• Press Release
  • October 30, 2018

Canadian Cities Consistent and Environmentally-friendly, Says 2018 Report on Urban Sustainability

  • 100 cities scored based on three pillars of sustainability: People, Planet and Profit
  • All five Canadian cities in top 40 worldwide
  • Canadian cities well-prepared for natural disasters with advanced monitoring systems

Highlands Ranch, Colo. — Oct. 30, 2018 — It’s no secret that cities must seek ways to be attractive places for people to live, work and play. To do so is to ensure a long, healthy and prosperous future — a sustainable future.

A new report released today by Arcadis, the leading global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets, reveals sustainability scores for 100 cities worldwide. Each of the five Canadian cities highlighted — Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary — land in the top 40 worldwide.

Arcadis’ 2018 Sustainable Cities Index measures sustainability by assessing each city based on the three pillars of sustainability, which align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: People (social), Planet (environmental) and Profit (economic).

According to the report, “The foundations of city sustainability are an educated and healthy workforce, effective low-carbon infrastructure and ease of doing business.”

“Human needs are fundamentally hierarchical in nature,” said Peter Glus, Arcadis North America city leader. “And if certain needs are not met, for example if housing is too expensive, then dissatisfaction will follow. The SCI and other studies show that even highly developed cities can struggle to meet the basic needs of their citizens.”

Four out of the five Canadian cities receive top-20 scores in the Planet pillar, which measures the sustainable attributes of a city such as green space and pollution, in addition to leading indicators of environmental mitigation such as support for low carbon transport.

The country’s strengths within the Planet sub-index include air pollution, electric vehicle incentives, and natural disaster monitoring. The report finds that Toronto and Montreal are particularly strong in the Planet pillar.

The 2018 report includes new digital indicators to capture the extent to which cities are using technology to improve quality of life for their citizens. When it comes to digital innovation, the report finds San Francisco best in the world, with many other U.S. cities following its lead.

Examples of successful urban digital tools include resiliency data for floods or super storms, digitized utility bills, personalized mobility applications for Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and advanced urban mobility options, including connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV).

No matter where a city falls on the digital spectrum today, the report indicates it’s crucial to prioritize digitization as part of long-term sustainability plans.

The report also looks at how citizens view their lifestyle in their respective cities. To do this, it introduces four city “clusters” that focus on the citizen experience:

  • Balanced Innovators
  • Post-Industrial Opportunists
  • Evolutionary Cities
  • Fast-growing Megacities

Clusters are based on an analysis of city living leveraging report data and an ethnographic study. Learn more about which cities fall in which cluster in the full 2018 Sustainable Cities Index.

Other key findings from the 2018 Sustainable Cities Index:

- All five cities score well for ease of doing business but lack in tourism and transportation infrastructure, leading to lower scores in the Profit pillar
- Consistent low crime rates and strong health indicators lead to higher scores in the People sub-index
- There is growing potential for Canadian cities to use the digital evolution to engage with citizens and improve the citizen experience of city life.

Here’s how Canadian cities fared in the global index

25. Ottawa
26. Vancouver
30. Toronto
31. Montreal
37. Calgary

Click here to view the full report in its entirety. The 2018 Sustainable Cities Index was compiled for Arcadis by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr).

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Jimmy Luthye

Corporate Communications 303 471 3592 Ask me a question