Coalition for Sustainable Cities & Regions

Mission Statement

  • Drawing on an expert- and practitioner-led process, the Communitas Coalition seeks to:
  • (1) Advance sustainable urbanization as a key component of the future UN Development Agenda, its Goals, tools, means of implementation and partnerships;
  • (2) Contribute to the technical development of an urban Goal with targets related to the economic, social, environmental, spatial and cultural dimensions of sustainable development and a basket of relevant indicators;
  • (3) Ensure the presence, as appropriate, of an urban dimension in the final set of SDGs.

  • On the one hand, Communitas provides expert- and practitioner-led technical input into the UN intergovernmental process. On the other, it gathers a wide multi-stakeholder coalition of organizations keen on advancing sustainable urbanization as a key component of the new UN Development Agenda, particularly in the horizon of Habitat III in 2016.

Advisory Committee

Management Board

  • Mr. Allen White, Vice President & Senior Fellow, Tellus Institute
  • Mr. Gino van Begin, Secretary-General, ICLEI
  • Ms. Marta Subira, Director-General for Environmental Policy, Catalonia - co-Chair North, nrg4SD
  • Mr. Rafael Tuts, Coordinator, Urban Planning & Design, UN-Habitat
  • Mr. Don Chen, Senior Program Officer, Ford Foundation

Communitas Secretariat

Maruxa Cardama, Executive Project Coordinator

email: mcardama (at)

Maruxa serves as Executive Project Coordinator to Communitas. Previously, she ran nrg4SD (Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development) for two and a half years. With Maruxa at the helm, nrg4SD co-facilitated the engagement of subnational and local authorities at the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.

From 2004 to late 2010, Maruxa served as Deputy Director for the representation of the South West of England to the European Union (EU). She led partnership efforts on EU sustainable development policy, including between regional authorities, academia and the private sector. Earlier, Maruxa was Sustainable Development and Institutional Affairs Officer in the EU representation of the Spanish region of Galicia and started her career in the EU Committee of the Regions. Maruxa has also worked as Expert on Governance and Public Administration Reform for the Government of Romania and the British Council. She has lectured in capacity building programs run by the Assembly of European Regions, the College of Europe of Bruges, the Institute of Political Studies of Paris Sciences Po and the French EU Presidency.

Maruxa holds an LL.B from the University of La Coruña in Spain, an LL.M. in European Law from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and an MA in Management of Cooperation Projects from the Organisation of Ibero American States. She has also undertaken International Relations courses at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. Maruxa is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish; she has professional working proficiency in German and Italian and follows elementary studies of Arabic and Chinese.

James Goldstein, Research Director

email: jgold (at)

James Goldstein is the Research Director at Communitas. He oversees work groups and expert-led research on sustainable cities. James is Senior Fellow at Tellus Institute, where he directs the Sustainable Communities Program. His research centers on the development of analytic methods and stakeholder processes in support of community-based initiatives to integrate environmental protection, economic development, and social well-being.

James has over thirty years of experience in the assessment of environmental problems and policies, with a particular emphasis on pollution prevention, solid waste management, and integrated resource planning for water. The current focus of his work is the incorporation of a global perspective in designing local and regional sustainability efforts.

James' projects at Tellus have included: preparation of a white paper on Sustainable Communities and the Great Transition; development of long-range sustainability scenarios for the Boston metropolitan area; assessment of the potential employment and environmental impacts of enhanced recycling in the US; analysis of the costs and benefits of greening affordable housing; expert consultation on long-range integrated resource planning for water, wastewater and stormwater; and development of a regional climate adaptation strategy. He presents widely on a range of environmental and sustainability issues and holds a B.A. in Geography from Clark University.

Matthew Boms, Communications Manager

email: matt (at)

Matthew oversees the coalition's overall communications strategy. Previously, he served as Community Engagement Manager for CodeNow, a New York-based nonprofit teaching computer code to underrepresented high school youth. Matthew has also conducted extensive research across primary schools in Northwest Argentina. His work has illuminated some of the complex relationships between physical infrastructure, social norms and educational capabilities in underserved schools. He has consulted regional governments on technology investments for education.

Prior, Matthew produced U.N. outreach at Stakeholder Forum, bolstering the now-defunct UN-CSD and leading several print, radio and video projects featuring stakeholders of all backgrounds. During this time, he also conducted socio-financial research for Usura Cero, Nicaragua's national microfinance program. His research highlighted some of the differentiated characteristics of successful versus failed microcredit.

Matthew is currently based in New York City. He holds an MSc in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics and a BA in Development Studies from Hampshire College. He is fluent in both English and Spanish.

Felix Dodds, Special Adviser

email: felix (at)

Felix Dodds is a Fellow at the Global Research Institute at University of North Carolina and an Associate Fellow at Tellus Institute. He served notably as Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future (1992-2012). He played a significant role in the UN Rio+20 Conference and has been active at the UN since 1990, contributing to key meetings on sustainable development.

In 2011, Felix chaired the UN DPI NGO 64th Conference on Sustainable Societies - Responsive Citizens. He also co-chaired the UN Commission on Sustainable Development NGO Steering Committee (1997-2001).

Felix has written/edited nine books, his latest being Only One Earth: The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development. Felix writes occasionally for the BBC Green Room, Outreach, and Network 2012. He has been an adviser on the UK, Danish and European Union delegations for meetings on environment.

Felix once chaired the UK's National League of Young Liberals and was a member of the Liberal Party Council and Policy Panel on Defence. He holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Surrey.

"There is hardly anyone who knows the international sustainable development scene better than Felix Dodds. A lot of the progress that has been achieved over the past twenty years could not have been achieved without his engagement and input."
-Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency