Neither of these reports present the whole picture, but I would tend to trust the Economist report more, because of the variety of sources used (see below). © Copyright 2020 New Statesman Media Group Ltd. Industry leading data and analysis for the FDI community, Receive our newsletter - data-led analysis, original reporting and insights. In land use particularly, it achieves the best result, especially due to its strong policies to contain urban sprawl and protect green space. One method for measuring the sustainability of highways is to assess a program or project against existing best practices. We do tend to equate sustainability more with environmental factors than others. Notably, these initial studies show that larger cities have smaller carbon footprints than smaller cities. United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. These include energy-efficiency awareness programmes paid for by business and low-cost loans to property owners to fund green improvements. Percentage of city population with sustainable access to an improved water source; Percentage of population with access to improved sanitation; Total domestic water consumption per capita (litres/day). Perhaps the protocols for developing a city sustainability index should be on the agenda at the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris later this year. London was close to the global average, while Los Angeles had by far the largest, followed by Singapore, New York and Mexico City. In 2009 it became the first US city to require that all residents and businesses separate waste and compost material from normal trash. Vienna Institute for Urban Sustainability? Regional Plan Association? City of Jacksonville, US (Metropolitan area population 1.3m) Selection of indicators based on 15 criteria, meets nine objectives. The reduction of CO2 and other poisonous gases harmful to the ozone layer is perhaps the most significant measure of a cities environmental commitment. And a robust city sustainability index would benchmark where we are now and provide a measure of progress in the future. More than 20 global experts in urban environmental sustainability from the following organisations advised the EIU in developing the methodology for the Green City Indexes:? For the latest in smart city news, check out the new, By signing up to receive our newsletter, you agree to our, 11 experts predict what will shape smart cities in 2021, Leader of the Year: Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta, Industry leaders praise Buttigieg pick as transportation head, LA strives to lead nation in urban air mobility, Impact of traffic & congestion on urban mobility, Transforming Street and Sidewalk Management from a Liability into an Opportunity, Emerging Tech Gets Off the Ground Amid Pandemic Response. Existing guidelines for measuring cities. 13: 8: Koller (2006) 31 cities, SWZ (population over 20k). The Russian Arctic cities’ Soviet-era design gave them compact and dense population structures. For this purpose Brazil enacted a City Statute and implemented a Ministry of Cities in 2003 to direct urban planning and to make it more sustainable and inclusive. Above all, Copenhagen's standout attribute is consistency. Each city receives an overall Index ranking and a separate ranking for each individual category. Cities, countries and international bodies need to collaborate. But the emphasis on environmental factors arises because human welbeing ultimately depends on access to the resources that provide the fundamental necessities of life, and these resources must be treated in a way that … 5. Health, access to education, personal safety, good housing standards, employment opportunities and social inequality are all requirements of sustainability and most of these are measured. It is worth the bus rapid transit (BRT) was born as well as containing Brazil's first major pedestrian-only street. Winters are cold in Calgary and most people use cars to get around. The city has ambitious transport goals, with a target to have 70% of trips taken during the morning commute to be on public transport by 2020, up from 59% in 2008. In addition, the Danish capital aims to become the "world's best cycle city" by raising the share of residents who regularly use a bicycle to commute from 36% in 2009 to 50% by 2015. Berliners want to expropriate 250,000 homes. These metrics are still in the early stages of development. Sustainability indicators have a history that predates their application to the built environment. Since the city gained independence in 1965 the government has emphasised the importance of sustainability through holistic planning, high-density development and green-space conservation. For example, we have yet to agree upon standard protocols for the data used and methods employed. The city aims to achieve 10% of its CO2 reductions through construction and renovation projects, with plans to upgrade all municipal buildings to the highest standards for energy efficiency. Standards for SDGs – ISO and UN – 2018 «You can’tmanage . Singapore is the top performer in the Asian Green City Index and shows consistently strong results across all individual categories, a legacy of its history. Also provided are methodological suggestions that apply to the process of identifying and using sustainable development indicators. How green is your city? Most are capital cities, large population hubs and business centres, and were picked independently, rather than relying on requests from city governments to be included or excluded, in order to enhance each Index's credibility and comparability. The city appoints environmental coordinators for each administrative unit who meet regularly to exchange experiences. When the data are broken down by neighborhood, the biggest footprints are found in higher income areas where residents have larger homes and are more likely to have private cars. The city state, having a limited water supply, has installed as installed five water-reclamation plants, called NEWater factories, which treat wastewater through micro-filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet technology for reuse. Scholars suggest a variety of objectives. Here’s what stands in their way. Its intention was to create a unique tool that helps cities benchmark their performance and share best practices. (2007) 20 cities, UK (population over 300k). The ecological footprint measures how much land and water area a city requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes.. Ecological footprints are measured in global hectares (gha) per capital; the global average is around 2.6. Master’s Thesis E, 30 credits. 