Going Green City Survey

The City Survey on Green Policy involved a global survey of one hundred cities and in-depth research on efforts to build the green economy in eight selected cities.

The City Survey on Green Policy involved a global survey of one hundred cities and in-depth research on efforts to build the green economy in eight selected cities. Preliminary results were published for the United Nations Rio+20 Summit and the Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen during 2012.

The final ‘Going Green’ document provides an up-to-date overview of cities’ experiences in the transition to the green economy. It provides a global comparative perspective on the environmental challenges that cities face along with the opportunities, progress and barriers to going green and fostering economic growth.

The case studies involved research on cross-sector green policy programmes in eight cities including policies on:

1. Land use and transport (Copenhagen and Hong Kong);
2. Buildings and eco-districts (Stockholm and Portland);
3. Waste and resource efficiency (Belo Horizonte and Durban);
4. Electric mobility and renewable energy (Berlin and London)

The research project found that:

1. City-level actors are making a difference in the transition to a green economy through interventions in key policy areas including transport, land-use planning, buildings and waste;
2. In tackling environmental problems, city governments are seeing opportunities for cross-cutting policy programmes to deliver green solutions with economic benefits;
3. Cities are benefiting from being ‘first movers’ and trialling socio-technical innovations;
4. Cities are playing a key role in place-making through their roles in transport and spatial planning – with important implications for the green transition;
5. Accelerating the green transition requires joined-up city leadership, strong national frameworks and innovative financing mechanisms.


The city survey formed the basis of Philipp Rode’s presentation at the Urban Age Electric City conference. To see the presentation, click here.

Reports