A newly-released list of the world's greenest cities aims to provide direction for cities in best practices for urban design in a post-COVID-19 world.
Resonance Consultancy has used its 'Best Cities' methodology to find out which cities are leading the way towards a greener future, based on criteria that seem particularly relevant to the meaning of density and the future of urban planning in the context of the coronavirus and government-mandated social distancing. These are its top ten cities.
Vienna is one of the world's greenest large cities and has a bounty of fresh ideas about mobility and public parks. It is also the European benchmark for public transit, with almost half of the city’s population holding an annual transit pass and using it religiously.
Munich is one of the world's most walkable cities and also has an enviable transit system. Recent mobility infrastructure investments like the U-Bahn rapid transit system will only lower car ownership, and the city has some of the best air to be breathed in an urban centre anywhere.
Berlin has an abundance of open, public spaces and city parks, and is made for walking. Berliners are also incredibly mindful of their impact on the planet, using among the least water per capita in Europe and opting for public transit use.
Madrid has plenty of green space in its urban core, and is incredibly accommodating to pedestrians. Recent big-budget projects include making the central Gran Vía boulevard far safer and pleasant to stroll.
5. São Paulo
São Paulo has massive energy needs but is among the largest users of renewable energy globally. This is partly attributable to the culinary delights produced by its large Italian, Japanese and Arab communities. While it's a big city, it has green areas like Ibirapuera Park and its buzzing cultural centre is topped with a vibrant living roof.
Manchester is flat and compact, and it’s a pedestrian gem with a fascinating streetscape that blends history and the arts. There is a widespread adoption of public transport and the city’s culinary pride is responsible for plenty of farmers’ markets and a palpable commitment to food security.
Lisbon is a tactile, multi-sensory experience best explored on foot with no particular agenda. It has plenty of green spaces and some of Europe’s largest number of farmers’ markets, as well as ambitious recycling and composting programs.
Singapore isn’t content with cultivating green spaces for aesthetic reasons only. City leaders are evolving the copious parklands into ‘therapeutic gardens’ designed for the elderly.
Amsterdam has always been a city that thrives on discovery by foot or by bike. Its widely-loved public transport system involves boats, which just adds to its appeal for locals and residents alike.
10. Washington, DC
Washington, DC has always been an underrated green oasis, peppered with public plazas and parks. It has a large amount of farmers’ markets, and the massive Wharf has given the city fresh office, residential, marina and retail space, as well as parks and public spaces.
To check out the full list of the world's greenest cities, please see here.