Four Pillars of Sustainability


What does a sustainable city look like, and how would we identify this?

For those of us who may find ourselves in an unfamiliar urban environment, the Four Pillars of Sustainability serves as a framework and field guide to navigate and make sense of your surroundings.

The guide defines the Four Pillars of Sustainability as environmental protection, economic vitality, social equity, and cultural continuity. It describes each of the four pillars and provide guiding questions to identify, observe, and measure urban phenomena in cities through these four lenses. In doing so, the field guide provides a broader explanation for why it has become increasingly necessary to examine the 21st-century city through a holistic framework of sustainability.