World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
Seven Transformations for More Equitable and Sustainable Cities
The World Resources Institute taps Graphicacy to visualize a crisis and potential solutions for a wide audience
WRI entrusted Graphicacy with the monumental task of applying a visual context to the myriad problems and potential solutions around the urban services divide. Across a multi-month project timeline, Graphicacy developed informational graphics and interactive scrollytelling passages to help policymakers and other stakeholders understand the magnitude of the problems and why solving them must be a priority.
Making global inequity a human story
Less than a decade into tracking progress toward achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, WRI came to an inescapable conclusion: Inequity was actually growing in many cities around the world, particularly in Asia, Africa, and South America. This revelation was the impetus behind the Seven Transformations report.
While all signs pointed to growing inequity, WRI needed clear, easily understood visualizations to tell a story around where inequities exist and potential actions for mitigating them.
Designing a graph that depicted the urban services divide was the first step. Graphicacy then developed a scrollytelling narrative to explain the graph and put it into context.
Other scrollytelling elements illustrate the benefits of upgrading informal settlements to improve living conditions and environmental sustainability. The graphic evolves to show how a series of progressive improvements can have large and lasting impacts.
Graphicacy partnered with illustrator Ben Oldenburg to bring this graphic to life, with an isometric style city scene. Ben also helped produce vignettes for all seven recommended transformations.