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The world's greenest cities



Cities are becoming increasingly important fronts in the fight against climate change. Drawing on renewable energy sources, creative forms of public transport, and futuristic eco-friendly gizmos like solar-powered trash compactors, these 10 towns are leading the way.

10) Copenhagen


There's a reason so many climate-change conferences are held in Copenhagen. The city, famous for its ambitious public transportation system, has also done wonders with its waterfront (by keeping it clean) and windmills (from which it derives 10 per cent of its energy) - accomplishments that earned the Danish capital the 2006 European Environmental Award.

9) Portland, Oregon


Thirty years ago, Portland turned the famous Joni Mitchell song on its head by sodding over pavement and putting up a paradise. Long among America's greenest cities, Portland demolished a six-lane highway and replaced it with a waterfront park. The city aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent over 1990 levels by 2050; and its greenness isn't only figurative - Portland contains over 92,000 acres of green space.

8) Montreal


Since the signing of the 1987 Montreal Protocol to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, La Belle Ville has been counted as one of Canada's villes plus verte. Montrealers have no excuse not to go green: the many large open-air markets offer a wide array of local, organic foods, while the ambitious Bixi bike-sharing program, which provides 3,000 bicycles across the city, makes it easy for residents to just say "non" to cars.

7) London, England


London has come a long way since the sooty days of the industrial revolution. With a plan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 20 years, incentives for citizens who live in energy-efficient homes, and congestion taxes that target gas guzzlers and reward eco-friendly automobiles, the European Union's largest metropolis is also among its greenest.

6) Curitiba, Brazil


The Curitiba Master Plan, adopted in 1968, established a revolutionary intra-city bus system, including dedicated lanes and super-stretch buses, that has since influenced public transportation approaches throughout South America. Eighty-five per cent of the city's population take the bus on a regular basis, 70 per cent of its trash is recycled, and with 52 metres of green space per citizen, Curitiba is considered Brazil's ecological capital.

5) Reykjavik


The sparsely populated Icelandic capital, which aims to be fossil-fuel-free by 2050, already satisfies its extensive heating needs by drawing on a combination of hot water and electricity derived entirely from renewable hydropower and geothermal sources. The city has also found a way to make public transportation even greener: Reykjavik recently introduced hydrogen-run buses.

4) Vienna


It's not only because it's home to the waltz and psychoanalysis that Vienna is perennially listed among the world's most livable cities. More than half of the Austrian capital's metropolitan area is green space, its shorelines have been carefully restored, and the public transportation system is one of Europe's best.

3) Tokyo


One of the world's most densely populated cities, Tokyo still manages to keep things remarkably clean and green. The Japanese capital was recently selected to participate in a billion-dollar project, spearheaded by the Clinton Global Initiative, to increase the energy efficiency of city-owned buildings in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, 200 hectares of green space and more than 200,000 roadside trees will be added to the city centre over the coming years.

2) Vancouver


An urban area carved from an awe-inspiring landscape, it's no wonder Vancouver is dedicated to protecting the environment. As part of the city's 100-year plan for environmentally friendly living, the British Columbia capital has adopted solar-powered trash compactors, developed an innovative public transportation system, and reduced its reliance on non-renewable energy to 10 per cent. The city also contains more than 200 parks.

1) Malmo


Sweden's third largest city is undergoing the world's most ambitious green makeover. By drawing on a combination of sun, wind, and hydro power, as well as bio fuels generated from organic waste, Malmo plans to be running on 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020. Already the city has the cooperation of its citizens: 35 per cent of the population travel by bicycle, and many live in smart-energy homes.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/yahoocanada/101110/canada/the_world_s_greenest_cities
 

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Journeyman
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The greenest cities aren't first world metropolises. They're places that use extremely little energy and materials, and don't pollute much...think third-world rabbit warren with good sewer system. Or Mediterranean hill town, if large enough to be called a city.
 

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~ Mysterious Entity ~
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The British Columbia capital, eh? :clown:
 

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SSC Mapper
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The greenest cities aren't first world metropolises. They're places that use extremely little energy and materials, and don't pollute much...think third-world rabbit warren with good sewer system. Or Mediterranean hill town, if large enough to be called a city.
I think it's safe to assume this is more about the effort made to reduce emissions etc, rather than total output.
 

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Lord of Legoland
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Since when is reducing CO2 "green"?

Plants needs CO2 for photosynthesis - reduce that and you reduce plants too and that will remove our primary source of oxygen...


I guess starving a cow is "green" too..
 

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Since when is reducing CO2 "green"?

Plants needs CO2 for photosynthesis - reduce that and you reduce plants too and that will remove our primary source of oxygen...


I guess starving a cow is "green" too..
when there is additional CO2 that has been released due to man made causes and you remove it, its green.
 