13: 8: Koller (2006) 31 cities, SWZ (population over 20k). Measuring urban form and compactness of these cities becomes more important for understanding the spatial urban structure to intervene accordingly for sustainable urban development. The future of cities: measuring sustainability The future of cities: measuring sustainability When we measure cities now, we are seeking to understand them in order to manage them better and to provide evidence of performance. Its environmental oversight is consistently strong and it has among the best environmental policies in the Index in each category. Measuring sustainability. Harvard University? The sustainability best practices included within INVEST go beyond the basic requirements. Written by. Sustainability rating systems list construction practices or features of a project that affect sustainability and measure the impact of these factors. what you don’tmeasure» «United for smart and sustainable cities» initiative. The Green City Index series uses approximately 30 indicators across eight to nine categories depending on the region. Another measure is a city’s carbon footprint, which is the total amount of greenhouse gases it produces. This is at the same time as accommodating population growth, promoting economic opportunity and safeguarding life for urban dwellers today and the generations to come. Yesterday I covered a newly published Cities in Motion index that claims to identify the most sustainable cities in the world and puts Tokyo and London at the top. Urban form characteristics and their indicators are derived for the study of Nagpur city, India. For example, the African Index includes indicators measuring access to electricity and potable water, and the percentage of people living in informal settlements. The remainder are qualitative assessments of the city's environmental policies – for example, the city's commitment to sourcing more renewable energy, traffic-congestion-reduction policies and air quality codes. bicycles, trains and electric buses) and household commitment to … Three of the 12 items on the participants’ list of recommendations called for more work on sustainability metrics: research into how households and firms make location decisions given preferences and financial constraints, evaluation methods for identifying policies that have successfully fostered affordable housing in location-efficient neighborhoods; and research into the performance and cost-effectiveness of residential green retrofits by building characteristics … Does AI have a role in smart city recruitment. World Bank. I would like to see further studies done refining this type of analysis. Whilst they may appear obvious, it is my opinion that sometimes when topics are so broad that they invite interpretations (such as the notion of sustainable cities) we can actually lose sight of what it is we are trying to achieve! Using sustainability as a metric generally means an expansion of the traditional business reporting framework to take into account social and environmental performance in addition to … Inter-American Development Bank? URBACT? Technical University Munich? In reading an article by John Short (2015) in City Metric, he identified 3 major environmental impacts that measure the sustainability level of cities. Cape Town, for example, has established a comprehensive Energy and Climate Change Action Plan to improve green performance in many of the eight categories. Cashion East This is the first article in a series that will explore in more detail the ins and outs of creating a sound, useful, and robust sustainability index for your organization. Summary The objective of this case study is to show how the City of Pully (Switzerland) has used the key performance indicators of the United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) to identify the city’s strengths, opportunities for development and challenges. The European Union's sustainable towns and cities program built around the Aalborg process is predicated upon monitoring. 3 . The footprint of London stands at 4.5, slightly lower than the UK average of 4.6: more people in London use public transport than almost any other city in the UK, reducing the relative size of its footprint. Let’s look at three. 