Helping cities to function more effectively and efficiently is one of the best ways to achieve global sustainability goals. Such improvements can come from new technologies, new information, or new management practices. This paper focuses on ways that cities can benefit from collaborations involving nonmunicipal levels of government, private companies, nongovernmental organizations, and universities. Specific examples include using immersive visualization to clarify how different parts of urban systems interact, convening sustainability managers from throughout a metropolitan region to share best practices, identifying common metrics for cities around the world, using remote-sensing observations to characterize and classify urban regions, ensuring that companies and universities work with cities to prepare joint federal grant proposals, and allowing university researchers access to operational data from companies that manage city services. A valuable next step for promoting urban sustainability involves the gathering of such methods into a replicable toolkit.
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