2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report

Who’s behind it? – SDSN


How can it help? – The 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report is UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) third city-level report ranking 105 US cities on progress towards the SDGs. The report aims to help cities to calibrate their progress towards the SDGs and is a part of a global effort to measure performance of cities, nations, and companies relative to the SDGs.

As America’s cities are home to more than 80 percent of Americans and around 85 percent of US production, they will determine the future of sustainable development in the United States. This year’s report highlights the many urgent challenges facing America’s cities and generates 7 main findings:

  1. None of the most populous US cities are currently on track to achieve the SDGs.
  2. Localization is key – comparing the US City and State Reports highlights the need to localize data and action towards SDG achievement.
  3. There are pernicious inequalities that need to be addressed, and improvements on sustainable transit, rent affordability, and energy transition are sorely needed.
  4. Improved data is required, most urgently on maternal mortality rates. Localizing the goals to specific communities may help fill some data gaps.
  5. Compared to the “2019 SDG Index and Dashboards Report: European Cities”, EU cities are generally outperforming US cities, in some cases with the US lagging seriously behind.
  6. Best performing city overall is San Francisco Oakland-Hayward, California and worst, on average, is Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  7. The Goals with the most overall progress made to date are Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, and Goal 15: Life on Land, and the Goals with the least progress made are Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and Goal 2: Zero Hunger
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