1. So much for the headline results of the Economist Intelligence Unit survey. #1—Average Commute Times are longer in dense legacy cities. That means cities are critical when it comes to preserving our natural resources. This paper explores various parameters and dimensions of measurement of compactness. Karlsruhe University? One potential reason so many companies don’t actively address sustainability despite the attention paid to it by the media and some consumers and investors is that many have no clear definition of it. A visualization of New York City’s daily carbon emissions with each bubble representing one ton of CO2.Image: Carbon Visuals. How to measure the smartness and sustainability of a city using international standards: The case of Pully. San Francisco tops the US and Canada Index, driven by strong policies across all categories. This article is from the CityMetric archive: some formatting and images may not be present. Selection of indicators based on three objectives that reflect the sustainability of a city. Another study from 2009 measured the carbon footprint of the largest 100 metro areas in the US, and found the higher-density metro areas had the smallest footprint. How to Measure the Smartness and Sustainability of a City using International Standards The Case of Pully. Sustainability measurement in our anti-government era has been largely ignored by government. One 2010 study measured the carbon footprint of 12 cities: Beijing, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Manila, Mexico City, New Delhi, New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo. Ecological footprints are measured in global hectares (gha) per capital; the global average is around 2.6. Establishing a system of indicators for measuring performance development of selected cities included the consideration of contemporary city’s complex aspects with reference to (a) the 72 attributes of a smart city, [1] - (b) the performance of the city, and (c) urban status or urban sustainability. Certain urban forms reduce the carbon footprint; these include more compact urban growth, more mass transit and greater use of cleaner, more sustainable energy supplies for buildings and transportation. In San Francisco the value was calculated at 7.1 gha, while in Calgary, Canada, the value was 9.8 gha. Waas et al. Cambridge University? But the emphasis on environmental factors arises because human welbeing ultimately depends on access to the resources that provide the fundamental necessities of life, and these resources must be treated in a way that does not compromise the requirements of the future inhabitants of cities. The Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise (IESE) Cities in Motion Index. Among those that do, the definition varies: 55 percent define sustainability as the management of issues related to the environment (for example, greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, waste management, green-product development, and water conservat… For at least a century, there has been a long and increasingly inconclusive debate on how a city is to be defined. An exciting body of work is coming up with ways to measure the environmental impact of cities. How do you measure corporate sustainability? Many guidelines for measuring the sustainability of cities already exist. The free newsletter covering the top industry headlines, ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Sustainable Cities Collective was relaunched as Smart Cities Dive in early 2017. Natural Resources Defense Council? John Rennie Short is  a professor at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The full version of the B Impact Assessment is a free online tool that you can use to benchmark your company against 200 best practices for sustainable businesses. An even more recent study of all US households found that those in suburban areas had a much higher footprint than those in the larger cities. European Commission? 1 2. How does it match up to other cities? Climate Change Few of these are absolute measures that relate to planetary limits, the point of … In the African Index, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are among the leading cities mainly for their commitment to strategies, codes and plans to monitor the urban environment. Land, energy, water. The IHS-GCI tool can be used to measure EP, to explain possible factors influencing the calculated EPs over time, set targets, track achievements and help in the preparation of a city’s GCAP. Cities were chosen on the basis of size and importance. Even at this still rudimentary stage, they provide some startling findings. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Lowering CO2 levels can be achieved through the long-term shift towards using renewable energies, vertical gardens , a good supply of alternative means of transport (e.g. ADVERTISEMENTS: It mostly involves local resources and local labour. Copenhagen is also very ambitious on limiting carbon emissions. Some information, such as publication dates or images, may not have migrated over. Take the survey: Are you considering relocating in 2021? Durban and Johannesburg also generally perform well for environmental policies. Today I wish to compare it with a different index and set of criteria and let readers offer comments on which approach they feel gives a more accurate picture of the sustainability of the cities in question; please feel free to leave comments below. December 16, 2015 — As global population grows, urban population is growing even faster — with 2.5 billion more city dwellers expected by 2050, according to the United Nations. It uses: ... that the Footprint is a measure of 'unsustainability', not a measure of sustainability. Both approaches imply good performance in aspects of social satisfaction, health, integration, crime and well-being, all aspects of sustainability, and the CIM report explicitly references some of these (neither mention crime). Health, access to education, personal safety, good housing standards, employment opportunities and social inequality are all requirements of sustainability and most of these are measured. We may be moving toward clearer answers to these questions. Sustainability indices. African Development Bank? A measurement of the overall sustainability of a town or city would incorporate this indicator amongst others. University of Pennsylvania? Overall, 20 percent of executives say their companies don’t. Four methods are summarized in this section: The Circles of Sustainability model developed by the Global Compact Cities initiative . It’s also the first step towards B Corp certification: you need to get a score of at least 80 out of 200 to get certified. With better data and a standard index, policies can be evaluated, targets set and institutions held to account. Studies that assessed the footprint of Milan, Italy, and Lijiang City, China, showed how the increasing footprint was straining those cities’ water supplies. The ecological footprint measures how much land and water area a city requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes. The paper addresses a range of gaps in the green city field and consolidates prior research into one actionable conceptual framework and tools, adaptable to various cities and needs. But a city's administration says a lot about how it is working internally, and the ones that do worst are the dense liberal legacy cities. 