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London tops the Arcadis 2018 Sustainable Cities Index

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Arcadis has released its 2018 Sustainable Cities Index (SCI) ranking 100 global cities on three pillars of sustainability - people, planet and profit – in close alignment with the UN’s SDGs.

Topped by London, European cities dominate the upper rankings of the index, taking eight out of the top ten, with Singapore and Hong Kong completing the top ten. In contrast, from North America, only three cities – New York, San Francisco and Seattle – rank within the top 20. And notably African and Asian cities lag due to their economic sustainability ratings.

The foundations for city sustainability were consistently found to be an educated and healthy workforce, effective low-carbon infrastructure and ease of doing business. Meanwhile a city’s sustainable credentials were strongly influenced by affordability, access to public transport and income inequality.

Also highlighted is the impact of the rapid roll-out of digital technologies on citizens' experience of the city, and on the relationship between the city and its people. Resiliency data for floods or super storms, digitized utility bills, personalized mobility applications for Mobility as a Service (MaaS) are cited as examples of successful urban digital tools.  

According to Arcadis: "Cities need to focus on well planned long-term resilience, even if they are subject to short-term changes and trends.

"The successful path to long-term resilience requires the support and involvement of citizens, while at the same time, cities can also learn from each other."

The report also includes new work on "city archetypes and clusters" aimed at explaining the implications of a citizen experience showing a close correlation to the SCI rankings. The four city clusters used are based on an analysis of the citizen experiences of city living combined with the Index data.

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