This report explores a new take on the concept of "citystates" and how the sustainability of cities and business are inextricably linked.

Produced in partnership with GreenBiz and sponsored by Ford Motor Company, the paper lays out seven characteristics or "states" for sustainable cities that can enable both cities and businesses serving them to flourish.

"The purpose of 'Citystates,' " say report authors Chris Guenther and Mohammed Al-Shawaf, "is to seed a dialogue, the central question of which is: How might business and others come together to strengthen and leverage the unique characteristics and advantages of cities to accelerate progress on sustainability?"

The idea of cities as catalysts for sustainability will be the focus of a panel talk at VERGE DC 2012 this week. The topic will be in the spotlight at further VERGE events this year.

The report is described in this video briefing from SustainAbility: