How far are the metropolitan areas in Brazil from achieving the sustainable development goals? An analysis based on SDG dashboards

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Cities comprise the major challenges for sustainable development and are key contributors to sustainability indicators in a country. However, research assessing sustainability performance often focuses on the national level, overlooking the role of urban areas. To evaluate the city performance toward a sustainable pathway, this paper proposes the sustainable development goals (SDGs) Dashboard for Brazilian Cities, with a comprehensive assessment of their specific challenges based on the SDG Index methodology (UNSDSN). The 19 country's most populous metropolitan areas (MAs) were considered, which comprises 41% of the population. From 17 SDGs, this paper evaluates 8 of the 12 SDGs defined with a social and environmental profile, covering data from 34 indicators. Results show that all MAs have a long way to achieve most of the analyzed SDGs, especially regarding inequalities (income and gender). Inequalities of performance are also observed among the country into a clear north-south distinction, where the GDP richest regions perform better toward the SDGs. However, cities with a good performance in education (SDG 4) are less unequal (SDG 10), indicating interrelations between SDGs. Despite the inequalities , MAs are doing relatively well in reducing poverty (SDG 1) and providing water and sanitation (SDG 6). The SDG Dashboards for Brazilian Cities can be used as a framework for action and help urban leaders address implementation challenges across cities.


Original languageEnglish
Article number103
JournalSN Social Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2021


Sustainable Development Goals