World’s most sustainable cities revealed

Global design and consultancy organisation Arcadis has published its latest Sustainable Cities Index 2024 which ranks 100 global cities across three pillars of sustainability – Planet, People, and Profit.

Marking the sixth edition of the report since its inception in 2015, it comprises 67 different metrics regarding urban sustainability. Key data points include air pollution, waste management, and investment in low carbon infrastructure including renewable energy and sustainable transport.

The report is released with nearly 2,000 days until the 2030 deadline for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs were launched in 2015 and apply to all UN members.

This year, for the first time, Arcadis has also added a fourth ‘Progress’ pillar to the index. This measures change over time to demonstrate the impact of sustainability interventions made over the last decade. When considered alongside the other pillars, it provides insights into a city’s future trajectory and emphasises the importance of continuous advancement to achieve the SDGs.

“Cities play a critical role in advancing the sustainable development agenda. However, our progress assessment shows that a lot more needs to be done to meet the SDGs by 2030,” said John Batten, Arcadis Global Cities Director.

“With just 2,000 days to go, the challenge is to keep pushing the boundaries of innovation. Whether that’s by scaling up renewable energy initiatives, integrating climate considerations into infrastructure planning, improving mobility through intelligent traffic management, or supporting the retrofit of existing buildings through planning and investment, there are always areas to improve on.”

The world’s top 20 sustainable cities are:

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

2. Rotterdam, Netherlands

3. Copenhagen, Denmark

4. Frankfurt, Germany

5. Munich, Germany

6. Oslo, Norway

7. Hamburg, Germany

8. Berlin, Germany

9. Warsaw, Poland

10. London, England

11. Seoul, South Korea

12. Stockholm, Sweden

13. Edinburgh, Scotland

14. Paris, France

15. Dublin, Ireland

16. Vienna, Austria

17. Brussels, Belgium

18. Singapore

19. Shanghai, China

20. Beijing, China

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