Denver Recognized in 2016 Global Sustainable Cities Index

Denver Ranks 100 Global Sustainable Cities

Denver, CO – With cities home to more than half the world’s population, it’s important for them to seek ways to become an attractive place to live, work and invest, which ultimately makes them more sustainable. The latest Arcadis index explores the three pillars of sustainability – People (social), Planet (environmental) and Profit (economic) – to develop an indicative ranking of 100 cities worldwide that represent a cross section of the population.

Denver ranked 49th as the world’s most sustainable city, and the ninth-most sustainable city in the United States. Denver was also noted as ranking well in the People and Profit categories and received high marks for light rail expansion and airport satisfaction. However, the Mile High city ranks low in green space and affordability.

The overall index is an analysis of 32 different indicators such as income inequality, education, crime, affordability (People); energy consumption, drinking water, sanitation, green space (Planet), and transportation, economic development, and employment (Profit).

North America Rankings (with global ranking)

  1. Vancouver (#23)
  2. New York (#26)
  3. Montreal (#28)
  4. Toronto (#33)
  5. Boston (#34)
  6. San Francisco (#39)
  7. Seattle (#43)
  8. Washington, D.C. (#44)
  9. Denver (#49)
  10. Los Angeles (#50)
  11. Philadelphia (#51)
  12. Baltimore (#53)
  13. Miami (#54)
  14. Dallas (#56)
  15. Houston (#59)
  16. Chicago (#60)
  17. New Orleans (#61)
  18. Pittsburgh (#62)
  19. Atlanta (#63)
  20. Indianapolis (#65)
  21. Tampa (#68)
  22. Detroit (#69)

North America peaks in Profit but lags in People and Planet

In North America, 63 percent of cities measured for this index rank in the top 50 for Profit compared to other developed global cities, but this figure falls to 27 percent for the People category and 50 percent for Planet.

Similarly, U.S. cities rank just below most other developed nations in sustainability and are most challenged in two categories: People and Planet. To achieve greater sustainability in the People category, U.S. cities need to improve social factors such as work-life balance, crime, health, and affordability. To improve in the Planet sub-index, U.S. cities need to lower their per-capita greenhouse gas emissions, use less energy, and generate more urban green space.

“As the index indicates, most of North America’s iconic cities produce strong economies with relatively low unemployment, which provides them a path toward sustainability, but environmental risks, rapid urbanization, less focus on green space and lack of work-life balance prevent most U.S. cities from ranking in the top 10 most sustainable cities when compared to other developed nations,” said Joachim Ebert, CEO of Arcadis North America. “However, as our index shows, all cities face unique challenges and none of the cities can claim to have earned the title of being completely sustainable. This index should serve as a guide to city authorities for comparing their competitiveness to similar cities and to learn by example the measures necessary in becoming more sustainable.”


Note to Editor:

The cities included in this report were selected to provide an overview of the planet’s cities, providing not only wide-ranging geographical coverage, but also varying levels of economic development, expectations of future growth and an assortment of sustainability challenges.

Building on last year’s index, Arcadis has sought to create a more indicative global picture of urban sustainability by including an additional 50 cities to the ranking and incorporating seven new indicators of sustainability to the index. As a result of this, it would be inaccurate to compare the rankings to last year’s.

Main Photo credit: nisi

Infographic courtesy of Arcadis


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