Sustainability

Using data to foster equitable and sustainable planning across communities

August 27, 2021

Global

Using data to foster equitable and sustainable planning across communities

August 27, 2021

Global
Michael Paterra
Editor, The Economist Intelligence Unit

Michael is a manager on the Policy & Insights team. He co-leads the research for the Global Health Security Index. Michael works with clients to collaboratively design research projects that drive real impact, including policy analysis, index building, quantifying qualitative variables, and developing strategies for growth. His current areas of focus include inclusive growth, health security and sustainability. Michael previously spent time specializing in global labor market research and international labor statistics. Michael holds a Master's degree in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University where he specialized in international economics and economic development.

Sustainability is the collective product of how we live and interact with the environment within our own communities. Lower-income, marginalised communities and communities of colour are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards, degradation, injustice and a changing climate. They are more likely, for example, to breathe in polluted air, live near coal plants and toxic sites. 
 
Investments in sustainability should prioritise the needs of these frontline communities, yet progress towards sustainability and environmental justice goals is mixed across the US. For example, 25% of US households face a high energy burden and two million rural Americans lack access to running water and basic indoor plumbing.
 
Better data and technology can help close the equity gap in frontline communities by providing local leaders with tools to better inform local planning—including advocating for and monitoring investments in clean energy managing waste, accessing clean water and protecting local ecosystems—to bring about a more sustainable, just and resilient future.

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