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Cleveland Contests Its Near-Bottom Ranking in Sustainability

A picture of downtown Cleveland.
WKSU

Cleveland is taking issue with a study from a group affiliated with the United Nations that says Northeast Ohio's largest city is one of the least sustainable big cities in the country.

The study by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network ranked the city 99th out of the 100 most-populated cities. The report takes into account poverty, unemployment and high CO2 emissions.

Cleveland's chief of sustainability, Matt Gray, says the study uses old data and leaves out many important factors like fresh water.

“You know, (Cleveland) has one of the most sustainable fresh- water sources in the world and Cleveland water is a great utility for providing good clean drinking water. But you’ll notice cities that are in the desert generally perform much better on water than cities like Cleveland that are on the Great Lakes.”

He says the report also ranked cities driven by the service sector higher than ones relying on manufacturing.