Which are the 10 most sustainable cities in the world?

My list

Author | Eduardo Bravo

In 2015, the UN member states established seventeen measures to end poverty, guarantee peace and protect the planet with a target date of 2030. These Sustainable Development Goals include making human settlements more inclusive, safe, resilientand sustainable.

According to the UN, 55% of the world’s population, 4.5 billion people, live in urban areas. However, cities barely occupy 3% of the Earth’s land surface. This does not prevent them from accounting for 60-80% of energy consumption and generating 70% of the world’s carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Sustainable cities have emerged to solve this problem. Or rather, cities have begun to appear that really are committed to sustainability instead of simply patching up issues.

What makes a city sustainable?

A sustainable city is one that aims to improve the quality of life of its existing and future inhabitants, respecting natural resources and seeking social justice. To achieve this, they provide access to basic public resources, they reduce CO2 emissions, they foster sustainable consumption, recycling and fair trade. There are many cities that have implemented solutions aimed at achieving these goals. These include those known as the C40, which have been working in this direction since 2005.

The most sustainable cities:

The parameters that make a city more sustainable than others are diverse and potentially open to interpretation. However, more or less weighted lists can be drawn up. Once of these is the Sustainable Cities Index, published by Acardis in 2018, producing the following results:

1. London, England

Good public services including healthcare, education and transport, a work-life balance, low crime rates and economic potential make London the most sustainable city on Earth. The only aspect that needs improvement is its environmental quality.

2. Stockholm, Sweden

The initiatives aimed at promoting public transport, electric vehicles and bicycles have enabled Stockholm to now have lower air pollution levels than the average of all C40 member cities. It also stands out for its green spaces and a strong focus on social policies.

3. Edinburgh, Scotland

The Scottish capital has low levels of delinquency, equal pay policies and investments in infrastructures to ensure citizens are connected to the internet and, ultimately, to public institutions.

4. Singapore, the Republic of Singapore

Its economic potential, positive higher education figures and its leading position in research, as well as its efficient transport network in a country that is an island, make Singapore worthy of inclusion in this list. Its particular features make this city-state the paradigm of a smart city.

5. Vienna, Austria

The capital of Austria has one of the best public transport systems in the world. It is also considered to be one of the best cities in the world to live thanks to its diverse range of cultural events and technological development. In fact, in some lists Vienna appears as the best city in the world to live.

6. Zurich, Switzerland

In 2016, it was ranked as the most sustainable city in the world. Today, it only maintains that title within Switzerland thanks to its alternative modes of transport, energy efficiency and for reducing energy consumption per person to 2,000 watts.

7. Munich, Germany

The municipal company Stadtwerke München generates renewable energy for households in the city. A solution which, by 2025, will reach industries and companies. It also uses geothermal energy to heat households and reduce CO2 emissions.

8. Oslo, Norway

Its green areas, forests, waste management and its commitment to public transport, electric vehicles and bicycles to reduce CO2 emissions by 50%, make Oslo, the economic heart of Norway, a sustainable and green city.

9. Hong Kong, China

The second most sustainable city of Asia after Singapore, thanks to its economy and transport networks. However, it needs to improve three aspects: pollution, massification and social inequality.

10. Frankfurt, Germany

The German city plans to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030. It hopes to achieve this goal through its commitment to renewable energies, promoting energy efficiency with discounts and the creation of a green belt with more than 200,000 trees.

Images | Nexvoyage,Pdimaria,Akenarinc,Designerpoint,Frankfurt.

