Sustainable Towns and Cities

Communities want sustainable solutions. We help councils deliver.

Ashden helps UK local authorities and others turn climate ambition into climate action – lowering emissions while creating co-benefits including better health, new jobs, social equality, decent housing and resilient communities.

Councils across the UK want to tackle climate change – and also create fairer, happier communities. We help authorities work with residents to solve both challenges at once. Then we share the lessons at lightning speed, so more communities can benefit.

The result? Engaged citizens, reduced inequality, and a bigger, bolder, people-powered response to the climate crisis.

Tools for councils

Climate Action Co-Benefits Toolkit

We start by helping councils unlock funding with a business case built on the co-benefits of climate action – such as new jobs and better health. Our Climate Action Co-Benefits Toolkit includes local data, inspirational case studies and powerful videos.


31 Climate Actions for Councils

Every community is different – so councils need a range of effective, targeted interventions to choose from. That’s why Ashden, Friends of the Earth and CDP have created an evidence-based list of 31 Climate Actions for authorities of any size. Each action is quantified in terms of carbon savings, cost and the co-benefits, with links to best practice examples.

Further resources for councils

Find more practical advice, tools and short videos (all in bite-size portions) to help local authorities and those they work with reach their zero carbon goals.

Learning hubs, networks and other projects

We also know strong networks are essential for turning bold plans into real-world change. That’s why we’ve created a host of programmes and projects linking councils, climate innovators and local communities. With demand for ‘shovel-ready’ sustainability projects greater than ever, our networks connect policymakers and funders with inspiring examples of proven success.

Local Authority Learning Hubs

In three regions of the UK, Ashden is helping local authorities work together to drive down emissions and create happier, healthier communities. Each of the three hubs has a different focus, chosen based on feedback from the region’s local authorities. 

City Region Networks

Ashden’s City-Region Network is a unique resource for climate and sustainability leads from England’s city regions and combined authorities. Its regular workshops allow senior officers to share learning, collaborate, and speed up climate action across the country.

North of Tyne

We’re working with councils in the North of Tyne to create a new way of developing policies. Using creative tools, we’re helping unlock a new policy development methodology that delivers climate action and powerful community benefits. 

Our approach

Our work in the UK is powered by our network of UK climate innovators – identified through the annual Ashden Awards. We help these organisations boost their impact with regular events, peer learning and informal introductions, and connect them with new partners in the climate sector and beyond. Our support includes webinars, regional masterclasses and hubs to share and showcase best practice.

We are at the heart of partnerships supporting local authorities in their climate ambitions. For example, we are part of a new local action coalition of local government, research and environmental organisations. Together we have set out a blueprint for how the Government can accelerate climate action and build a green recovery from coronavirus at the local level.

Our city-region sustainability network helps England’s city regions and combined authorities tackle the climate emergency – taking on pressing challenges like the green recovery from coronavirus. And we’re setting up regional sustainability hubs in London and the South West and North East of England. These will enable local authorities to share best practice and learn from each other.

But councils can’t make progress without public support. That’s why we’ve worked with National Lottery Community Fund on a new citizen engagement chapter for our Climate Action Co-benefits Toolkit. And in North of Tyne, we’re exploring how communities can unite behind climate action.


The path to a green recovery

UK Climate Champions

Supported by

This site uses cookies to provide you with the best user experience. By using the Ashden website, you accept our use of cookies.

Stay up to date

Be the first to know about our latest projects and news