With a mass of people, a lot of fumes, and piles of rubbish, big cities are not precisely known for their positive contribution to environmental protection. However, many cities also contribute well to ecological protection compared to the large polluters. Here are 6 of the greenest cities of the world:
1) Freiburg, Germany
Perhaps not for every city globally, but certainly for Freiburg: this city is entirely car-free. The city has been creating a more sustainable environment since 1970, and this process is bearing fruit. Waste disposal in Freiburg has been reduced by 90,000 tonnes in just 12 years. The German city has set several targets: in 2007, it was agreed that CO2 emissions must be reduced by 40% by 2030, and in 2014 the target will be increased to 50%. The city now wants 100% renewable energy.
2) Reykjavik, Iceland
The Icelandic city is determined to live entirely without fossil fuels by 2050. That will probably be the case. Geothermal heat, also known as geothermal energy, already supplies power to all buildings in the city. Around 0.01% of electricity in Iceland is produced from fossil fuels. According to The Huffington Post, Reykjavik takes the dough for green life, being the first city to live almost entirely on green energy.
3) Oslo, Norway
Last year the Oslo Government announced that it wants to ban all cars in the city within four years, and with this plan, it intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Eighty percent of Oslo’s heating system is based on renewable energy, and the city’s objective is to increase this percentage to 100 percent. Besides, the Norwegian town has a system that converts household waste into recyclable energy. Norway wants to be fully CO2-neutral by 2030, the chances of success are reasonable, given the successful adaptations of recent times.
4) Curitiba, Brazil
Curitiba is an excellent example of how a large, growing city can be and remain sustainable. Although Curitiba has almost two million inhabitants, the government works hard to create green areas such as parks and gardens. Besides, public transport in the Brazilian city is called a real revolution in transportation: buses run the same system like the metro, with fixed prices, lanes, and buses departing several times an hour. Around 72% of the city’s inhabitants use buses instead of their transport, which means much less air pollution. More than 1.5 million trees have recently been planted in the town, and more than 50 percent of paper, metal, glass, and plastic are recycled. The government stimulates this by rewarding residents who give away waste with vegetables or bus tickets.
5) Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen wants to be entirely CO2-neutral by 2025, with its dedicated inhabitants, clean water, and plenty of greenery, which certainly seems feasible. The city has an offshore wind farm along the coast and began building a new metro system in 2000, which improves public transport. In addition, Copenhagen is known for making bicycles available free of charge to the city’s residents, so only 25% of Copenhagen’s households have a car.
6) Vienna, Austria
Vienna is an example of being the greenest city in the world. Moreover, it ranks first in the ranking of the « greenest » metropolises. Vienna is a leader in the following disciplines:
- Parks and local recreational areas at every turn – half of the city is green.
- Public transport in Vienna will take you everywhere. This is why every second inhabitant of Vienna uses it.
- The recycling and composting programs are top-notch: 30% of the city’s energy needs come from renewable sources.
- Sorting waste can also be stylish: In Vienna, energy is also an art.
- Local agricultural markets provide the city with the best groceries.
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