Building a global system to measure sustainable cities

Source: University of Melbourne

As part of the Global Healthy and Sustainable City-Indicators Collaboration, more than 80 researchers in 25 cities across 19 countries developed tools that can be used by any city anywhere to benchmark and monitor progress towards being healthy and sustainable.

The team used standardized methods to assess the policy settings and lived experience of city-dwellers, using indicators such as proximity to public transport and food, walkability, city density and policy settings.

Collaboration co-lead and lead author of the first paper in the series, University of Melbourne Dr. Melanie Lowe, said the indicators could assist cities to strengthen city planning policies.

“They can also assist in addressing inequities in access to urban design and transport features that support health and sustainability,” Dr. Lowe said.

Collaboration co-lead, RMIT Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti, said she believed the new indicators could provide policy direction for cities looking to recreate themselves after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the future of the healthy and sustainable city: cities made up of villages and the creation of the 15-minute city, where people can live locally, walk and cycle and have access to amenities they need for daily living.”