…The purpose of this report, our first Sustainable Cities Index, is to take 50 of the world’s most prominent cities and look at how viable they are as places to live, their environmental impact, their financial stability, and how these elements complement one another. All 50 of these brilliantly different cities – many of which I have been fortunate enough to visit – are in various stages of evolution – some being further along the sustainability journey than others. Each possesses its own geolocation and cultural distinctions but shares common urban challenges in the areas of job creation, mobility, resiliency and improving the quality of life of its residents.
In light of the global urbanization trend, cities are now subject to frequent assessment with the results often used by city leaders to inform decision-making and to sharpen their competitive edge. There are numerous databases (institutional and corporate) that are measuring cities in a broad cross-section of livability and business climate indicators. At ARCADIS we believe the best way to truly understand the sustainability of a city is to amalgamate these attributes from the perspectives of People, Planet and Profit to form a comprehensive view of each location and its position on the sustainability scale. Only then can we obtain a clearer picture of how sustainable, or not, a city is. Importantly, the purpose of the ARCADIS Sustainable Cities Index is not to create a hierarchy of elite cities, but to indicate areas of opportunity as they continue to make progress on their missions to become more sustainable economically, environmentally and for the good of their inhabitants. To quote Margaret Mead again, “We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.” As our world becomes increasingly more reliant on its urban centers, it is our hope that city leaders find this to be a valuable tool in assessing their priorities and pathways to urban sustainability for the good of all.
John J Batten, Global Cities Director ARCADIS
Read or download the whole report here.