86: 7: Cowley et al. But it does go further in suggesting ways in which cities can improve their performance; for example: The Spanish survey places much more emphasis on economic performance, jobs, technology and governance. Measuring quantitative and qualitative indicators together means the Indexes are based on current environmental performance as well as the city's intentions to become greener. The results are presented numerically (for the European, and the US and Canada Indexes) or in five performance bands from "well above average" to "well below average" (for the Asian, Latin American and African Indexes). By 2030, that percentage will swell to 60 percent. Residents separate recyclable materials, including glass, plastics, paper and old electronic devices, which the city collects from households three times a week. The definition of sustainability I opened with omitted a central measure of success for nonprofits: improving lives through good works. A Quick Assessment of Business Sustainability. The specific indicators differ slightly from Index to Index, taking into account data availability and the unique challenges in each region. They deserve to succeed. sustainability has been limited to environmental and economic concerns, however, social sustainability has begun to receive political and institutional endorsement, becoming entwined with the sustainable communities agenda and the notions of governance, social capital and corporate social responsibility. Curitiba, Brazil, is the clear leader in the Latin American Index. Welcome to Texas, Elon Musk. ABSTRACT Measuring the sustainability of a city, and ranking the city against other cities, is increasingly seen as a way to achieve urban sustainability. City of Jacksonville, US (Metropolitan area population 1.3m) Selection of indicators based on 15 criteria, meets nine objectives. Finally, the water footprint of a city is a measure of all the freshwater used to produce all the goods and services consumed within it. Original reporting and insights from the world’s leading urban policy journalists and experts. Part I: the basics of a sustainability index. UN-Habitat? Urban sustainable development needs to be a top priority not only in cities but beyond urban boundaries. The number included direct emissions from the metropolitan area, as well as emissions produced in the metro area but consumed elsewhere, such as goods manufactured in cities. Unfortunately, there’s no single metric that tells the whole story. The Green City Index series is conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Siemens, and the last version of this was published in 2012. An international study has devised a new measure for the 'livability' of major cities across the world. These include: CO2 emissions, energy, buildings, land use, transport, water and sanitation, waste management, air quality and environmental governance. #2—Affordability—Forbes measured this by comparing metro areas’ prices for homes and goods & services, with their median … Therefore, it is vital that cities measure their progress in reducing emissions, in order to accomplish aggressive goals. I was sceptical. Singapore is the best city in the waste category, generating only 307 kg of waste per person per year, compared with the Asian Index average of 380 kg. ADVERTISEMENTS: Some of the important measures for sustainable development are as follows: (i) Technology: Using appropriate technology is one which is locally adaptable, eco-friendly, resource efficient and culturally suitable. 24 November, 2014. Household participation in recycling rose from 15% in 2001 to 63% in 2008. Ford Foundation? Sustainable development's goal is to set up three or four types of sustainability, i.e. Another measure is a city’s carbon footprint, which is the total amount of greenhouse gases it produces. It's clear that with its emphasis on environmental indicators it takes a less holistic approach to the Cities in Motion survey. The basic unit is kg or ton of CO2. Since 2009, for example, the city's environmental authority has been conducting an ongoing study on the CO2 absorption rate in Curitiba's green spaces, as well as evaluating total CO2 emissions in the city. The work is more embryonic than definitive. The Danish capital is also joint first (with Brussels, Helsinki and Stockholm) in the individual category of environmental governance, in part for its strong collaborative efforts to set policies. Sustainability measurement is the quantitative basis for the informed management of sustainability. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities and that percentage continues to rise. Is it making progress in becoming more sustainable? Integrated planning allows good performance in one environmental area to create benefits in others. The city has also been a trailblazer in partnering with the private sector on innovative green initiatives. The government has set a target to recycle 65% of waste by 2020, up from 56% in 2008. Prof. Peter Drucker . 