Top 5 greenest cities in the world

March 1, 2010


This article by Beth Hodgson originally appeared in GlobalPost.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen serious discussions taking place globally as countries and cities pledge to go green.

Some cities have made greener strides than others, which puts them at the top of the list for sustainability goals.

The five greenest cities in the world aren’t necessarily those that are nothing but green space, but they’re on the right track to improving their footprints.

5. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver has been recognized for trying to make the Winter Olympic games sustainable, but it’s their day-to-day focus that really allows this Canadian city to earn its ranking. Ninety percent of Vancouver is powered by hydroelectricity.

Wind, solar, wave and tidal energy all help ensure that this city remains green. Plus, they’ve got even greater goals for the future.

4. Malmo, Sweden

This is one international city that is focused on green space. They are well-known for their parks, but also upon sustainable urban develop. It’s one of the largest cities in Sweden and it’s truly urban. They’ve been transforming neighborhoods to make them environmentally friendly.

3. Curitiba, Brazil

This Brazilian city focuses upon maintenance using green methods, for example, parks that are trimmed by sheep. They are also known for one of the best transit systems, so commuters are encouraged to leave their cars at home.

2. Portland, Oregon, United States

Although many U.S. cities are now jumping on board, this was the first to focus upon alternative transit with light-rail and extensive bike path networks to encourage people to leave their cars in the driveway! It was also one of the first to pledge to reduce emissions and start transitioning buildings to use sustainable materials.

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

This city is run entirely on green power, including geothermal and hydroelectricity. Their transit system also uses hydrogen buses and it’s motivated to become Europe’s cleanest city.

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Photo shows a lifeguard dressed against the chill watching over bathers at Iceland’s Blue Lagoon hot springs just outside Reykjavik, as a thermal electricity plant looms in the background on Sept. 13, 1998.  REUTERS/Bob Strong

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