Which countries invest most in sustainable policies? And which are the greenest cities in the world, which respect the environment and the territory the most?
DualCitizenLLC, an American consulting firm dealing with environmental sustainability issues, has drawn up the “Global Green Economy Index” report to answer these questions.
Now in its fifth year, the study offers an in-depth analysis of 80 countries and 50 cities around the world and the role they play in the global “green economy”. The study considered the following criteria: leadership & climate change; industrial efficiency; marketing & investment; environmental development.
At the top of the ranking, without any surprises, it is possible to find again the Scandinavian countries. Sweden, in fact, is once again the greenest country of all, followed by Norway and Finland. In fourth and fifth place are Switzerland and Germany. But the real novelty is the special ranking on cities, introduced for the first time in the annual edition. This ranking shows that it is not only the national policies are increasingly important, but also the urban measures. Here is the focus on the five greenest cities in the world.
Top Greenest Cities in the World: Copenhagen
The Danish capital is an undisputed model for green economy. In fact, the public transport system is well developed, cars are few and, every day, more than 1 million km are travelled by bike. One in ten food stores sells organic food. It is also an example for sustainable building. This is confirmed by the complex of Orestad City, a few kilometers from the capital, which was built in less than a decade.
While Sweden is at the top of the country charts, Stockholm has been the European green capital since 2010. The city offers numerous eco-hikes, as well as many organic markets and eco-fashion boutiques. But the world‘s first national city park, “Ecoparken“, is most fascinating. This uninterrupted green area stretches from the small islands of Fjäderholmarna to the centre, Djurgården, and areas north of the city.
Through a multi-year project, the city of Vancouver has set itself the goal of becoming green by 2020. The prerequisites are all there: state-of-the-art bio-building, efficient urban transport, reduction of waste going to landfill, clean water and air, local food and contact with nature. Stanley Park is one of the largest and most beautiful urban parks in the world. Here the expanse of skyscrapers seems to stop “suddenly”.
The Norwegian capital has already announced its explicit intention to become, by 2019, the first city in the world to ban cars in the city centre. This historic measure will require at least 60 km of cycle paths, various incentives to buy electric cars and bicycles and a massive investment in public transport. An incredible and surprising turning point – if you consider that Norway is the largest producer of oil in Europe.
Singapore is known as the “garden-city”: more than 20% of urban buildings are in fact “green”. In Punggol, a suburb of the city-state, an entire plexus of totally sustainable social housing has been built. The buildings are covered with plants that lower the temperature of the buildings avoiding waste. Moreover, they have white outer walls, to repel the sun’s rays – as well as wind power systems and systems for recycling waste.