Currently, around 50% of the global population live in cities, and that figure is expected to increase to 60% by 2030.
Dr Roland Busch, the chief executive at Siemens’ infrastructure and cities unit, believes that “cities are the growth engines of the future, offering their populations greater opportunities for education, employment and prosperity. Yet, the negative effects of their growth can also result in traffic congestion, informal settlements, urban sprawl, environmental pollution, exploitation of resources and a significant contribution to climate change.”
One solution is sustainable cities. These are cities that integrate with the local environment, rather than just dominating it. They use sustainable methods to produce energy, recycle water, grow food, dispose of waste, and reduce general pollution to water, land, and the air.
To help determine the sustainability of modern cities around the world, and try to identify where improvements can be made the Economist Intelligence Unit and Siemens performed a joint study from which they created the Green City Index.
The Green City Index looked at over 120 cities from around the world and ranked them in several categories in an attempt to determine their eco-friendliness.
33 cities were ranked in Europe, with Copenhagen placed at the top, closely followed by Stockholm; then followed Oslo, Vienna, and Amsterdam.
27 cities were evaluated in the USA & Canada. San Francisco dominated the field, followed by Vancouver, New York, Seattle, and Denver.
22 Asian cities are included in the index with only one, Singapore, actually being ranked as ‘well above average’. Six cities only achieved a score of ‘above average’, Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, and Yokohama, and the rest were ranked ‘average’ or below.
Latin American cities also performed poorly, again, with just one achieving a rank of ‘well above average’, the Brazilian city of Curitiba. Five other cities then make up the ‘above average’ position, those being, Belo Horizonte, Bogota, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com