Where City Rankings Fail

Worldchanging's Alex Steffen looks at the recent city rankings compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council and says the method of measurement doesn't really prove how sustainable a place is -- or how it's improving.

"Though sustainability itself is a somewhat slippery concept, there are absolutely standards by which we can judge progress, as they mean the same things everywhere, and are pretty good measurements of overall impact. What, for instance, are a city's per capita greenhouse gas emissions? How many miles a day do its citizens drive? How large is their average home and how compact are their communities? How much water do they use? How much energy? How much solid waste do they generate? These sorts of numbers actually tell us something about how the people live, and about their overall levels of impact.

But Smarter Cities counts more easily-measured, but sort of pointless data."

Full Story: Smarter Cities and Flawed Rankings

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