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Yale University’s Samuel Center for Social Connectiveness has developed a comprehensive set of metrics by which cities can measure both sustainability and inclusiveness. This work fills a substantial gap in urban sustainability planning. There are many groups and indices that examine urban sustainability, yet these efforts are often sector-specific, regionally-focused, and one-dimensional in scope. Standardized metrics and definitions are also lacking, making it difficult to compare urban sustainability initiatives from one city to the next. If we cannot agree on what “urban” and “sustainable” mean, forging a path towards a sustainable urban future is a non-starter.

As city governments experiment with sustainability initiatives, their efforts must be measured, assessed, compared with one another, and improved upon, or else we risk missing the results and losing the benefits that these programs can bring to everyone. The global community of urban researchers needs to create a standardized framework of urban sustainability metrics in order to realize the potential that cities hold.

Hsu, A., N. Alexandre, J. Brandt, T. Chakraborty, S. Comess, A. Feierman, T. Huang, S. Janaskie, D. Manya, M. Moroney, N. Moyo, R. Rauber, G. Sherriff, R. Thomas, J. Tong, Y. Xie, A. Weinfurter, Z. Yeo

Yale University, 2018 Urban Environment and Social Inclusion Index. New Haven, CT

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