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The 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report


US cities are at the forefront of the sustainable development challenge. They contain 80% of the country’s population, and therefore have the capacity to make or break SDG achievement (US Census Bureau 2016). But, while crucial to SDG attainment, they Executive Summary cannot accomplish this alone. While 80 percent of US residents live in urban areas, only 3 percent of land is urban; rural and urban areas are deeply interconnected (US Census Bureau 2016).

To promote accountability and cooperation on SDG achievement at multiple scales, SDSN produces two additional indices that are relevant to the US: The Sustainable Development Report of the United States, which assesses SDG progress at the state level; and the Sustainable Development Report, which assesses SDG progress at the global level. In this year’s city index, we aim to highlight the interconnections between these three reports to put city performance in context.

When comparing results from the city, state, and global SDG indices, or looking at cities in the US of similar sizes or geographies, it is clear that localization is key. Localization efforts cannot be isolated, either - city governments looking to take on the SDG agenda should engage in networks of practice at multiple levels of government and across sectors to include businesses, universities, and civil society. This updated 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report adds nuance and context to further this important national dialogue.

The 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report presents an overview of how cities are performing on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Cities are given an overall score of 0 to 100, which can be interpreted as the percent of progress a city has made towards achieving the SDGs.

All data used in this report can be accessed on this website:

Copy numberShelfmarkLoan categorySiteLoan status
DEV/SUS/940 EDEV/SUS/940 EBookmainavailable
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