Impact Investment


Impact investors have a dual investment aim by striving for financial returns and social returns simultaneously. Unlike financial investors that are only interested in achieving social impacts in case they pay off in economic terms, impact investors are willing to sacrifice part of their financial return for the sake of promoting social objectives (e.g. alleviating social injustice, poverty or climate change). However, unlike philanthropic investors (e.g. charities, non-governmental organizations) who only aim at maximizing social objectives, impact investors also strive for moderate financial returns (as e.g. in ethical investments).

Due to the dual investment objectives, impact investors in person combine characteristics of financial investors and philanthropic investors. As an alternative, it is also possible to institutionalize impact investments in a sustainable fund model, where interests of private investors (as financial investors) and public investors (as philanthropic investors) are merged into an impact fund (e.g. an Urban Development Fund).


Nadler, M./Nadler, C. (2019): Financial engineering instruments for sustainable urban development – introducing an impact analysis for innovative urban policies, in: International Journal of Real Estate and Land Planning 2, 74-83.

Nadler, C./Nadler, M. (2017): Promoting investment in sustainable urban development with JESSICA: Outcomes of a new EU policy initiative, in: Urban Studies. DOI:

Kreuz, C./Nadler, M. (2011): Stadtentwicklungsfonds in Deutschland – ExWoSt-Forschungsfeld, Hrsg. BBR/BMVBS, Bonn, Berlin 2011.

Kreuz, C./Nadler, M. (2010): JESSICA – UDF Typologies and Governance Structures in the context of JESSICA implementation, Luxemburg 2010.

Kreuz, C./Nadler, M. (2009): Einführung von Stadtentwicklungsfonds in Deutschland, ExWoSt-Heft Nr. 1, Hrsg. BBR/BMVBS, Bonn, Berlin 2009.

Kreuz, C./Nadler, M. (2009): Umsetzung der EU-Initiative JESSICA und internationaler Best-Practice-Vergleich zu neuen Finanzierungsformen in der Stadtentwicklung, Hrsg. BBR/BMVBS, Bonn, Berlin 2009.

Kreuz, C./Nadler, M. (2008): Urban Development Funds in Europe – Ideas for implementing the JESSICA Initia­tive – Report for the Marseille meeting of EU Urban Policy Ministers – 25.11.2008.



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