Forum for the Future’s annual Sustainable Cities Index tracks progress on sustainability in Britain’s 20 largest cities - highlighting their environmental performance, quality of life and their readiness for the challenges of the future. The index ran from 2007-2010.
The index was intended to highlight and reward cities’ achievements, encourage healthy competition, and give citizens the tools to hold their leaders to account. It attracted considerable media attention, raising awareness of what it means to be a sustainable city.
In 2010, Newcastle was the leader for the second year running and Bristol and Brighton topped the table in 2008 and 2007. The index succeeded in showcasing what they have achieved to their citizens and to other cities.
“Forum for the Future’s Sustainable Cities Index has driven real change by inspiring cities to adopt more ambitious sustainability strategies and by providing a framework against which they can benchmark their efforts.” Margaret Eaton, Chairman, Local Government Association
We measured 13 indicators in three broad baskets:
- Environmental impact – the city’s impact in terms of resource use and pollution;
- Quality of life – what the city is like for people to live in;
- Future-proofing – how well the city is preparing for a sustainable future.
The indicators were designed to give a snapshot of sustainability in each city and chosen to reflect areas in which local authorities have the power to enhance the sustainability of their city.
The index also went international. Darwin topped the first Australian index, which was compiled by the Australian Conservation Foundation adapting Forum's methodology.
The Ecologist- Top 10 . . . greenest UK cities
BBC News - Newcastle named UK's top green city
The Guardian - Bees help keep Newcastle at top of green city table
The Scotsman - Newcastle is Britain's most sustainable city