Using big data to measure environmental inclusivity in cities

The trouble with comparing cities, researchers have found, is you end up comparing apples and oranges—coasts and interiors, seasonal freezes and yearlong tropical humidity, strictly planned communities and suburban sprawl.
It’s even more problematic than that because a city is not defined by a single uniform identity. Each city comprises a unique blend of neighbourhoods where social and environmental conditions can change from street to street.
Given this complexity, how can we possibly assess global progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11), making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable? Can we measure these concepts universally?


Most cities leave lower-income communities with higher shares of environmental burdens and lower shares of environmental benefits.

Now an international research team has developed an approach using publicly available big data. The tool—the Urban Environment and Social Inclusion Index (UESI)—can assess environmental conditions at the scale of individual neighborhoods.
Applying UESI to 164 cities spread across all continents (excluding Antarctica), the researchers found that most cities leave lower-income communities with higher shares of environmental burdens and lower shares of environmental benefits.
Interestingly, stark inequalities are also seen in many cities with high overall environmental performance—wealthy cities that regularly receive plaudits for their green credentials.
“Copenhagen, Paris, and London, even if…. Read more: https://tinyurl.com/yappks7y
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