Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 789-804; doi:10.3390/su5020789
Article

Sustainability, Health and Environmental Metrics: Impact on Ranking and Associations with Socioeconomic Measures for 50 U.S. Cities

1 National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA 2 National Center for Computational Toxicology, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA 3 Westat, Rockville, MD, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 January 2013; in revised form: 5 February 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 22 February 2013
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Abstract: Waste and materials management, land use planning, transportation and infrastructure including water and energy can have indirect or direct beneficial impacts on the environment and public health. The potential for impact, however, is rarely viewed in an integrated fashion. To facilitate such an integrated view in support of community-based policy decision making, we catalogued and evaluated associations between common, publically available, Environmental (e), Health (h), and Sustainability (s) metrics and sociodemographic measurements (n = 10) for 50 populous U.S. cities. E, H, S indices combined from two sources were derived from component (e) (h) (s) metrics for each city. A composite EHS Index was derived to reflect the integration across the E, H, and S indices. Rank order of high performing cities was highly dependent on the E, H and S indices considered. When viewed together with sociodemographic measurements, our analyses further the understanding of the interplay between these broad categories and reveal significant sociodemographic disparities (e.g., race, education, income) associated with low performing cities. Our analyses demonstrate how publically available environmental, health, sustainability and socioeconomic data sets can be used to better understand interconnections between these diverse domains for more holistic community assessments.
Keywords: cities; socioeconomic; integration; sustainability; environment; health; indices

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gallagher, J.E.; Hubal, E.C.; Jackson, L.; Inmon, J.; Hudgens, E.; Williams, A.H.; Lobdell, D.; Rogers, J.; Wade, T. Sustainability, Health and Environmental Metrics: Impact on Ranking and Associations with Socioeconomic Measures for 50 U.S. Cities. Sustainability 2013, 5, 789-804.

AMA Style

Gallagher JE, Hubal EC, Jackson L, Inmon J, Hudgens E, Williams AH, Lobdell D, Rogers J, Wade T. Sustainability, Health and Environmental Metrics: Impact on Ranking and Associations with Socioeconomic Measures for 50 U.S. Cities. Sustainability. 2013; 5(2):789-804.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gallagher, Jane E.; Hubal, Elaine C.; Jackson, Laura; Inmon, Jefferson; Hudgens, Edward; Williams, Ann H.; Lobdell, Danelle; Rogers, John; Wade, Timothy. 2013. "Sustainability, Health and Environmental Metrics: Impact on Ranking and Associations with Socioeconomic Measures for 50 U.S. Cities." Sustainability 5, no. 2: 789-804.

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