With the world’s climate forever changing due to pollutants and global warming being a very real thing that puts huge parts of the world’s population under threat, countries around the globe have put measures in place to halt the continued damage to the environment and help people be greener. A large percentage of the countries that make up this wonderful planet have signed up to dozens of treaties to help lower the amount of pollution emitted into the atmosphere, but some of them are going the extra mile and deserve a place on our greenest cities in the world list.
Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen, has been rated as one of the most desirable cities in the world to live in. Its current population is approaching two million residents so it is one of the smaller cities but that does not stop it from having one of the most advanced environmental policies and planning initiatives on the planet. The Copenhagen government has set an ambitious target of being carbon-neutral by the year 2025 and has 500 companies signed up to the CleanTech Cluster to assist in lowering pollution levels. Also, the city’s infrastructure is designed to be conductive to cycling and walking rather than using automobiles.
Amsterdam of the Netherlands has some of the cleanest air in the world thanks to the fact that it is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities on the planet. There are more bicycles in Amsterdam than there are people, and everyone rides a bike in Amsterdam and has done for decades thanks in part to the flatness of the city and the fact everything is nice and compact in the Dutch capital.
The Swedish capital of Stockholm is another Scandinavian city on our list and it definitely deserves a place on it. Why? Because Stockholm has had coordinated environmental planning in place since the 1970s and was the European Union’s first city to win the coveted European Green Capital Award in 2010. Stockholm’s latest target is to be completely fossil fuel-free by the year 2050, which will make it one of the cleanest and greenest cities on the globe.
Vancouver has the best air quality in Canada and is ranked in the top 10 in the world for the same measurements. The government of the city knows that as the city grows so will the amount of pollution, but has steps in place to help limit this damaging pollution. Its goal is to have its residents breathe the cleanest air of any major city in the world and is doing this with initiatives such as developing an electric vehicle infrastructure to help cope with the demand for electric vehicles, have permanent air quality stations within city limits and educating Vancouver’s residents to the pollutants their everyday activities can cause.
Oslo of Norway is yet another green Scandinavian city on our list thanks to its city government having a Strategy for Sustainable Development. Part of this strategy is an aggressive program to protect its natural surroundings, while its Green Belt Boundary protects Oslo’s numerous wild areas from development.