The Urban Environment and Social Inclusion Index is a research effort to provide the data that urban residents, city managers, and policymakers need to understand their cities’ performance on critical urban environmental issues. Incorporating novel geospatial approaches, including remotely-sensed data and open source datasets (such as OpenStreetMap), the Index spatially maps environmental performance within approximately 165 cities, and reveals how these cities perform on sustainable inclusive urban growth. 

The framework focuses on quantifying progress on the environmental dimensions of Sustainable Development Goal 11, which aims to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. It will help address questions regarding the spatial and socio-economic distribution of air pollution, urban heat island effects, urban tree cover, and public transportation access, amongst other environmental measures. This research aims to demonstrate the potential for innovative datasets to provide near real-time assessment of environmental performance in a replicable and scalable manner. Furthermore, the Index highlights knowledge gaps and identifies research priorities that could help cities build an evidence-based approach to enhance the equity of urban environmental performance.