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Which are the greenest cities around the world and can we be doing more in our UK cities?

14 November, 2023

In the quest for a sustainable future, cities worldwide are increasingly embracing green initiatives. At Neutral Carbon Zone we are committed to helping other businesses achieve carbon neutrality, we recognise the importance of learning from global examples and applying these lessons to enhance the sustainability of UK cities.

Let’s explore some of the greenest cities around the world and discuss how their practices can inspire change in our own urban environments here in the UK.


Copenhagen, Denmark: A Cycle-Friendly Vision

Copenhagen, often hailed as the world’s greenest city, has set an ambitious goal to become carbon-neutral by 2025. The city’s extensive cycling infrastructure, which includes over 390 kilometres of bike lanes, is a testament to its commitment to sustainable transport. Copenhagen’s investment in renewable energy, particularly wind turbines, further bolsters its green credentials.


Vancouver, Canada: Embracing Renewable Energy

Vancouver aims to derive 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. Its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan has led to significant improvements in green building standards and a substantial increase in green jobs. The city’s emphasis on community-based sustainability initiatives also plays a pivotal role in its green transformation.


Stockholm, Sweden: Integrating Nature and Urban Development

Stockholm, the first city to receive the European Green Capital award in 2010, is renowned for its integration of green spaces within urban areas. The city’s commitment to preserving natural landscapes alongside urban development has enhanced the quality of life for its residents.


Singapore: A Model of Vertical Greenery

Singapore’s approach to urban greenery is unique, focusing on vertical gardens and sky parks. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the city but also helps in temperature regulation and air purification. The city’s active promotion of green buildings has set new standards in urban sustainability.


Freiburg, Germany: Leading in Sustainable Urban Planning

Freiburg is often cited as a model of sustainable urban planning. The city’s Vauban district is particularly noteworthy, with its car-free streets, solar-powered buildings, and a strong community focus on sustainability.


Portland, USA: Setting the Standard in Green Infrastructure

Portland has been a pioneer in green infrastructure, particularly in its use of sustainable stormwater management systems. The city has also focused on reducing emissions through extensive public transport networks and green building initiatives.


What steps can we take in UK Cities?

Drawing inspiration from these global examples, there are several steps UK cities can undertake to enhance their sustainability:

  1. Enhance Public Transport and Cycling Infrastructure: Encouraging the use of public transport and bicycles can significantly reduce carbon emissions.
  2. Promote Renewable Energy: Supporting the transition to renewable energy sources is crucial for reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
  3. Implement Green Building Standards: Adopting stringent green building codes can ensure that new developments are sustainable.
  4. Foster Community Engagement: Involving communities in sustainability initiatives can lead to more effective and inclusive urban planning.
  5. Invest in Green Spaces: Creating and preserving green spaces is vital for the well-being of urban residents and the environment.
  6. Encourage Green Innovation: Supporting innovative green technologies can help cities tackle environmental challenges more effectively.



The journey towards sustainability is a collective effort. By learning from the successes of the greenest cities globally and applying these lessons locally, we can make significant strides in transforming UK cities into models of sustainability. At Neutral Carbon Zone, we are committed to supporting this transformation, helping businesses and communities alike in their journey towards a greener, more sustainable future.


If your business is ready to get started on its net zero journey, contact one of our friendly team.

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