Sydney is Australia’s most sustainable city, according to Arcadis’ 2018 Sustainable Cities Index.
The index ranks 100 global cities on three pillars of sustainability: People, Planet and Profit. London topped the global ranking and other European cities dominated the top of the overall index, occupying eight of the top ten spots, with Singapore and Hong Kong also in the top ten.
Australian cities all scored middle of the road on the index, with Melbourne missing out on a spot in the top 50. Sydney was ranked 34/100 with Canberra coming in close behind at 35, Brisbane 44 and Melbourne ranking 56.
All Australian cities performed well on People-focused measures, scoring well in health, education and digital-enablement, moderately well in the Profit pillar due to employment and ease of doing business, but scored worse in the Planet pillar, with greenhouse gas emissions and waste management common issues across all cities.
Stephen Taylor, Australian Cities Director, Arcadis said that with no Australian city cracking the top 30 and one in the bottom 50, it’s confirmation that the country needs to continue to focus on improving the long-term sustainability, resilience and performance of its cities to act on the global stage.
“Despite the middle of the road rankings, the nation’s strong focus on developing integrated transit systems, addressing affordability and embracing sustainability in construction are all positive signs for future improvement across the three pillars,” Taylor said.
According to the report, 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 Sustainable Cities Index data consistently highlights that the foundations of city sustainability are an educated and healthy workforce, effective low-carbon infrastructure and ease of doing business. Affordability, access to public transport and income inequality are the big swing variables that make or break a city’s sustainable success.
More information on the Sustainable Cities Index report can be found here.