- The SustainLane US City Rankings focus on healthy regional economic development, vibrant communities and quality of life measurements. Our viewpoint of sustainable practices is weighted toward ideas borrowed from our natural systems and implemented in our cities, particularly those geared toward the revitalization of our economy and public health.
"Sustainable" Cities Need More Than Good Intentions
Last week, the Oakland-based company SustainLane released the results of their research attempting to rank 25 U.S. cities with regard to their "sustainability." According to their website, "the peer-reviewed study is the first and most comprehensive US city sustainability performance benchmark." Not surprisingly, we see Smart Growth vanguards like Portland, Berkeley, Santa Monica, and Austin among those at the top of the list, while the much-maligned, "sprawl" poster children Detroit and Houston reside at the bottom. But this sustainability ranking unfortunately seems to be based more on intent and commitment to the progressive agenda than any objective basis of measurement or coherent definition of sustainability. This leads to a natural starting point: how do they define sustainability?