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America's Most (and Least) Sustainable Cities, Ranked

When it comes to sustainability in urban centers, the West Coast is faring better than the rest of the country.
Facebook's campus in California's Bay Area.
Facebook's campus in California's Bay Area.Noah Berger/Reuters

U.S. coastal cities are coming the closest to meeting sustainability goals set by the UN, according to the first analysis of 100 metropolitan cities by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). But no U.S. city has yet managed to reach a score of even half of what is necessary to satisfy the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Sustainable Development Goals Index measures how successfully cities are dealing with issues related to poverty, health, and equitable income distribution in addition to climate change objectives like cutting large carbon emissions. Jeff Sachs, Director of the SDSN, said the report—the first of many—creates “an accurate starting line” for cities in their “race to 2030 and a smart, fair, and sustainable future.”