10 of the greenest cities in the world, as determined by the green city index, the European green city index and the sustainability cities index (yep, lots of different indexes). The cities are in no particular order, but there is at least one city from each 6 continents (obviously I can’t include Antartica as there are no cities there).
The first of our 10 of the greenest cities in the world! Not only is it one of the greenest cities in North America. It is also one of the most cycle-able cities, with over 255km bike paths running all over the city. Many people opt for a cycle commute over a car commute, which greatly reduced the cities overall carbon footprint. Vancouver also has a very strict recycling policy. Garbage must be separated into recyclables, this includes organic waste. Recyclables are collected more often than general waste, which forces people to be more aware of their consumption and waste production. On top of this, households in Vancouver can be fined if caught not separating their garbage correctly. It may seem harsh – but, it works! Vancouverites also boost to have one of the lowest carbon emissions per capita in North America.
San Francisco, USA
Cape Town, South Africa
Copenhagen actually was ranked the highest in the European green city index, which was largely due to the government’s and the locals’ efforts to achieve and sustain a very clean and hygienic environment. It is also due to the very high standard of quality life, which is achieved in an efficient environmental means.
Denmark is definitely on our list of countries to cycle through, during our world cycle tour.
The city of Reykjavik runs completely on renewable energy. The city has learnt to effectively converts geothermal activity into renewable clean energy. It is estimated that by 2050, Reykjavik will be completely independent from using fossil fuels. This is something that every other city in the world is nowhere near achieving.
Bristol is a city located in the South West of England (not to far from my parents hometown in Swindon). It will actually be the city we finish out world cycle tour in. Bristol was declared the greenest city in the United Kingdom in 2015. This city’s ‘green’ ranking will probably surprise a lot of people, as it did once have a reputation of being a run down, rural city, with a big drug problem and a large population of homelessness, but the city has undergone a lot of innovative development in recent years. Though like any city, there are still problems to be fixed, but overall this development is proof that any city is capable of becoming ‘green’.
Portland is the last of our 10 of the greenest cities in the world. The city has had the reputation of being a green city for quite some time. The overall attitude of locals, is green, which obviously influences the overall ‘greenness’ of the city. Most local residents aim to only eat locally produced products, to carpool, to recycle and to make the buildings LEED-certified. Portland is a great example of a city where the people are the ultimate drive towards achieving environmental sustainability. The demand from the people forces businesses to follow green practices.
Portland, like Vancouver, is also a very cycle-able city. There are over 250km of cycle paths throughout the city. Definitely, my kind of city!
So, that’s my list of 10 of the greenest cities in the world in 2015. If you enjoyed this article then you might also enjoy learning about our eco-discoveries, and reading our articles on Ecotourism in Jamaica and Discovering the Patagonia Store in Halifax.
Are there any other cities that you think should be on this list of 10 of the greenest cities in the world? If so, add your city and reason, below.