Global warming and unsustainable lives – we seriously need something to inspire us and give Mother Nature a break. Hence, taking a peek at some of the cleanest and greenest cities across the world might give us a glimpse of what living in a healthy environment means. These are the greenest cities across the globe.
The largest city in Alberta in Canada, Calgary, has often been declared to be the greenest city in the world. It has an excellent transportation system in the city, consisting of rail transportation and also of a well planned grid system to deal with traffic congestion. Even though it has many industries in its vicinity, the climate coupled with excellent administrative measures have kept the pollution levels down very low.
Among American cities, it is not surprising that Honolulu tops the list of the least polluted cities. The industries located in this region are very light and non-polluting. An excellent bus transit system, has decreased the exhaust and traffic fume levels. The proximity to the ocean also contributes to the clean air and healthy environment.
A fairly large city, Helsinki the capital of Finland, is the least polluted city in Europe. The citizens of the city take a great deal of pride in keeping the city clean and pollution free. Their light rail commuter system is very popular, and the use of cars and other vehicles is kept to the minimum.
The second city from Canada to make it to the list of the Top 10, Ottawa has among the best volunteer programs to keep the city green and clean. During their “Spring Cleaning the Capital” month between April 15th and May 15th, over 60,000 volunteers are present to clean the parks, roads and sidewalks etc of the city. Like other green cities, Ottawa residents rely on a good light rail transport system to commute, thereby reducing the fumes in the city.
The twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have made cleanliness and environmental friendly policies the hallmark of their administration. Along with the good rail systems (which seem to be a necessary part of every green city), the emphasis on bike riding and the facilities being provided to bike riders are among the other factors which have given these cities such a high ranking.
City developers of this cultural, financial and commercial hub of Norway have made the environment one of their primary concerns. From 2010 they are planning to start buses which run on fuel generated from human waste. They also have a public bicycle rental programme, where riders can access bikes from over 90 stations in the city.
The Swedes have been in the forefront in the conversion from fuel guzzling cars to hybrids. About 5% of the cars present in Stockholm are hybrid versions. The city also has very little heavy industry in or around it. Like in all other green cities, the public transportation systems are clean and efficient.
Once again, another city with multiple public transport systems which make a good alternative to private cars. This decreases the number of polluting vehicles on the road. Added to this is the Swiss penchant for cleanliness, and we have a very green and clean city
With a population of only 30,000 and a total area of only 253.68 sq. Km., Katsuyama is the smallest city on this list. Tourism being its main income, there is a tremendous amount of effort being made to keep the city green.
The second city from Switzerland and yet another city relying on tourism. There are a number of initiatives which have been taken by the city council to maintain its pristine cleanliness and its environmentally friendly reputation.