Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Applying the SDGs to cities: business as usual or new dawn?

Version 1 : Received: 28 June 2018 / Approved: 28 June 2018 / Online: 28 June 2018 (15:20:59 CEST)

How to cite: Zinkernagel, R.; Evans, J.; Neij, L. Applying the SDGs to cities: business as usual or new dawn?. Preprints 2018, 2018060475 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0475.v1). Zinkernagel, R.; Evans, J.; Neij, L. Applying the SDGs to cities: business as usual or new dawn?. Preprints 2018, 2018060475 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0475.v1).

Abstract

With growing urbanisation the sustainability of cities has become increasingly important. Although cities have been using indicators for a long time it is only in the last decades that attempts have been made to collate indicators into indicator sets with the aim of reflecting the many different aspects that need to be covered to assess the sustainability of a city. The aim of this paper is to review how indicators for monitoring sustainable urban development have evolved over time and compare them to the indicators suggested by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The review reveals that previous indicator sets emphasised environmental sustainability, health and economic growth. It is also shown that indicator sets that pre-date the SDGs lacked dimensions such as gender equality and reduced inequalities. In all, the SDG indicators provide the possibility of a more balanced and integrated approach to urban sustainability monitoring. At the same time, a methodology is needed to facilitate the adaptation process of localising the SDGS, targets and indicators. Challenges of local application include their large number, their generic characteristics and the need to complement them with specific indicators that are more relevant at the city level.

Subject Areas

sustainable development goals, urban sustainable development, indicators, evolution of sustainability assessment

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