<![CDATA["What makes a sustainable city?]]>
“What makes a sustainable city? It’s a complicated question because sustainability itself is difficult to define. By some metrics, New York is the greenest city in the country. By others, it’s the most wasteful in the world. Does it mean lower consumption? Less carbon? More parks? Different cities answer this question in their own way, leading to very different models of what a sustainable city could be.

Today, the stakes for answering these questions are high. Over 60% of Americans live in cities, and young people are flocking to them in record concentrations . Globally, by 2050, the UN estimates that 6.5 billion people will live in cities, double the current number. In the US, cities are at the forefront of tackling climate change, making local commitments on banning plastic bags, introducing municipal composting and shifting to solar energy. If the states are the laboratories of democracy, then the cities (if you’ll permit the extended metaphor) are the petri dishes. They are where the experiments, messy and evolving, actually take place.

In the coming weeks, VICE Impact will be taking a closer look at the experiments unfolding in these cities — their successes, failures and contradictions alike. But to begin to answer that crucial question — what makes a city sustainable — we began with a survey of the biggest ideas and most urgent issues in environmental urban design today…”

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