20 June 2012; Rio de Janeiro- A major new survey of cities launches at the Rio+20 Global Town Hall.

The survey report, Going Green: How cities are leading the next economy, shows the extent to which cities have successfully integrated green policies since the last United Nations Conference on SustainableDevelopment in 1992. All 53 cities surveyed aspired to be “green”, with 95% reporting that they believedgreen policies would benefit the economy, and 75% reporting they were willing to invest in new green technology to drive change.

However, there is still work to be done. While cities expect going green to bring positive economic impactsincluding growth, job creation, inward investment, innovation, entrepreneurship and attracting skilled workers, only 20% of cities have developed a co-ordinated strategy for ‘green growth’.

The research also highlights the extent to which environmental problems are deeply intertwined with themost critical challenges facing cities, such as road congestion and urban sprawl. Despite these challenges,cities still believe that substantial progress has been made in achieving green objectives – particularlyrelating to recycling, green space and water pollution.

LSE Cities’ Executive Director, Philipp Rode said: “It is inspiring to see that the vast majority of cities in our survey have not only developed pro-active green policy over the last decades, but also that today they are in such profound agreement about the related economic benefits.”

ICLEI’s Secretary General, Konrad Otto-Zimmermann said:“It makes a clear contribution to de-bunking the myth that environmental policies are harmful for urban economic development. Local governments once again are leading the way, where nations still debate.”

Going Green: How cities are leading the next economy , is published jointly by LSE Cities and ICLEI and is available for download from the LSE Cities website.

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