U.S. and German Cities for Sustainable Urban Development: D4C
Dialogues for Change
Dialogues for Change (D4C) is an initiative of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), supported the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of International and Philanthropic Innovation. D4C grew out of the 2012 joint declaration between the German Government and HUD to support transatlantic learning on a variety of urban planning and development topics in support of a shared agenda for sustainable and integrated urban development. The U.S.–German cooperation is an international initiative of the German National Urban Development Policy.
GMF was selected to develop and manage D4C which focuses on connecting U.S. and German city leaders in an innovative and outcome-oriented city learning network. After an initial pilot year in 2012, there have been two cohorts of city networks under the D4C initiative which are described in greater detail below.
D4C 2.0 — 2013–2015
Between 2013 and 2015, D4C 2.0, which included Austin, Texas, Baltimore, Maryland, Flint, Michigan, Memphis, Tennessee in the United States and Bottrop, Leipzig, and Ludwigsburg in Germany, was designed to engage local leaders in U.S. and German cities on strengthening their civic engagement approaches, testing new ideas on active planning processes in their communities, and ultimately finding integrated solutions to complex urban development challenges.
D4C 3.0 — 2016–2018
D4C 3.0 continued to build on this successful model and developed a new transatlantic network of cross-sector participants to explore cross-cutting themes critical to successful project implementation. With integrated urban development as the primary focus, the programming focused on developing and strengthening cross-sector partnerships, both from a peer-to-peer scale as well as a local-to-federal scale, with the overall goal of leveraging these relationships to successfully implement catalytic urban sustainability priorities.
Dialogues for Change 3.0 was a project-based initiative consisting of a series of intensive, peer-to-peer dialogue-based workshops that were built on the participants’ professional experiences and the common experiences shared among a transatlantic group of leaders. Workshops were held alternately in the United States and Germany in the participating network cities. The process and outcome of D4C 3.0 contributed positively to the evolution of six projects that the city teams from Baltimore, MD; Charlotte, NC; Pittsburgh, PA; and Bottrop, Leipzig, and Karlsruhe were working on as part of the participation in the initiative.