Seven out of the world’s top 10 sustainable cities are in Europe, with the remaining three located in Asia - no North American metropolis makes an appearance until Toronto in 12th spot in the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index. Frankfurt grabs top ranking while another German city, Berlin, places sixth. London is in second, ahead of Copenhagen.
Frankfurt may well remain at the head the pack. The city boasts a new master plan - 100% Climate Protection - and by 2050, all of Frankfurt’s energy will originate from renewable (and mainly local) sources, leading to a 95% decline in greenhouse gas emissions. Frankfurt plans to achieve this by increasing energy efficiency and reducing pressure on the demand side by half in residential and office buildings, the transportation sector, and in communications.
London, though, may struggle. Arcadis points to congestion and an ageing infrastructure, a chronic shortage of affordable housing and air quality issues, among others. “London will also need to change its behaviours towards consumption, whether in energy, waste, modes of transport. All this requires political will, more devolved accountability to the city authorities, and funding on a scale never before achieved.”