Greenest cities in the world: 10 cities that made great efforts to become more eco-friendly

Elizabeth Smith

Pollution is a subject we are told since primary school. And hated since kindergarten. In the 21st century, it is increasingly difficult to locate pure areas in which to breathe clean air. But the protected and incentivised public greenery in some – a few – cities, signals to us that the time has not yet come to tear our robes.

What we present here are literally the greenest and most eco-friendly cities on earth.

Top 10 greenest cities in the world

All the cities on this list deserve recognition for having made remarkable progress in eco-friendliness, helping millions of inhabitants to enjoy a better life. Here are some of the greenest cities in the world.

1. Oslo

Oslo is not only the capital of Norway, but also a city with great environmental sustainability. The city government has a clear goal: sustainable development. Its strategy, the Green Belt Boundary, includes a programme to protect the natural environment from wild development. Also, it aims to become the first carbon-neutral capital in the world.

2. Helsinki

The city of Helsinki has been working on sustainability since the late 1950s, with energy efficiency programmes and a sustainable action plan adopted in 1992. If you’re looking for a city which is great for bike lanes and public transport, that’s Helsinki, capital of Finland.

3. Singapore

Following industrialisation, Singapore experienced heavy levels of pollution. But Asia’s greenest city tackled the problem head-on, creating its first Green Plan around 1992. Today, at last, even Singaporeans wash their faces in the morning with clean water, breathe without gas masks and cultivate ‘real’ vegetable gardens, not GMO expanses. But there’s more: the city aims to have zero waste to landfill by the middle of the 21st century.

4. New York

New York is the greenest city in the US and one of the greenest in the world. Its greenhouse gas emissions are low in relation to the size of the metropolis. The New York population also makes great use of the extensive public transport system.

5. Berlin

Talking about green emissions in a Germany shaken by the Volkswagen scandal might seem absurd. Or perhaps not. Because apart from the scandals, the core of the city of Berlin is only accessible to vehicles that have a sticker indicating that they meet emission standards. Controlled emissions, cleaner cities.

6. London

Remembering the fog in London and adapting it to a green city sounds like an oxymoron. But it is.
The city has worked to leave behind the image of the industrial revolution that was. It has not only reduced greenhouse gas emissions, it has also created more green spaces. For all these reasons, it deserves the number five position in our ranking.

7. Vancouver

Vancouver is a densely populated and expensive city. And the latter is certainly a deterrent. In contrast, its mild climate makes it a highly desirable place to live. The fact that it is the cleanest city in Canada, and one of the cleanest in the world, definitely improves its standard of attractiveness.

8. Stockholm

For the uninitiated, Stockholm was the first EU city to win the European Green Capital Award. Coordinated environmental planning, extensive green spaces and a target of zero fuel use by 2050 make it one of the cleanest cities in the world.

9. Amsterdam

Everybody should try riding Amsterdam’s famous bicycles at least once in their life. One of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, it offers protected routes, racks and easy parking. Without any possibility of contradiction, we inform you that Amsterdam has more bicycles than people.

10. Copenhagen

The future already lives in Copenhagen. One of the most liveable cities in the world, the metropolis of nearly two million people is known for its advanced environmental policies and planning, with the goal of being carbon-neutral by 2025. The city’s infrastructure is bicycle-friendly and designed on a human scale. Here, cars are the pastime. This city, on the other hand, is the future.

Read also: Reimagining cities is crucial to stop climate change

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