The Role of Cities in Advancing Sustainable Consumption

USDN, SCORAI, & One Earth

Year: 2015

Cities in North America have an important role to play in building prosperity and well-being while promoting lifestyles compatible with the limits of natural systems. The consumption of materials and energy in high-income cities is a significant factor in driving climate change and resource depletion. Increasingly, government agencies, industry organizations, and experts in the research community are calling attention to the need both to consume less and consume di!erently. Cities can and should take action to make this possible.

Download The Role of Cities in Advancing Sustainable Consumption


Urban sustainability initiatives are typically grounded in the principles of resource e!ciency, conservation, and stewardship, and we have all benefited from their successes. However, with the compounding social and ecological problems we face, we must reassess conventional solutions and identify those promising innovations that can foster more fundamental change.

Guiding Principles for Local Actions

  1. Envision Prosperity As A Holistic, Integrated Concept
  2. Commit To Equity And Social Inclusion
  3. Enhance Social Capital And Resilience
  4. Advance Sustainable Local Economies
  5. Keep The Big Picture In Mind And Work Toward The Long Term
  6. Collaborate With Diverse Partners To Take Action And Leadership
  7. Experiment and Learn
  8. Set Goals and Measure
  9. Combine Structural And Systemic Change With Education
  10. Take Action and Leadership