Are you living in a green city? Would you like to visit a green city, where you will see more bicycles than cars on the streets? Do you want to know and explore the different sustainable means currently being implemented in the green cities? The following are the cities that made it to the most recent list of the top ten greenest cities in the world:
10. Zermatt, Switzerland
This picturesque and charming Swiss town located at the foot of Matterhorn Mountain, is an ideal place for hiking and skiing. Up until today, the streets of Zermatt are filled only with pedestrians, people on their bicycles, horse carts and a few electric cars (emergency vehicles only).
9. Freiburg, Germany
In the number nine position is the city of Freiburg in Germany. What makes this a highly sustainable green city is its car-free roads. One of main reasons why Freiburg has made it on the list is its experimentation on green living, which has being implemented for decades. After the city’s World War II destruction, it was rebuilt on sustainable green principles. It was in the 1980’s when it became a car-free city, making it indeed one of the most sustainable cities in the world.
8. Oslo, Norway
Long before other European cities had decided to join the green wagon, Oslo had already made its mark. By 2012, heating oil has been effectively replaced with renewable energy resources and all buses that run on fossil fuel are now using biofuels. When it comes to carbon emission, Oslo is well-known to have the lowest among other European metropolis cities. One of the main reasons why Oslo has been very successful in going green is because of the full cooperation being given by the population as well as the incentives being provided by the government for every building to be developed and built promoting energy efficiency. It is also worthy to mention that 85% of the city’s school children bike, walk or use the hydroelectric powered public transport.
7. Portland, Oregon
The greenest city in the United States is Portland in Oregon. It has successfully beaten other more popular cities like San Francisco. People of Portland have made it popular to eat local, recycle, carpool and making their building LEED-certified. Portland is Oregon’s largest city and it has effectively utilized renewable energy resources; 20% more compared to what’s being implemented on a national level (Portland uses 33%, while national average is only 13%). It was also one of the first US cities to ban the use of plastic bags. Portland boasts over 250 miles of bike lanes, paths and trails.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
Aside from the popular tourist attractions, Copenhagen has made a name for itself for being among the top greenest cities in the world because of its commitment to high standards of living in an environmental way. Through the years, and with the continued efforts to become and remain sustainable, this city has successfully built a great reputation as a global leader in combating climate change. And just like the cities mentioned above, it is also a city known for bicycles. It has been reported that a third of the city’s residents use their bikes primarily in getting to work and school, and in getting around the city. By next year the numbers of bike users are expected to reach up to 50% of the total number of local residents.
5. Dallas, Texas
Dallas Texas is another city in the United States to make the list because it is one of the first ones that mandatorily implemented the Green Building Standards. As of October last year, all commercial and residential building projects are required to meet the city’s Green Construction Code or to get certified under Green Built Texas, LEED and other sustainable green building codes and standards. And because of the requirements to follow strict city plumbing codes, it is expected that all the succeeding building projects in the city will reduce water usage for up to 20%.
4. Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide offers 29 parks and green hotels. It’s also quite well-known as a Cycling City with over 500 bikes that can be hired for free. This is through the effort of the city council’s objective for a greener and cleaner city.
When it comes to public transport, Adelaide offers Tindo, the very first solar-powered bus in the world, with air-conditioning and wireless internet. Recycling is also a big part of Adelaide’s efforts to Go Green. The city’s central market has been effectively recycling over 85% of its waste. Solar power has also become a huge part of sustainable living in Adelaide. As proof of this, most of the buildings including the Parliament House, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Adelaide central Bus Station and the South Australia Museum Art Gallery, boast solar panel systems.
3. Abu Dhabi, UAE
Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates managed to get listed because of the city’s efforts to promote waste reduction, water conservation and energy efficiency. One of the most fascinating Green projects of this city is the development of Masdar, the Green City, which is also known as one of the world’s most sustainable communities. Masdar is a model city that offers the best of the financial industries with its entrepreneurial and creative atmosphere. It is a great place to start a business because its low carbon footprint.
2. Cape Town, South Africa
Due to Cape Town’s effective program on energy efficiency, it has won the second highest position of the greenest cities in the world. The program’s objective is consumption reduction within the municipality. It implements strict rules on energy reduction, as it also improves traffic and street lighting. Cape Town may be one of the most populous cities in the world, but it has continuously proven through the years that the number of its residents is not a hindrance to its objective to be totally Green and sustainable.
The number one greenest city in the world for 2014 is Vancouver, Canada. It’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan is responsible for winning the top spot. As part of the city’s objectives to be the world’s greenest city, the city local council works with the residents in enacting sweeping changes in handling waste, ecosystem and carbon management. Its ambitious project for new and carbon neutral buildings by 2020 showed the world that being completely Green is possible. Vancouver also aims to totally transform its transport system with the development of a new and innovative Bikeway and the 28 km long Seaside Greenway projects.
The Westcoast Blogger
Do you want to start planning your next trip? Get ready for our Backpack France and Switzerland tour. This program includes the Eiffel Tower, Swiss Alps & more.