Building climate-resilient cities

Exploring the five lenses of climate action

Cities should take a multidimensional approach to climate change. Based on insights gleaned from our survey, we recommend that cities view climate action through five lenses: governance, innovation, risk reduction, operational sustainability, and climate equity.

About the survey

ESI ThoughtLab, in collaboration with a coalition of business, government, and academic leaders, including Deloitte, surveyed 167 cities globally to understand their progress on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), how they coped with the pandemic, and how they are leveraging digital technologies, data, and other innovative solutions to drive progress in the postpandemic era.

The survey was conducted between August and November 2020. It covered cities across 82 countries with varying income levels and population sizes. The survey also classified cities into three stages of smart city maturity—beginner, intermediate, and leader—based on their progress in harnessing technology and data across various urban domains, and their ability to foster citizen and stakeholder engagement. Based on the survey results, 29% of cities were classified as beginner, 49% as intermediate, and 22% as smart city leaders.

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