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Since when is reducing CO2 "green"?

Plants needs CO2 for photosynthesis - reduce that and you reduce plants too and that will remove our primary source of oxygen...


I guess starving a cow is "green" too..
I completely agree. I don't see the point to reduce CO² at all. I mean the cities should worry about reducing all the pollutants, not only CO². I believe is waste of money and time. Protecting the water or forests is a far more important issue.

About the list, it's completely random. My city, for example, recycles twice as much as Curitiba in absolute figures.
 

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Lord of Legoland
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^absolutely - allergens, and harmfull particles is at an all time high from poor construction materials and diesel fueled trains, busses and lorries and of course all the artificial material crap we stuck up on in our homes..

Clean air is something that can really affect a generation in a city - wasting money on limiting CO2 will only reduce competitiveness and plantlife.. And of course city budget..
when there is additional CO2 that has been released due to man made causes and you remove it, its green.
You can not remove already released CO2 as nature absorbs it... and converts it to ( for humans ) much needed oxygen and food...


By artificially cutting down on CO2 at great expenses we are not only trowing away money but also reducing the plants ability to spread and thrive..


If we truly want to be "green" it should be in our interest to create the optimal conditions for plants in an as wide belt around the equator as possible - this will feed future generations and keep the planets climate in balance.. tundra and permafrost limits plant life and so does high natrium concentrations

We can spread plants artificially, but for them to grow into rainforest and spread to where there is barren today we need CO2 concentrations closer to that of the past than now...


Decreasing CO2 will have more drastic results than increasing it could ever have...

And before the MMGW club gets a fieldday, H2O vapour ( among others ) has the same atmospheric effect as CO2 why only reduce one and completely ignore the others when H2O is so easily contained and storred compared to CO2 and released in endlessly higher amounts both natural and artificially?


Nothing wrong in zero emission technology when it is economically and technologically the best choice, but it has nothing to do with going green - people interested in a green planet should be interested in restoring it to the conditions of the lush past, not keeping it on par with a holocene that is on it's last 1000 years before the next glacial period..
 

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Don't forget to take into account how cities deal with their sewage and garbage disposal, and how successful their recycling programmes are implemented and obeyed by the public, as well as how "green" their public transit systems are and how heavily they are used by the public. Victoria is finally getting their act together but has been pouring raw sewage into the sea for over a century. Montreal also poured sewage directly into the St Lawrence River for hundreds of years and was a pollution hot spot on the continent for a very long time before sewage treatment was implemented.
 

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this is ridiculous!

Berlin is not even on the list and Vancouver is 2nd???

Vancouver=cars
 

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I find this an interesting discussion, but I'm not convinced that the selected "green" initiatives discussed here are sufficiently representative of the overall environmental health and practices to rank cities as the most environmentally "green" in the world. In some cases I would have to say it is even rather arbitrary. I think perhaps that a much more exhaustive overall environmental study would have to be done to attempt to fairly rank cities in this way. They may be much improved and less filthy than they were 70 years ago (as are almost all cities), but I am not convinced the "ranking" is indicative of environmental practices in the cities as a whole when one takes into account all positives and negatives.
There are all sorts of studies out there, and the results vary wildly. One bizarre Greenest City "study" I have seen gave huge statistical weight to "hybrid taxis" and practically ignores lack of civic sewage treatment or electrically powered public transport, and even ignored the question of how truly "green" is it to grow corn crops to produce ethanol. Studies can be massaged easily to provide whatever results we set out to obtain, therefore I tend to be leery of them, I suppose.
 

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spaghetti polonaise
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European Green Capital Award
Annual award from 2010
Starting in 2010, one European city will be selected each year as the European Green Capital of the year. The award is given to a city that:

* Has a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards;
* Is committed to ongoing and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development;
* Can act as a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practices to all other European cities.

Improving the global environment
The award marks a city's wish and capability to solve environmental problems in order to both improve the quality of life of its citizens and reduce the contribution it makes to the global environment as a whole.

European Green Capital 2010: Stockholm, Sweden
European Green Capital 2011: Hamburg, Germany
European Green Capital 2012: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
European Green Capital 2013: Nantes, France
 

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spaghetti polonaise
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I think perhaps that a much more exhaustive overall environmental study would have to be done to attempt to fairly rank cities in this way.
I think that we don't need a ranking for every shit. Somehow that is a habit very typical for the anglophone world. Why not simply doing the best and learn from best practises? You don't need a ranking for this.
 

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My city called Sorocaba,570.000 habitants,wil have a project that is managed by my father where students and people from poorer areas will plant 50.000 trees in the city =D hahaha.....and it is a trainne for aguinnes record that we want to break in a few years planting 100.000 trees in an hour.:cheers:
 
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