London has been ranked as the fifth most sustainable city in the world in a new research.
Global design consultancy Arcadis examined 100 cities to determine how green they are by looking at their social (quality of life), environmental (looking at green factors including pollution, emissions and energy) and economic (reflecting the business environment and economic health) performance.
Arcadis’ Sustainable Cities Index analysed a total of 32 different indicators and is broken down into an overall index and three sub-indices across each category.
London’s top five ranking was mostly a result of its 3,000 green spaces. Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow joined London inside the global top 25 for environmental sustainability, but all six UK cities need to do more to improve the quality of life for inhabitants according to the report.
Zurich took top place thanks to its particularly high rating for environmental and economic sustainability.
Richard Bonner, UK Cities Director, said:
“As one of the world’s greenest capitals and position at the centre of international trade, London can reap the long-term benefits of being a truly sustainable world city. However, three of the UK’s largest regional centres – Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds – are being outperformed by their European rivals.
“In particular, their poor economic performance should be of concern to policy makers looking to rebalance the country’s economy in the wake of Brexit.”
Globally, well-established European cities dominate the top of the overall ranking making up 16 of the top 20 positions. They are joined by the advanced Asian cities of Singapore (in second place), Seoul (7th) and Hong Kong (16th) as well as Australia’s capital, Canberra (18th).
Overall 2016 Sustainable Cities Index ranking
- Hong Kong
- New York
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Kuala Lumpur
- Abu Dhabi
- New Orleans
- Kuwait City
- São Paulo
- Buenos Aires
- Rio de Janeiro
- Mexico City
- Cape Town
- New Delhi
The People sub-index rates health (life expectancy and obesity), education (literacy and universities), income inequality, work-life balance, the dependency ratio, crime, green space within cities and housing and living costs. These indicators can be broadly thought of as capturing “quality of life”.
The Planet sub-index ranks cities on energy consumption and renewable energy share, recycling and composting rates, greenhouse gas emissions, natural catastrophe risk, drinking water, sanitation and air pollution. These indicators can broadly be thought of as capturing “green factors”.
The Profit sub-index examines performance from a business perspective, combining measures of transport infrastructure (rail, air and traffic congestion), ease of doing business, tourism, GDP per capita, the city’s importance in global economic networks, connectivity in terms of mobile and broadband access and employment rates. These indicators can broadly be thought of as capturing “economic health”.
- Hong Kong
- New York