A new report is calling on cities to draw up sustainability plans to ensure that communities continue to thrive for generations to come.

Having analyzed the efforts of eight US cities together with Vancouver, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommends that each city’s plan draws on experiences of similar cities but also incorporate local differences.

"Given than 80 percent of the U.S. population now lives in urban areas, cities are pivotal in efforts to improve sustainability," said Linda Katehi, chair of the committee that wrote the report, and chancellor emerita of the University of California, Davis. "While there is no cookie-cutter approach, the innovative methods now being developed in some cities should be helpful to others."

The report calls on city planners to ensure that sustainability is considered from the perspective of block-by-block through to national requirements. It also says that factors that impact sustainability – including climate change and economic shifts – should be considered.

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