Related content
Sydney Opera House: some interesting facts about its architecture
Sydney Opera House: some interesting facts about its architecture
Emma Cobos, Port de Barcelona: “Port cities will not be able to be smart cities unless they have a smart port”
Emma Cobos, Port de Barcelona: “Port cities will not be able to be smart cities unless they have a smart port”
Is concrete toxic? The effects of concrete in our cities on human health
Is concrete toxic? The effects of concrete in our cities on human health
Green roofs: advantages and disadvantages of rooftop gardens
Green roofs: advantages and disadvantages of rooftop gardens
Pandemic-proof cities: the key to urban development models of the future
Pandemic-proof cities: the key to urban development models of the future
Could Telosa be the definitive version of a smart and sustainable city?
Could Telosa be the definitive version of a smart and sustainable city?
Freedom Ship: the floating city that never set sail
Freedom Ship: the floating city that never set sail
Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town: planning for the next 100 years
Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town: planning for the next 100 years
Ville Radieuse: Why did Le Corbusier’s Radiant City fail?
Ville Radieuse: Why did Le Corbusier’s Radiant City fail?
Sustainable architecture: design, materials and more about sustainable buildings
Sustainable architecture: design, materials and more about sustainable buildings
China land reclamation projects: the country with the most land reclaimed from the sea
China land reclamation projects: the country with the most land reclaimed from the sea
What happened to Dubai man-made islands?
What happened to Dubai man-made islands?
Barcelona 92: the impact of hosting the Olympics in the interest of global exposure
Barcelona 92: the impact of hosting the Olympics in the interest of global exposure
The SMART Port concept: proposing a more social, resilient and environmental port model
The SMART Port concept: proposing a more social, resilient and environmental port model
Smart tunnel: what is it, how does it work and the real example of Malaysia
Smart tunnel: what is it, how does it work and the real example of Malaysia
The Eden Project: What is the purpose of this sustainable city?
The Eden Project: What is the purpose of this sustainable city?
Reclaiming land from the sea: A solution to climate change or an even bigger problem?
Reclaiming land from the sea: A solution to climate change or an even bigger problem?
Angkor: 1000 years since the first major smart city
Angkor: 1000 years since the first major smart city
Seismic reinforcement: how it works and why it is so important
Seismic reinforcement: how it works and why it is so important
Smart cities: The challenges of building a future-ready workforce
Smart cities: The challenges of building a future-ready workforce
Healthy, peaceful and more equitable – life in the low-car city
Healthy, peaceful and more equitable – life in the low-car city
Climate-smart infrastructures: principles and technology
Climate-smart infrastructures: principles and technology
What is mixed-use development? Analysis of pros & cons
What is mixed-use development? Analysis of pros & cons
What is digital infrastructure and examples of its application
What is digital infrastructure and examples of its application
Exercise and urban gyms: the solution for staying fit in cities
Exercise and urban gyms: the solution for staying fit in cities
This is how Venice wants to save itself
This is how Venice wants to save itself
Financing urban infrastructure
Financing urban infrastructure
Building sustainable cities with wooden skyscrapers
Building sustainable cities with wooden skyscrapers
Building resilient smart cities in a post-pandemic world
Building resilient smart cities in a post-pandemic world
Empty office buildings are still devouring energy. Why?
Empty office buildings are still devouring energy. Why?
Decarbonizing Cities - How to Harmonize Buildings, Mobility and Infrastructure
Decarbonizing Cities - How to Harmonize Buildings, Mobility and Infrastructure
Buildings, firms tap smart tech to monitor operations
Buildings, firms tap smart tech to monitor operations
What is a digital twin?
What is a digital twin?
Indian smart cities offer a model for pandemic recovery
Indian smart cities offer a model for pandemic recovery
Urban planning and COVID-19: lessons learned and future challenges
Urban planning and COVID-19: lessons learned and future challenges
CQC/Qicheng: Photocell, Intelligent controller enclosure and dimming receptacle/socket for smart streetlights
CQC/Qicheng: Photocell, Intelligent controller enclosure and dimming receptacle/socket for smart streetlights
Maximising the potential of smart city investments
Maximising the potential of smart city investments
The road to smart city infrastructure starts with research
The road to smart city infrastructure starts with research
Connecting urban environments with IoT and Digital Twins
Connecting urban environments with IoT and Digital Twins
Microsoft: Smart Places and Infrastructure with IoT, AI, and Digital Twins
Microsoft: Smart Places and Infrastructure with IoT, AI, and Digital Twins
[ui!] Urban Software Institute: Mobility for your whole life
[ui!] Urban Software Institute: Mobility for your whole life
AI, image recognition and cloud computing: how do smart ports work?
AI, image recognition and cloud computing: how do smart ports work?
Advantages (and the odd disadvantage) of 3D urban planning
Advantages (and the odd disadvantage) of 3D urban planning
More than just pine and cement: guidelines for smart urban furniture
More than just pine and cement: guidelines for smart urban furniture
Smart infrastructures, the key to more resilient and efficient cities
Smart infrastructures, the key to more resilient and efficient cities
An administrative building in Dubai, the largest 3D printed structure in the world
An administrative building in Dubai, the largest 3D printed structure in the world
Smart Buildings for Smart Workers: improving the efficiency of workers and buildings
Smart Buildings for Smart Workers: improving the efficiency of workers and buildings
Five impossible Smart City projects with our existing technology
Five impossible Smart City projects with our existing technology
Smart hospitals: cities within cities
Smart hospitals: cities within cities
Google is building the city of the future in Toronto
Google is building the city of the future in Toronto
Recommended profiles for you
Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
Jason Shaw
Jason Shaw
Hilson Moran
Associate Security Consultant
MR
Marcos Roberto de Oliveira
VSM TECNOLOGIA DAS COISAS
Executivo Director
Alexandre Barbosa
Alexandre Barbosa
B2 International Consulting
Chief Executive Officer
WC
WENCHI MAN COUNCIL
mymunwenchi
Administrator
Eitan Grosbard
Eitan Grosbard
Tactile Mobility
Business Development VP
Diaa El-Masry
Diaa El-Masry
Qatar Green Leaders
General Manager
Dora Hegyi
Dora Hegyi
Technische Universität Berlin
Research assistant
Maria Immaculata Krisna Adyasari Dyas
Maria Immaculata Krisna Adyasari Dyas
Ministry of Public Works and Housing
Technical Staff of Project Management Unit for National Slum Upgrading Project (NSUP)
IGOR Cunha
IGOR Cunha
SÃO PAULO STATE GOVERNMENT
Advisor of Regional Development
NZ
Nahum Zaera
Telespazio Ibérica
Business Development
Marta Companys
Marta Companys
Noord Zuid Architectuur
Architect. Independent project advisor and intermediary between Spain and the Netherlands.
Helen Maguire
Helen Maguire
Construction Scotland Innovation Centre
Marketing & Communications Manager
GL
GEORGINA LOPEZ
Go Pop Up
Sales Rep
KV
Krishna Rao Velagapudi
Professionels
Director
Ibarra Sudario
Ibarra Sudario
SUDACON Inc.
Manager
IR
Iñigo Reol Reol
SIMON
Public & Private Lighting
FP
Filipe Pinto
Bentley Systems
Sales Engineer - Mobile Mapping & Reality Modelling
PM
Pedro Morais
Construbuild Services Lda.
General Manager
QG
Qurat-ul-Ain Ghazali
SmartCityExpo.ae
Digital Marketing Manager
Shanshan Wang
Shanshan Wang
Arup
Senior Engineer

Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$