Program for Local and Urban Sustainability (PLUS): A Field Support Mechanism to Advance Integrated Urban Programming
The Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI) is pleased to announce that the new Program for Local and Urban Sustainability (PLUS), a global field support mechanism, is now available for Mission buy-in. The PLUS program provides a range of programming options that will help USAID partner countries develop more sustainable, equitable, healthy, and prosperous cities and will help USAID Missions achieve Climate Strategy targets, as well as governance, health, inclusive development, and other development objectives. PLUS draws on specialized, best-in-class expertise to catalyze action for five critical urban transformations:
- Advance Net-zero Systems
- Increase Urban Resilience
- Reduce Pollution and Waste
- Improve Local Governance and Equitable Access to Services
- Mainstream Inclusive Green Jobs
Rapid urbanization is one of the defining challenges and opportunities of this century, affecting multiple global crises including climate change, biodiversity loss, mass migration, pandemics, and corruption. Cities are responsible for over 70% of carbon dioxide emissions, and increasingly are encroaching on biodiversity hotspots and vital ecosystems that provide essential services like food and water to urban residents. Cities also generate 80% of global GDP, but these economic gains are rarely felt by the more than 1 billion people who live in informal urban settlements and often lack access to basic services.
This new mechanism will support USAID Missions to pursue programming in cities, peri-urban areas, and across urban-rural systems, including international, regional, national, and municipal levels, to strengthen the ability of communities and subnational governments to take action. Our approach is centered on strengthening local systems and communities with an emphasis on integration across sectors and development issues to improve local and planetary well-being.
PLUS has a $95 million ceiling that was designed to absorb multiple funding streams, and includes a grant facility (up to $18 million) to promote locally-led development. Any Mission or Operating Unit interested in buying in can reach out to the contact persons below.
Want to Learn More About How Urbanization Affects USAID Priorities?
In this 3-part podcast series, we explore the role sustainable and inclusive urbanization can play in addressing multiple USAID priorities like air quality, water resources, ocean plastics, gender equality, climate change, urban resilience, biodiversity, and economic growth. We bring together three leading urban experts to share their visionary voices on building greener, healthier, and more equitable cities around the world. In the 3-episodes, our experts discuss the past, present, and future of urbanization and international development. Lastly, we introduce the new PLUS mechanism described above as a tool for turning ideas into action on advancing integrated urban programming at USAID.
- Anne Guery, Chief Strategy Officer & Lead Scientist, Natural Capital Project
- Rogier Van Den Berg, Acting Global Director, World Resources Institute
- Joanna Lovecchio, Associate Director, Columbia University
Any questions concerning this announcement may be directed to: