An international survey and report ‘Going Green: How cities are leading the next economy’ shows the extent to which cities around the world have successfully integrated green policies over the last two decades.
The report finds that all 53 cities surveyed from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa aspired to be “green”, with 95% reporting that they believed green policies would benefit the economy, and 75% reporting they were willing to invest in new green technology to drive change.
Coordinated by LSECities and ICLEI, the report investigates the environmental challenges that cities face, along with the opportunities, progress and barriers to going green and fostering economic growth. One of the aims of the survey and report is to increase awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of cities as key contributors to this global green transformation.
While cities expect going green to bring positive economic impacts including growth, job creation, inward investment, innovation, entrepreneurship and attracting skilled workers, only 20% of cities have developed coordinated strategies for ‘green growth’. Furthermore, it finds that of the cities willing to invest in new green technology to spur change, two thirds of these cities are constrained by budgets.
The research also highlights the extent to which environmental problems are deeply intertwined with the most critical challenges facing cities, such as road congestion and urban sprawl. Despite these challenges, cities still believe that substantial progress has been made in achieving green objectives – particularly relating to recycling, green space and water pollution.
LSE Cities’ Executive Director, Philipp Rode said: “It is inspiring to see that the vast majority of cities in our survey have not only developed pro-active green policy over the last decades, but also that today they are in such profound agreement about the related economic benefits.”