All human beings want to live in a clean and green environment but not all people are committed to taking actions to make this a reality. Slowly but surely, the Earth’s health is degrading and the quality of human life is degrading with it. Though climate change deniers continue to thrive and sometimes make catastrophic decisions, all hope is not lost. Some cities and countries are making efforts to keep their environment clean by reducing carbon emissions, preventing public littering and cutting down on pollution levels.
Yale University & the World Economic Forum has done a listing of cleanest cities in the world depending on the parameters such as environmental health, ecosystem vitality, biodiversity, air pollution, water, etc. This is known as the Environmental Performance Score. So, Here is a list of the 25 cleanest cities in the world,
Cleanest Cities In The World
Hamburg is the cleanest and one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world. It has set an ambitious target for itself promising to reduce its carbon emission by 80% by 2050. Citizens are encouraged to use public transport and extensive funds are being channeled into developing clean technology.
Chicago may seem an unlikely candidate for being one of the cleanest cities in the world but it has adopted an innovative approach to reducing pollution and littering. There are more than 2 million square feet of rooftop gardens and a well-developed network of public transport that help reduce pollution. Also, read about the best tourist attractions in Chicago.
Copenhagen is a colorful city in Denmark that is widely accepted as the most environmentally friendly city in the world. The administration has invested heavily in maintaining water quality and reducing air and water pollution. It is so effective that the area surrounding the harbor can be used for swimming without fear of pollutants.
This island city is one of the most remote major cities in the world and has very few polluting industries. It has an abundance of green spaces and no public littering. Because it is a major tourist attraction, beautification and maintenance of public spaces are a high priority for the government.
Helsinki is one of the many Nordic cities to make it to the list of the cleanest cities in the world. The residents of the city are very committed to preserving the environment and prevent littering. The government has also devised a complex and energy-efficient system of heating that helps it cut down on electricity consumption.
The capital of one of the cleanest countries in the world, Reykjavik not only ranks highly on sustainability, recycling, use of public transport and green spaces but also has a high overall human development index with people who are very environmentally conscious.
Vienna is the capital of Austria and is also the largest Austrian city. A lot of money has been invested in designing and maintaining an effective garbage disposal system and most of the waste generated by this city is recycled, thus reducing pollution levels.
It is no surprise that Geneva has made it to the list of the cleanest cities in the world. It is at the helm of the movement promoting sustainable development and also has very low pollution levels.
Brazil may not be one of the cleanest countries in the world but the unique system designed by the city of Curitiba to ensure recycling of waste is responsible for its place among the cleanest cities in the world. Here, sorted waste can be exchanged for coupons of food or public transport which incentivizes people to sort their waste enabling better recycling.
Singapore is one of the most visited cities in the world but has managed to maintain its standards of cleanliness despite the large influx of tourists. There are very strict laws equally applicable to citizens and foreigners to ensure cleanliness. This includes heavy fines for littering, a ban on chewing gum and a ban on cutting trees from protected areas.
Calgary has been consistently ranked as one of the cleanest cities in the world because the municipal authorities have imbibed the five basic principles of cleanliness into their citizens. Sewage System Quality, Water Drinkability and Availability, Waste Removal and Recycling, Traffic Congestion, and Air Pollution are the five main tenets used by the city to minimize pollution and keep it clean.
12. Luxembourg City
The capital of Luxembourg is better known as the “Green Heart of Europe” and has very well preserved medieval castles and forests. The castle grounds have now been converted to large green spaces that serve as tourist attractions and recreation centers and also reduce pollution.
Kobe is one of the large cities in Japan, but despite a large population of 1.5 million, there is no public littering. This city also has one of the most effective waste disposal systems in the world and recycles most of the waste it generates. Also, read about the best tourist attractions in Japan.
Nottingham is the cleanest city in England and has very low pollution levels as well as public littering. Authorities have also taken conscious efforts to tackle the problem of graffiti and disfigurement of public property.
The Capital of Sweden was awarded the title of Cleanest Capital in Europe by the European Union in 2010. On many counts like climate change, local transport, public green areas, air quality, noise, waste, sustainable utilization of land and biodiversity, this city ticks all the right boxes. Sweden is also one of the amazing places to see the northern lights.
Portland is one of the few cities in the United States that is very environmentally conscious and has an extensive network of public transport. The food production of Oregon is also sustainable, locally produced and largely organic making is less polluted and one of the cleanest cities in the world.
This large city in Australia has a population of 2.3 million but is spotlessly clean. There is also an abundance of recreational spaces, parks and botanical gardens which make the city pollution-free and the air crisp and clean.
Amsterdam is one of the best cities to live in because of its clean environment, lots of green spaces and the six hundred thousand cycles available for rent all over the city to travel. Those who enjoy cycling should definitely visit Amsterdam to get a taste of life there.
Toronto is one of the few large cities that can be classified as one of the cleanest city in the world. It has more than 2.5 million inhabitants but the city has managed to keep itself tidy through concentrated efforts. Moreover, the greenhouse emissions in Toronto are also very low because most people use public transport and green construction technology.
This small German city is the sunniest in the country and is located in the heart of the wine-growing region of Baden-Wurttemberg. The Black Forest is also located close to this city making it a green haven full of forests and vineyards.
21. El Hierro
This Spanish city is one of the Canary Islands and is a major tourist attraction not just for being the cleanest city in the world but is also known for producing all its required electricity using renewable sources. It is a UNESCO biosphere reserve and has ancient volcanic forests that are still very well preserved.
Norway’s capital is not only one of the cleanest cities in the world in terms of hygiene of the city, but also has one of the cleanest environments in the world. It is ranked among the top five most liveable cities in the world.
This city is located in Morocco and is one of the few Moroccan cities to make it to the list of the cleanest cities in the world. It is a hill station and also has a popular ski resort. Since there are no industries in this area, the pollution levels are also low.
Wellington is one of the largest cities in New Zealand and is a very popular tourist attraction because of its well-maintained green spaces, lakes, and hills. Public transport is used by more than two-thirds of the people keeping the pollution levels low.
This Swiss city is not just the cleanest but also one of the most eco-friendly cities in the world. It has an extensive network of green spaces, bicycle tracks, green public transport, and the city also funds research into clean energy and building technologies.
Berlin is one of the cleanest cities in the world because of its comprehensive strategy in controlling high pollution emitters. The city has an excellent transport system which is very helpful in improving its overall air quality.
Paris has a good quality of air as compared to many cities in Europe. France is working towards the paris agreement by cutting carbon dioxide emissions even more by 2020. France is dependent on nuclear energy for electricity for years which is why its cities are ranked among the cleanest in the world.
28. New York City
New York City is one of the cleanest cities in the world sitting where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The city is located off the world’s largest natural harbors and has five boroughs that includes Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island that came together in 1898 to make New York City.
Oviedo is the cleanest city in Spain situated in northwest Spain between the Cantabrian Mountains and the Bay of Biscay. It is a famous old town dating back to 9th-century Holy Chamber.
Auckland is one of the best cities in the world known for its quality of air, according to the survey carried out around the world. The city has a natural environment and a subtropical climate. Also, the health and medical services are good which makes it one of the best and cleanest cities in the world.
Making a city clean requires constant efforts not just from the government but also from the citizens. Merely passing laws and issuing circulars do not ensure a clean city. Conscious sustained efforts from citizens, sometimes at a minor personal inconvenience are required to back the efforts of a willing government structure.