1. Copenhagen

By 2025, the city hopes to be the world’s first carbon-neutral capital, with less than 2% of garbage going to landfill and the remainder being transformed into energy or recycled.

Electric buses and solar-powered boats are realistic means to reach the city, and public transportation is simple to use and an easy approach to promote green travel. There are also a number of cycling paths and pedestrian-friendly streets, allowing you to take in the sights without having to worry about traffic.

In reality, only around a third of families possess a car, with many preferring to commute on two wheels.

Do you want to eat something that is both healthy and sustainable? Book a meal at Amass, a restaurant where discarded products like seeds and skins are given a gourmet makeover — or composted for the location’s organic garden — or stock up on snacks at the packaging-free LOS Market. Furthermore, organic produce accounts for about a quarter of all food sold in the city.

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2. Lisbon

Did you know that over 75% of people in Lisbon live within 300 meters of a green area, and over 90% live within 300 meters of a regular public transportation service? In 2020, the city was named the EU Commission’s Green Capital, and it welcomed the development of 300 acres of parkland, allowing residents and visitors alike to enjoy the great outdoors.

Car charging stations, as well as electric cars (which are rapidly increasing in quantity, sorry), including tourist tuk-tuks, have appeared around the city.

The city inaugurated a bike-sharing program in 2017, with electric bikes accounting for two-thirds of the fleet.

Shoppers can find recycled fashion boutiques as well as a mix of sustainable products at LX Factory, a former industrial area renovated into a creative environment.

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3. Vancouver

When the city realized its environmental imprint was three times more than the planet’s capacity to maintain it, it established the Greenest City project, which set realistic, attainable targets that will make a genuine difference. It has paid off: the city emits the fewest greenhouse gases of any North American metropolis.

It’s becoming more sustainable not just for tourists, but for locals as well, with a 23% increase in green jobs and a 26% increase in local food jobs in the previous decade.

By 2040, the city plans to plant 150,000 trees and eliminate all garbage.

Its public library features a green roof, which adds to the city’s and environment’s benefits. Green roofs may aid with rainfall runoff, enhance air quality, and minimize temperature changes in buildings. The city receives about 160 days of rain each year.

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4. San Francisco

San Francisco was the first city in the United States to prohibit plastic bags, and in 2019 it also banned plastic straws and utensils. It composts, reuses, and recycles an estimated 80% of its trash.

The sale of single-use plastic water bottles was banned for the first time in the United States at San Francisco International Airport.

Because of its continuous leadership and dedication to climate change measures, President Obama named the city a Climate Action Champion in 2014.

To some, these targets may appear harsh, but they have helped the city and its inhabitants save money by reducing carbon emissions.

Every resident in San Francisco lives within a 10-minute walk of a park, making it one of the most walk-able cities in the country.

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5. Reykjavik

The city’s population contributes to a greener environment, with the comparatively tiny population allowing for gradual and consistent improvements.

It intends to eliminate the generation of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 by promoting cycling and walking, as well as the usage of public transportation. This includes hydrogen bus development, with the city aiming to triple consumer usage by 2030.

It also seeks to promote cycling to over 30% (from under 20%) and encourages public employees and others to adopt electric cars by lowering taxes and providing free parking.

Many structures are already inherently eco-friendly due to geothermal power, which accounts for almost 80% of total energy output and nearly 100% of electricity generation.

Residents have discovered a variety of ways to recycle excess hot water from their heating systems, including melting ice on driveways on cold winter mornings.

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6. Abu Dhabi

Masdar, a still-under-construction city in the desert, was founded in 2008 as a sustainable urban community and innovation hub.

Its ideology is centered on economic, social, and environmental sustainability, and it serves as a “blueprint” for how other cities might develop in terms of waste reduction, energy efficiency, and water conservation.

Masdar’s buildings, located 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi’s city center, are meant to be environmentally friendly and sustainable, using up to 40% less water and energy.

The objective is for all of Masdar’s water to come from rain, the sea, and waste water treatment. With this in mind, clever gadgets to cut water use have been installed in homes and companies.

Masdar’s developers considered weather conditions, which is crucial given that summer temperatures may reach 50 degrees.

The city’s streets are small, angled to take advantage of air currents, and public places may be naturally cooled.

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7. Canberra

In 2021, the Australian capital came out on top of a list of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities. The green leader board score was calculated using seven sustainability factors: transportation infrastructure, cost, air quality, energy, CO2 emissions, proportion of available green space, and pollution, according to price comparison site Uswitch.

At the time, the city provided 48 percent of its energy in environmentally friendly methods and received one of the lowest pollution index ratings. Due to ‘excellent’ solar power, Australian cities did well in general, according to the study (Brisbane was in the top three).

Over 85% of the city’s transportation infrastructure is environmentally friendly. It was also a connected city last year, with 94 percent of its citizens having internet connection.

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8. Singapore

The government announced plans for Tengah — the Malay word for’middle’ — an eco town in 2021, marking the nation’s 24th new settlement since WWII. The first, with centralized cooling, automatic refuge collection, and a car-free town center, is a little different.

It has been nicknamed a “forest town” since it would include five residential areas with a total of 42,000 homes.

A 328-foot wide ecological ‘corridor’ will run through the center of the 700-hectare land, providing safe passage for animals and connecting a water catchment area on one side to a nature reserve on the other. Make no mistake: this is a strategy that considers every single life.

Even with a high population density and geographical limits, Singapore has been lauded for its efforts to embrace electric cars. In recent years, the government has focused on enacting measures that reduce private automobile reliance, resulting in improved traffic flow.

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