The Integrated City Sustainability Database (ICSD) is the first comprehensive data set of U.S. municipal governments and their sustainability programs and policies. Taking advantage of the unique opportunity to combine seven independent data collection efforts, the ICSD provides a valuable resource for scholars in multiple disciplines investigating local environmental and energy sustainability. It also adds missing elements to the research infrastructure for the study of local government policy in general.
The ICSD inventories municipal sustainability programs, institutions, administrative arrangements, political contexts and policy instruments. The first generation ICSD merges the separate surveys into one comprehensive national database, harmonizing survey data by matching questions across surveys for all 2,825 municipal respondents.
The second generation ICSD employs a Bayesian multiple-imputation method to impute values for all seven surveys for the 683 respondent cities with population greater than 50,000. For this subset of cities the second generation provides complete data for all cities over 50,000 on 1,108 individual variables.
Given the absence of centralized databases containing relevant, comparable, intercity data, the construction of the ICSD is anticipated to enhance and improve a wide range of individual and collective research efforts and local government sustainability decisions. We are now processing data requests for specific variables in the first generation ICSD and are preparing to make the second generation ICSD available in 2018. We hope to maximize its relevance and usability to urban scholars in multiple disciplines and align future surveys with this baseline data. Three additional surveys in 2012, 2013, and 2016 have been archived and matched to the ICSD. We encourage other scholars to archive their data with the Local Governance Research Lab and match them to the ICSD.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1461526/1461506/1461460. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.