Basel to host the Global Infrastructure Basel Summit and C40 Finance Network meeting

A guest post by Basel Mayor Guy Morin

The City of Basel is looking forward to hosting the annual Global Infrastructure Basel Summit on 21-22 May 2014, and, as co-chair of the C40 Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network, a dedicated meeting for C40 cities. Both the Summit and the C40 meeting will provide opportunities for cities to discuss concrete solutions for financing sustainable infrastructure.

Global Infrastructure Basel Summit

Under the theme of ‘Mainstreaming Sustainability in Infrastructure Financing and Investment’, the Summit addresses high-level policy-makers from municipal governments, infrastructure project developers, investors, academics as well as technology providers. The summit kicks off with an interactive, participant-centred session using the Harvard Business School case study method to discuss key issues, best practices and useful tools and grading systems for financing sustainable infrastructure. High-level plenaries and roundtable sessions will explore concrete solutions such as the establishment of sustainable infrastructure as an asset class, and the removal of bottlenecks in early stage project financing. In addition, the Summit offers investment forums where project owners, including cities, can pitch their investment-ready projects to investors.

C40 Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network Meeting

As part of the activities of the Global Infrastructure Basel Summit, the C40 Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network is bringing together all C40 cities attending the Summit to:

  • Network between C40 city officials
  • Confirm the priorities of the C40 Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network
  • Share the key challenges and lessons of cities in infrastructure finance
  • Provide feedback on the outcomes and successes of the GIB Summit
  • Consider the issues cities want to work on together over the coming year

Basel: Expertise to Share

Sound financing mechanisms are key for a small city like Basel as well as for larger cities and megacities. Innovative financing mechanisms and policies make the co-benefits and opportunities of sustainability accessible to infrastructure investors – and citizens.

Basel’s infrastructure finance policy follows the costs-by-cause or “polluter liability” principle, which means that the initiator of pollution or emissions pays for the resulting damage or effects, leading to self-regulation. At the same time, Basel charges property owners when they receive benefits resulting from the city’s spatial planning measures. Each time the city adopts planning measures that have a positive impact on the value of a property, the owner has to deliver 50% of this added value. It is a win-win-situation: the owner retains half the added value, and the city and its people are compensated through contributions to a fund that by law must be used for creating or renewing green spaces.

In this way, the city is able to invest in sustainable infrastructure, and the financing system itself is also sustainable: private gains that have their origins in city measures are partly socialised and reinvested in common goods. This is economically, socially and ecologically sustainable – and the City of Basel is keen to share these experiences with other cities.

To find out more about the C40 meeting at the GIB Summit, or to register your city’s attendance at this meeting, please contact James Alexander, Director of the C40 Finance and Economic Development Initiative on

More information about the GIB Summit can be found here.