economic, social, and environmental performance, including reducing the risk of climate change. It is hosted by the World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, and jointly managed by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and WRI with a dedicated delivery team.

The Coalition will provide an independent, evidence based approach for thinking about how to transition towards compact, connected and coordinated (3C) cities to ensure that the growth of urban areas, and the accompanying process of economic, social, and environmental transformation, maximises benefits for people and the planet.

The Coalition is composed of leaders from think tanks, research institutions, city networks, international organisations, infrastructure providers, and strategic advisory companies.

LSE Cities has been co-leading the workstream on National Policy Levers alongside the OECD since 2016.  The workstream aims to answer how major national policy frameworks, instruments or innovations in rapidly urbanising regions could be used to scale up and shift national urban development towards more compact, connected, low carbon urban growth. While the OECD brings expertise on national housing policy to this work, LSE Cities is mainly focused on sustainable national transport policies.

Following an initial scoping phase, a first working paper was published in December 2017. Following this initial overview paper that looked at the status quo on integrating national transport and housing policies in ten case study countries, a DfiD grant enabled the continuation of the project in 2018.

In March 2019, LSE Cities published ‘National Transport Policy and Cities: Key policy interventions to drive compact and connected urban growth”. This paper provides a foundation for national transport policy-makers to begin pragmatic but ambitious conversations about actions they can take to make cities more accessible – either by leapfrogging car-centric development pathways, or by transitioning towards a more compact and connected future. It provides a global review of 189 national transport interventions and then presents results from a survey of experts that narrows down the top five most impactful policy interventions.

In April 2019, a new phase of research funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has started and will run until 2021. This new research phase will see LSE Cities collaborating closely with the OECD as well as other Coalition country partners in the case study countries of Mexico and China.  The project will run workshops with policy-makers in both countries to identify priority transport and housing reforms at the national level that can facilitate more compact and connected urban development and will produce two research papers between now and early 2021.

Note that Philipp Rode is also a member of the steering group designed to support the Coalition for Urban Transitions with strategic advice, technical expertise, and academic research.


Project Team

Research directors
Philipp Rode (LSE Cities)
Aziza Akhmouch (OECD)

Project coordinator
Catarina Heeckt (LSE Cities)

Nicole Badstuber (LSE Cities)
Nuno Ferreira da Cruz (LSE Cities)
Catarina Heeckt (LSE Cities)
Andrew Hoolachan (LSE Cities)
Corina Kwami (LSE Cities)
Matthew Ulterino
Katherine Maxwell 
Oscar Huerta Melchor (OECD)
Soo-Jin Kim (OECD)
Tadashi Matsumoto (OECD)





Research directors
Philipp Rode (LSE Cities)
Aziza Akhmouch (OECD)
Project coordinator
Catarina Heeckt
LSE Cities: Nicole Badstuber, Nuno Ferreira da Cruz, Catarina Heeckt, Andrew Hoolachan, Corina Kwami, Matthew Ulterino, Katherine Maxwell OECD: Oscar Huerta Melchor, Soo-Jin Kim, Tadashi Matsumoto
Research strand
Cities, environment and climate change