86: 7: Cowley et al. ecological sustainability, social sustainability, economic sustainability, and institutional sustainability. While the three metrics have problems in estimation and calibration, they constitute a start. CITYNET (Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements)? OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)? For a few years, the U.S. government measured the presence of “green jobs” in the economy, but it was abandoned in order to save federal funds. Will anyone want to host the next Olympics? It also has excellent recycling plants and waste-to-energy facilities, and has made major investments in its transport system. Four of the cities have footprints smaller than the global average: Delhi, Manila, Sao Paulo and Beijing, in part because of relatively high usage of public transportation. And a robust city sustainability index would benchmark where we are now and provide a measure of progress in the future. ISOCARP (International Society of City and Regional Planners)? Indigenous technologies are more useful, cost-effective and sustainable. Bandings are used in regions where levels of data quality and comparability do not allow for a detailed numerical ranking. Measuring Sustainable Cities: An approach for assessing municipal-level sustainability indicator systems in Sweden Lakin Anderson Lakin Anderson Uppsala University, Department of Earth Sciences Master Thesis E, in Sustainable Development, 30 credits Printed at Department of Earth Sciences, Geotryckeriet, Uppsala University, Uppsala, 2013. Each report contains overall lessons for the region as well as detailed city profiles describing individual performances and best practices. For example, successful public transport has had a strong influence on Curitiba's good results in air quality. The metrics used for the measurement of sustainability are still evolving: they include indicators, benchmarks, audits, indexes and accounting, as well as assessment, appraisal and other reporting systems. Selection of indicators based on three objectives that reflect the sustainability of a city. This module discusses some of the ways in which cities are being measured and how these metrics could evolve. This is a very difficult metric to compute because it includes the volume of freshwater consumed from surface water and ground water, the volume of rainwater consumed, and the volume of freshwater used to dilute the pollutants created by the production of all goods and services for the city. Read the original article. Another measure is a city’s ... We need to refine these metrics, develop new ones and so create a standardized and easily understood index of city sustainability. Disclaimer: this website does receive some financial support from Siemens, but this has not influenced my thinking. The basic unit is kg or ton of CO2, and the global average is 1.2 metric tons per person. The series began in 2009 and covers more than 120 cities in Europe, Latin America, Asia, North America and Africa and seven cities in Australia and New Zealand. Although there is a fair degree of agreement concerning the definitions of sustainability and sustainable development, the same cannot be said concerning the best method for measuring these parameters and finding out whether we are really moving in the right direction to guarantee economic and social growth while protecting the environment. You Don't Have to Move to Austin. Introduction The objective of this report is to identify operative models presenting measurable dimensions of social, economic as well as biophysical conditions on the level of state / provincial governments and large municipalities. Russia’s far north metropolises are distinctive from other Arctic cities in terms of their large size, efforts to conquer nature, and big business’ impact on the urban landscape. In 2009 it set a target to become CO2 neutral by 2025, which if met would make it the first large carbon-neutral city in the world. (2007) 20 cities, UK (population over 300k). The city finishes among the top five for all categories, except one – waste and land use. Copenhagen also has an extensive public transport system, including a metro system, suburban railway and bus networks, and virtually all residents live within 350 metres of public transport. The key reason for Curitiba's outstanding performance is a long history of taking a holistic approach to the environment, which is unusual in the region. Urban sustainability indicators are tools that allow city planners, city managers and policymakers to gauge the socio-economic and environmental impact of, for example, current urban designs, infrastructures, policies, waste disposal systems, pollution and access to services by citizens. In fact, most nonprofits exist to achieve this goal and sustain a positive impact over time. In fact, research from the Earth Institute Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at Columbia University uncovered 557 distinct sustainability indicators in use today.. You don’t need to track all of these indicators — nor should you try to! This article was originally published on The Conversation. Perhaps the protocols for developing a city sustainability index should be on the agenda at the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris later this year. About half of the indicators in each Index are quantitative – usually data from official public sources, for example, CO2 emissions per capita, water consumption per capita, recycling rates and air pollutant concentrations. Of progress in the US and Canada Index, taking into account data availability and the global is! To these questions its transport system, US ( Metropolitan area population 1.3m ) selection of indicators based on objectives! 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