How the CI Portal Works

Submit a Project

The Cities Investment Facility (CIF) invites you to submit investable urban development projects to join the CIF pipeline.
The application process is currently closed. Please register your details below to be notified as soon as applications are open. Stay tuned for updates and review the questionnaire in advance.

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Project Promoters

The Cities Investment Facility (CIF) invites governments and urban project developers to submit investable urban development projects to join the CIF pipeline.

Criteria for Projects

In order to be considered, the submitted projects should:

Have undergone preliminary scoping and preparation supported by business case, project management plan, and a demand study.
Be clearly connected with an existing urban master plan or broader development strategy for the municipality.
Present evidence of government support for the project (at the national and/or regional levels).
Align with at least one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Please note that priority will be given to projects that:

Project construction exceeds USD$20 million (per project or aggregated project package).
Align with UN-Habitat’s existing geographical footprint.
Showcase a strong level of preparation (for e.g. progressed with relevant statutory approvals, environmental and social impact assessments), investability, and investor-orientation, with clear risk and financial considerations.
Operate in the following priority areas: Affordable Housing, Energy, Roads and Bridges, Informal Settlements Upgrading, Transport and Mobility, Urban Infill and Public Space, Waste Management, and Water and Sanitation.
Can be integrated with the Global Urban Monitoring Framework and SDG Cities Flagship.
Copyright © UN-Habitat | Copyright © UN-Habitat | Julius Mwelu


Based on the diversity of projects and the expectations of CIF regarding its portfolio, the projects submitted to the Cities Investment Facility are categorised based on the following tracks that were established.

Includes those projects that have completed feasibility studies with sound business cases, clear structure and support from government.

Includes those projects in the early stages (concept or pre-feasibility) that have preliminary information, compelling cases and government co-financing.

Includes those projects that are in the early stages, have a compelling case and impact which needs to be well developed. These projects need substantial input from a funding and technical perspective.

Includes those projects that are either: at the ideation stage with no documentation; or do not have any funding commitment from government; or are nor in an aligned sustainable urban development sector.

Those projects under Track 1 and 2 are uploaded on the CI Portal upon further engagement to verify information and address data gaps. Track 1 projects showing the highest potential to reach the stage of implementation will achieve a Proof of Concept (PoC) to be presented in high-level interactive environments to private and commercial investors at World/Regional Urban Forums.

Please consider that those projects under Track 3 and 4 do not meet all or some of the assessment criteria. Therefore, these projects receive feedback and a checklist from the Cities Investment Advisory Platform to help in addressing the identified gaps.

What are the Benefits?

If successful through the application process to enter the CIF pipeline, your project will be supported by UN-Habitat and its Private Partners. Some of the benefits primarily include, but are not limited to the following:

Gain exposure to multiple development communities and investors via the platform and potential showcasing at World/Regional Urban Forums.
Have the opportunity to refine and turn existing projects into investable investments.
Receive feedback and support from experts, and practitioners through the CI Advisory Platform.
Have the opportunity to receive funding for project implementation.
Engage at a high level with international organisations.
Copyright © UN-Habitat | Copyright © UN-Habitat | Julius Mwelu

Frequently Asked Questions

There is no definitive timeline for all the projects, as the progression dates of projects in Tracks through 1 to 4 can vary greatly. The CIF Team will update the project promoters when they progress through the pipeline.

The CIF Team has a Project Selection Committee comprised of members from the CIF Secretariat, and CIF implementing partners that analyse the projects who apply and categorise them from Track 1 to Track 4, depending on the project details and current feasibility work. Services received will vary depending on which track your project is placed in, to ensure CIF support is contextual to the needs of your project. For example, if your project is placed in Track 2, the project is in the early stages (concept or pre-feasibility) with preliminary information, compelling cases and government co-financing. Our CIF implementing partners accommodate their services to the information provided and support project preparation towards financial close.

We endeavour to accept projects from all sectors. In the past, we’ve typically seen applications from these sectors; water management, transport, energy, affordable housing, roads & bridges, urban infill and many more. But we welcome any project that endeavours to address one or multiple Sustainable Development Goals for people living in urban cities and settlements.

Whilst benefits can vary depending on the allocated track of your project, here is a list of some of the benefits that projects receive during their relationship with CIF; assistance with financial modelling, technical project assessment, permit/licenses/rights of way identified and implemented, drafting and implementation of environmental & social impact assessment, production of viability grant funding applications and more. If your project is in need of greater assistance prior to these services, CIF implementing partners will provide feedback, checklists and service provider lists.

Successfully selected projects will require a one-off registration fee per project to upload their respective project information onto the Cities Investment Portal. There is also a subsequent annual maintenance fee. However, projects who sign up in the first year of the CI Portal’s operations will only require a 50% discounted one-off registration and annual maintenance fee per project.

CI Advisory Platform services will require some additional costs for project preparation and bankability advisory work and will vary from project to project. Projects coming from Least and Less Developed Countries (LLDC) that may not be able to afford this fee can potentially have it subsidised through other external or CIF-generated capital flows (e.g. deal flow fees, grants).

The CIF Secretariat is the mediating party between urban infrastructure projects and CIF Implementing Partners who provide the professional services to develop your projects. Think City is responsible for the first component of CIF called the Cities Investment Portal. It is responsible for the website design, marketing and are the first introduction to CIF. The Cities Investment Advisory Platform are the second component to CIF and is run by Gensler, Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC), Smart Cities Network (SCN) and South Pole, who conduct concept to mid-stage preparation of projects. The final component of CIF is the Cities Investment Vehicles who are responsible for mid to late-stage preparation of projects. The Emerging Markets Investment Fund (EMIF Group) is currently responsible for this section, along with Reall Group.

Access the Portal

CI Portal, a subscription-based platform connecting investors with sustainable city projects. Building a more resilient and liveable urban future.