Coastal Cities Setting the Sustainable Development Standard

Although no U.S. region has yet to even get halfway to sustainability goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement, certain U.S. cities are doing better than the rest.
August 14, 2017, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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San Jose, California, and surrounding cities topped the Sustainable Development Goals Index.
Uladzik Kryhin

Teresa Mathew reports: "U.S. coastal cities are coming the closest to meeting sustainability goals set by the UN, according to the first analysis of 100 metropolitan cities by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)."

"The Sustainable Development Goals Index measures how successfully cities are dealing with issues related to poverty, health, and equitable income distribution in addition to climate change objectives like cutting large carbon emissions," according to Mathew's explanation of the sustainability goals in question. According to the index, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara has the highest score on the index, with 61.04. Provo-Orem is second on the list, but regions located in coastal states dominate the top ten.

Although it might seem like coastal proximity is an incentive to address the threats and challenges of climate change, Baton Rouge brings up the rear on the list of 100 "city regions." The Silicon Valley's top performance in the analysis would seem to contradict complaints about the tendency of Silicon Valley companies to build suburban-style campuses, away from transit, and Silicon Valley cities that have historically opposed land use regulations that could allow for new housing developments.

Mathews explains a few other big takeaways from the analysis, including he connection between poverty and emissions.

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Published on Thursday, August 10, 2017 in CityLab
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