In 1998 Sustainable Calgary’s first State of Our City Report identified 2 critical issues that needed attention – overconsumption of resources and socio-economic inequities in our city. Twenty-two years later, the evidence suggests that the state of these critical domains has only worsened. Calgary has seen a lot of progress in those 22 years and we remain a city with a very high quality of life, but an assessment of the 40 social, ecological, and economic indicators clearly demonstrates that the lifestyle we enjoy in Calgary is less sustainable than it was 22 years ago.
The first 20 years of this millennium are Calgary’s lost decades with respect to action on sustainability. In large measure, our failure to meet the sustainability challenge can be traced to dysfunctional decision-making processes – elaborated in a set of Governance indicators that we introduce for the first time in this report.
The window of opportunity for a gradual transition to a sustainable future has closed. We must now embark on a rapid transition or face the real prospect of significantly compromised quality of life and livelihoods and a precarious future for our children and their city.