5 Of The World’s Most Sustainable Cities
Date published 29 January 2021
What Does Sustainable City Mean?
Sustainable cities offer optimal quality of life to their current residents without reducing the opportunities for future residents to have fulfilling lives and flourish in their environment. These are cities that are designed with considerations for social, economic, and environmental impact, creating a resilient habitat that will continue to prosper for future generationsk.
Which Are The Most Sustainable Cities?
There are many key factors that contribute to how sustainable a city is, including accessibility of resources and services, effortless public transport, an overall safe environment, use of renewable resources, waste management, energy efficiency, affordable housing, and strong sense of community with cultural and social amenities accessible to all. We have created a handy list of 5 of some of the most sustainable cities in the world that are in adherence with these key factors.
1. Zurich, Switzerland
Due to their focus on education and public awareness, the Swiss are one of world’s most sustainable communities. Industries and businesses are being regularly held accountable on their energy use or waste-reduction goals. They are highly focused on energy efficiency, both at a commercial and individual level. The homes and public buildings in Zurich also all adhere to strict sustainable-building principles. They also demonstrate a strong commitment to urban ecology with a proved reputation as being one of the most liveable cities.
2. Singapore, Southeast Asia
Singapore is the most sustainable city in Asia, while also ranking highly on the worldwide playing field. Singapore not only have ambitious connectivity plans and financial investments, but they have also implemented an ambitious eco-building programme, which asserts that any greenery loss on the ground must be replaced with greenery in the sky. This explains Singapore’s lush parks and areas of Marina Bay, which was a development created with reclaimed land that now acts as a “green lung” to help protect the city from flooding.
3. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm is the largest city in Sweden and obtains a high score for environment and quality of life due to the implementation of numerous initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions. This is demonstrated in the transformation of their Hammarby Sjöstad area from an industrial zone into an ecological neighbourhood founded on sustainable water, energy, and waste management systems. Stockholm are one of the only cities in the world that recycles all of its household waste and have informative labels on all their items about where products are sourced and if they were made in an earth-friendly way. Town planning is also carefully considered to ensure ease of walking or cycling between main city locations.
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen are working on a plan to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025. They are on track for this goal and are creating a benchmark for sustainable living with hydrogen-powered taxis, natural swimming baths, and floating saunas made from local wood. They embrace cycling over using vehicles for transportation, introducing even more cycle lanes and rivalling Amsterdam for being the most bicycle friendly city in the world. There is also great initiative around consuming organic and locally grown produce.
5. San Francisco, USA
Due to its dense population, it may come as a surprise that San Francisco is one of the most eco-friendly cities in the world. San Francisco consistently strive for innovative solutions that contribute to sustainable living. They are leaders in waste management, have large scale commitments to solar energy, and their authorities are pushing forward bans on certain products that cause damage to the environment. Recycling is required by law and plastic bags were banned in 2007, making them way ahead of the curve on sustainable practices.
The Importance of Sustainability
Ensuring we are creating sustainable living environments is becoming increasingly important. By fostering sustainability in our urban environments now, we are able to create career and business opportunities, and safe and affordable housing, all while building resilient societies and economies for many generations to come. We can contribute to sustainability in our own ways by walking, cycling or using public transport over driving, as well as recycling, and being energy conscious in your own homes and businesses.