(C) flickr / Mike Boening
Urban Nexus

Urban Nexus // Operationalizing the Urban Nexus: Increasing the Productivity of Cities and Urbanized Nations

By Kathrine Brekke and Jeb Brugmann. In 2014, GIZ and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability published a report, Operationalizing the Urban NEXUS: Towards resource-efficient and integrated cities and metropolitan regions. This study represents the first concerted effort to apply the Nexus concept to cities and urban regions specifically, encouraging new modes of planning and action across institutions, policy arenas and asset operations at the scale of socio-economic organization that is becoming most dominant worldwide: the urban or metropolitan region. The remainder of this articles condenses key points from the full GIZ-ICLEI report.


Kathrine Brekke is the Urban Research Officer in charge of maintaining and developing the research management activities at the ICLEI World Secretariat. She has a background in economics and development studies and Mastered in urban governance. She has coordinated various international research projects and a case study series on renewable energy policies in cities, and coordinated a study including two pilot projects on the Urban Nexus approach.

Jeb Brugmann is a strategist and innovation process expert for business, government and the nonprofit sector. He has been internationally recognized for his contributions to the establishment of the fields of urban sustainability planning, local climate action planning and “base of the pyramid” business development. He has worked with municipalities in twenty-eight countries and with a range of corporate clients to design award-winning products, new business ventures, programmes and policies. In 1989–1990 Jeb founded ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the largest international association of local governments. He served as ICLEI’s Secretary General from 1991 to 2000.




The Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus: Challenges and an agenda for action. Edited by Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram. London, New York 2016, pp. 105-116

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Peace and conflict

Project // Improving Security and Climate Resilience in a fragile Context through the Water-Energy and Food Security Nexus (Frexus)

The Frexus project fosters cross-sectoral and integrated approaches in resource management, within local communities in Mali, Niger and Chad that are faced with the consequences of resource scarcity and climate change. The vicious cycle of resource scarcity, competition, conflict and instability currently challenging many communities, can be turned into a virtuous cycle of resilience, sustainable resources management, cooperation and security. Frexus (Nexus in Fragile contexts) aims at providing...

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Pocket Flyer // Water, Energy and Food for All A Nexus Approach

The 2017 BMZ Water Strategy, with its six intersectoral strategies, is a binding basis for German Development Cooperation and integrates cross-sectoral thinking for economically sustainable, integrated and climatefriendly development. The Water, Agriculture and Energy Nexus is one of six intersectoral strategies, highlighting the need to achieve water, energy and food security for well-being.

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Publication // What-If: An Open-Source Decision Support Tool for Water Infrastructure Investment Planning within the Water–Energy–Food–Climate Nexus

By Raphaël Payet-Burin, Mikkel Kromann, Silvio Pereira-Cardenal, Kenneth Marc Strzepek and Peter Bauer-Gottwein. This paper presents a new open-source hydro-economic optimization model, incorporating in a holistic framework, representations of the water, agriculture, and power systems. The model represents the joint development of Nexus related infrastructure and policies and evaluates their economic impact, as well as the risks linked to uncertainties in future climate and socio-economic...

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