As policy makers get set to attend the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum, February 7–13, 2018, in Kuala Lumpur, the complexity of challenges facing cities is clear. We can also readily see that social inequities translate to environmental inequities as well. As Kim Samuel explains in her new article on Medium, “Social Inclusion and Environmental Sustainability: We Stand or Sink Together”, there is no time to waste in developing solutions.
But in charting a course forward, all of us, and especially policy makers, need new tools and resources. Almost two decades ago, Kim helped co-create emerging environmental data efforts with Yale University. Under the remarkable leadership of Dr. Angel Hsu, today’s “Data-Driven Yale“, uses innovative data analytics to provide critical insights. As she explains, the new Urban and Environmental Social Inclusion Index (UESI) harnesses information in new ways to illuminate where and for whom help is needed most. In cities around the globe, water shortages and other challenges are set to further destabilize societies with those already marginalized left struggling on the front lines. But with new information and new insight, Kim argues that we can slow the pace of these rapid challenges and build solutions with those affected and their needs at the forefront of our efforts.