Frequently Asked Questions

General information

use (urban sustainability exchange) is a knowledge exchange platform dedicated to sustainable city making. use connects city makers and encourages the exchange of ideas and experiences to effect positive sustainable change.

Through the platform, you can search for case studies and connect with a global community of urban practitioners, municipal employees, academic and researchers from around the world to learn from their experiences.

The search tool will help you find information on the platform. In the search fields, you can enter keywords or use the platform's tagging system to find both case studies and community members. The search tool aims at reflecting the integrated approach of projects and gives you the option to select one or more tags (e.g. topics, SDGs, awards, regions). You can, for example, look for a project dedicated to children and youth in South America using public participation as a method of engagement.

Everyone can access all case study content and profiles of registered members. Registered users have the additional option to contribute their own case studies, upload a personal profile and directly contact other registered users via a messaging system. Community members are mostly comprised of urban practitioners, civil servants, municipal employees, researchers and academics who have some experience or interest in urban issues.

use partners with institutions and organizations who are committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs at local government level.

To register as a community member, you can sign up and create your own profile in less than 10 minutes. Both individual and organizations can sign up here and join the use community.

The platform was launched in 2014 as a Metropolis Initiative led and co-founded by the City of Berlin. It is operated by the Berlin Senate Chancellery. Learn more in the About us section.

Metropolis, the World Association of the Major Metropolises, is a leading international organization that brings together 139 cities and metropolitan regions whose populations exceed one million inhabitants. To learn more about Metropolis, visit their website ( or view a map of all Metropolis member cities.

Community members

Registering as a community member will provide you with many benefits:

  • a public profile showcasing your personal expertise and experience.
  • you can contribute case studies to the platform and gain further international exposure for your projects.
  • you can further promote your project by sending requests to and receiving them from other community members using the platform’s messaging system.
  • you can save considerable time when researching urban good practices.

The registration process involves two stages:

  • create an account on the platform. Click here, enter your email address and choose a password. Once you have clicked on "sign up", you will receive a message with a confirmation link to your personal email address. You then click on the link to confirm the creation of your account.
  • log in to the platform with your email address and password and go to the "my profile" section. There you can access the form where you can outline your expertise and experience. Your profile will then be reviewed and approved by the platform administrator, usually within 24 hours.

Once your profile has been activated, you will receive notification by email. You can edit your profile at any time.

Case studies

Case studies provide specific information on a project/programme/policy or strategy. Every case study follows the same structure, which makes it simple to compare and extract knowledge. Moreover, most case studies include a local contact person, who can provide you with additional information to help you implement a similar project in your city.

Case studies are uploaded by community members who are registered on the platform and want to share their projects with a broader international audience. Organisations and institutions (including Urban Awards) we partner with also share case studies and they are promoted on the platform.

Case 1: The project is run by the city

The project is innovative, and other cities can learn something from it. Moreover, the project is not too specific to its local context and could be replicated in other cities. The project concerns a sizeable city (usually more than 100,000 inhabitants).

Case 2: The city is involved as a partner

The role of the city needs to be explained in the case study. The project should serve the interests of the city and take place at city (or metropolitan) level.

Registered users whose profile has been approved can submit new case studies for publication. Once your expert profile has been activated by our community management and made public on the platform, you can complete the online submission form for new case studies. After submitting a case study the community manager will first check it on formal grounds, such as word limit, legibility, academic style, etc. If major changes are required, we might contact you again and work with you on a revision. As soon as your case study has been approved and made public, you will receive a message.

After submitting a case study, the community manager will review it for word limit, legibility, academic style, etc. If major changes are required, we will contact you again and work with you on revisions. As soon as your case study has been approved and made public, you will receive a message via email.

The contact person has some involvement with the project, either in field experience and/or in an administrative role. The contact person is responsible for answering questions from community members and can update the case study with additional information if and when it becomes available.

When submitting a case study on the platform, you can choose to be publicly listed as a contact person or not.

If you have a question that is not listed, use this e-mail adress and we will respond to you within 48 hours.