Local and Urban Development

Cities drive the economic performance of nations and the pace of development around the world. Magnets for people, business, and hubs for innovation, cities are home to more than half the world’s population now and will be home to two-thirds of the world’s population by 2050. The world’s most pressing problems—including inadequate and overburdened housing and infrastructure systems, increasing demand for food, water, and energy, escalating vulnerability to environmental and health threats—increasingly require creative and inclusive urban solutions.

We believe that developing cities need interdisciplinary solutions. Cities present urgent and complex needs but are also the most dynamic environments in which to address them. At SDA, we believe making cities work for everyone will require that cities learn and evolve. We work with diverse urban actors to help cities define purposeful goals and plans, identify challenges, collaborate through global networks and partnerships, experiment with potential solutions, and adapt to change continuously.

We bring skills and tools across sectors to support inclusive and resilient urban growth.

Our Expertise:

    • Strategy, planning, & design. We help cities and urban actors define both long-term visions and near-term plans for inclusive and resilient urban growth. We map market dynamics, underlying barriers, and opportunities to design programs and incentives that transform local markets.

    • Results-based management. We support the design and implementation of results-based management systems, which allow proper monitoring and course correction on the strategic plan defined. This includes the definition of performance indicators and targets, building consensus around results agreement with public officials and transparent reporting of outputs and outcomes.

    • Analysis & experimentation. We work alongside clients and partners to identify and prioritize new customer segments and innovative solutions that promote shared prosperity. We bring an arsenal of rigorous analytical techniques, including competitive product space analysis, systems analysis, capital advisory and financial analysis, network and asset mapping, and human-centered design.

    • Evaluation & partnership-building. We assess the efficiency and effectiveness of existing programs and initiatives in order to identify strategic opportunities to enact lasting, positive change. We engage with initiatives at all stages of their development, often facilitating and developing knowledge-sharing partnerships and networks with experts and leaders of global cities.