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The sustainable cities index. ranking the largest 20 UK cities

October 21, 2007 11:00 AM

How do UK cities really measure up?

The race to be a truly 'sustainable city' is increasingly competitive, with Manchester determined to become 'the Greenest City in Britain by 2010', Bristol wanting to become a 'Green Capital' and London aiming for nothing less than the status of 'most sustainable city in the world'.

Aiming to cut through the rhetoric, this report by Forum for the Future brings rigour to the debate by using current data to determine who's sustainable and who's not. In it, each of the UK's 20 largest cities are analysed according to three criteria - their 'environmental impact', 'quality of life' and 'future proofing' - and given an overall ranking which summarises the results.

The data reveals that Brighton and Hove is the most sustainable city followed by Edinburgh in second place and Bristol in third. Liverpool comes bottom of the list, after Hull in 18th place and Birmingham in 19th.

In the UK, around nine in ten people live in towns and cities. Globally, we are now a majority urban world. We have no choice but to learn to live together in sustainable ways in cities. This will mean providing a high quality of life for all residents. It will also mean reducing the wider environmental impact of cities.

Forum for the Future chose three baskets of indicators against which to rank the cities.

Forum for the Future selected these index categories to reflect the sustainability of each city in a fair and balanced way. We used a total of 13 indicators, spread across the three baskets. The indicators use existing data on aspects of performance on which cities are already expected to make improvements. These indicators will be measured year-on-year.

Download the report at: http://www.forumforthefuture.org.uk/files/sustainablecities07.pdf