Since 2015, cities across the United States have begun incorporating the SDGs to reinforce their existing sustainability plans and to provide a common language to discuss goals among peer cities. Since then, SDSN has proudly been a partner to the cities at the forefront of this movement through the USA Sustainable Cities Initiative, partnering with key stakeholders in cities such as Baltimore, San Jose, New York and Los Angeles. The ranks of cities who have understood the benefits of the SDG framework have continued to grow.

In January 2019, SDSN hosted a workshop alongside the 2019 Winter Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors with practitioners and experts to discuss their experiences and consider lessons detailed in the draft practitioner guide: “A Pathway to Sustainable American Cities: A Guide to Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.” This guide, a re-imagining of a 2016 guide prepared for a global urban audience, presents 10 steps for cities to consider on their way to adapting and adopting the global framework for their own city.

Representatives from New York, Los Angeles, and the State of Hawaii shared their vanguard work among a group of peers, including representatives from other U.S. cities, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, the Center for Open Data Enterprise, Brookings, Climate Nexus, and the Council on Foundations.

SDSN USA, launched in December 2018, will carry the work of the USA-SCI forward through its university partnerships in 2019. For more information, please contact Caroline Fox (