Going Green: How cities are leading the next economy

A global survey and case studies of cities building the green economy | Final report

Going Green: How cities are leading the next economy is the concluding report of our major global survey of 90 city governments and a case study analysis of innovative green strategies in eight cities. The survey was conducted by LSE Cities, ICLEI – local governments for sustainability and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), in order to closely analyse the strengths and weaknesses of cities as key contributors to the emerging green economy. Previous editions of this report were prepared for the Rio+20 summit in June 2012 and for the Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen in October 2012.

Going Green offers a fresh perspective on the environmental challenges that cities face, along with the opportunities and barriers to going green and fostering economic growth. The survey covers key aspects of green policies and the green economy, smart city technology, green policy assessment and urban governance. It provides a comprehensive overview of the experiences of cities around the world as they make the transition to a green economy.

This final report includes a new section featuring findings on cities’ policy approaches across six sectors: land-use, transport, buildings, energy, waste, and water. These results allow for comparison of policy tools and successes between sectors, with the surveyed cities reporting most success in the waste and water sectors. The results also report on the types of economic impacts arising from green policy across sectors, and the roles played by different levels of government.

The final section investigates in greater detail the experience of eight case study cities in facilitating green growth. Given the importance of integrating policies for delivering green growth, four cross-cutting policy programmes were examined: land-use and transport; eco-districts and buildings; waste, recycling and energy; and electric mobility and renewable energy. Two case study cities were selected for each theme, allowing for comparative analysis, and exploration of how similar objectives are being pursued in different contexts, with different policy tools, and using different types of public-private partnership.

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