Measuring Sustainability Change in Cities

Cities are complex and involve many stakeholders so achieving sustainability change can be difficult, slow and require a wide range of mechanisms. It is not sufficient to have a high-level ‘sustainability’ strategy; real change requires strategic targets to be integrated into to policy and driven by programmes, publicity and incentives to change behaviour.

Strong monitoring and evaluation systems are also essential in understanding what works, and what does not. This must track indicators linked to strategic targets and ideally be available in databases that are publicly available and easy to access.

Interesting work in this area is the public open database developed by Charlottesville in the USA. This has 72 datasets which can be used to track performance in relation to strategic goals. This can be accessed here.