CDIA Good Practice Laboratory

CDIA aims to implement strategic choices envisaged to provide knowledge and innovation support to stakeholders, most particularly the cities.


One of the ways for CDIA to fully carry out its mission is to be a catalyst for innovation in bridging the institutional gap on sustainable urban infrastructure investments.

To make information and inspiration more accessible, and spread knowledge about good practices, CDIA started in 2013 a concept of establishing Centers of Learning, which we defined as “cities which can provide inspirational examples in preparing infrastructure investment projects and in securing financing for these through innovative ways.”

While we originally wanted to motivate a couple of cities to present and transfer their own experiences and be themselves centers of learning, the concept has evolved to become a “Good Practice Laboratory.”

The change in praxis was brought about by the fact that although cities might have good experiences which could be worth sharing with others, it is never their priority to establish an educational institution. The cities CDIA is working with are not development agencies, instead they want to develop themselves and learn from others. Only more advanced cities define goals to provide knowledge and experience to other cities in order to inspire them to adapt some good ideas. One of these cities is Singapore, already a long term partner of CDIA, which has always been open to organize good practice seminars. Jointly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we organize every year a one week seminar dubbed, “Effective Urban Infrastructure Programming” with lectures and site visits to infrastructure operators and projects. We are very thankful for this collaboration which already benefited many cities.

The more flexible Laboratory approach does not limit us on specific places. Good Practice Laboratories can be organized according to specific topics and needs in places where we find the good practices which CDIA and our partners are looking for. Learning in the laboratory approach means to learn from each other and not only in a one way direction.



Study Visits
Elected officials and technical staff of local authorities acquire knowledge and skills in the best possible manner through experiential learning. It is when they visit actual projects and are able to exchange ideas in person to other elected officials and technical staff that creative ideas could be born. Based on good practice experiences, city representatives estimate and influence the feasibility of similar projects and/or finding more innovative project concepts.

Participation in Global Events
Cities can present their case studies in national and international events, through CDIA and 3rd party sponsorships.

Cities get linked to the activities of other CDIA partners and to national associations.

Integration with CDIA National Partner Organizations (NPO)

CDIA is cooperating with National Partner Organizations in many countries. These organizations have usually important functions for planning and financing infrastructure. Cities can be connected with CDIA NPOs and benefit from different services like training courses or even specific project development services.

Hosting a Good Practice Laboratory
CDIA always appreciates inviting cities with good practice examples regarding investments in water supply, drainage systems, waste water management, solid waste management, good public transport systems and other infrastructures. To host a regional and international CDIA event also means gaining public attention for important urban issues.



2014 WORKSHOP: Strengthening City-to-City Learning

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