Can a City Be Sustainable?


Michael Renner

Drawing on data and success stories from cities worldwide, and working with key cities-focused NGOs, the Can a City Be Sustainable? project works to produce and collect urban sustainability guidance and evidence that accelerates cities’ movement toward sustainable futures.


Visit the Project Page

Can a City Be Sustainable?


Related Publications

Can a City Be Sustainable?

April 2016

Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability

April 2015

Governing for Sustainability

April 2014

Is Sustainability Still Possible?

April 2013 

Can a City Be Sustainable?
Cities are the world’s future. Today, more than half of the global population lives in urban areas, and that number is expected to double by 2050. There is no question that cities are growing; the only debate is over how they will grow. Will we invest in the physical and social infrastructure necessary for livable, equitable, and sustainable cities? In the latest edition of State of the World, the flagship publication of the Worldwatch Institute, experts from around the globe examine the core principles of sustainable urbanism and profile cities that are putting these principles into practice.
From Portland, Oregon, to Ahmedabad, India, local people are acting to improve their cities, even when national efforts are stalled. Issues examined range from the nitty-gritty of handling waste and developing public transportation to civic participation and navigating dysfunctional government.
Throughout, readers discover the most pressing challenges facing communities and the most promising solutions currently being developed. The result is a snapshot of cities today and a vision for global urban sustainability tomorrow.

What We Heard

“The stories of this book are inspiring. They illustrate that we are not powerless to affect the state of our world.”

Garrett Fitzgerald | Urban Sustainability Directors Network

“An inspiring collection of analyses, stories, examples, and policy options … A vision of a sustainable future that is within our grasp.”

Eduardo da Costa Paes | Mayor, Rio de Janeiro


World’s Cities at a Glance | Gary Gardner
Chapter 1. Imagining a Sustainable City | Gary Gardner
Chapter 2. Cities in the Arc of Human History: A Materials Perspective |Gary Gardner
Chapter 3. The City: A System of Systems | Gary Gardner
Chapter 4. Toward a Vision of Sustainable Cities | Gary Gardner

Preview all chapters…