The Five Greenest, Most Lush, Most Verdant Cities in the World

I will begin this article with one question…..why the hell aren’t I in one of these cities?

What possible excuse do I have for living in an over-crowded, over populated, over polluted, and over-dirty city, breathing in toxic gases the moment I step foot out of my home. I’ve made up my mind – as soon as I can, I am going to get a ticket to one of these great cities and stay there for the rest of my life! Now, I just need to figure out which of these cities, I should go to.

Vancouver, Canada maybe? It holds the fifth position on this list and the pictures I’ve seen are positively stunning. Green living is not just a slogan for them; it’s a way of life. And, it’s not only because they are the official hosts of the Winter Olympics. Vancouver has been counted among the greenest cities in the world for a long, long time now. After all, when 90% of the city’s power needs are fulfilled by wind, solar, hydroelectric, and tidal energy, it isn’t difficult to imagine why and how it has earned its green title.

I could also go to Sweden, you know, and live in Malmo, one of the largest cities here and the fourth in line for the title of the greenest cities in the world. I think I’d be especially partial to this city, since it has roads specifically built for cyclists. As you can guess, I am huge fan of this non-motored, two wheeled ride. In addition, Malmo has a rich cultural experience to offer thanks to the cosmopolitan nature of the city. Sounds like the perfect way to live.

Next in line is Curitiba, Brazil. For a city that started off as a gold mining camp, this capital of Paraná State sure has spruced up its act and put on an impressive display for green lovers. Curitiba is known for its parks and botanical gardens and there are several of them dotting the city. Residents of Curitiba are encouraged to leave their cars at home and look for alternate means of transport to keep the roads congestion free.

Moving on to the next green city, it is Portland, Oregon. What makes this city so special is that it was among the first cities in the US to consider alternative transit, offering its residents the light-rail and building extensive bike path networks so that it would be easier for them to leave home without their four-wheeled drive. It was also one of the first cities to take up a pledge to reduce emissions. In addition, they began encouraging buildings to use sustainable materials. An admirable initiative, I have to say!

The final city on the list is probably a long way from home and very close to the North Pole. We are talking about Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. All I need tell you about this city is that it generates 100% of electricity using geothermal and hydroelectricity energy and it also has buses run on hydrogen, making Reykjavik the greenest city in Europe and the world.

Now, coming back to my original plan, how do I get to one of these fabulous places?

Any ideas…..?


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One Response to The Five Greenest, Most Lush, Most Verdant Cities in the World

  1. marke says:

    Well, Vancouver *is* a beautiful city, perhaps the most beautiful going (I hear Rio doesn’t like to hear this), but it really doesn’t need more people moving there. Its population is already overwhelming the infrastructure that’s in place, as beautiful of a city as it is. It is sited in a valley (on a river delta, actually) that allows for little additional development (other than ‘up’) but it’s already too congested, people-wise. Do them a favour…visit, but don’t stay.

    The Lower Mainland (the area Vancouver is situated on) does get a lot of its power from hydro-electric sources, perhaps as much as 85% of its needs come from dams built in the nether-regions of the province. But since when has hydroelectric power been the green solution? (Oh, ya…since the announcement of Global Warming & GHGs, I suppose. It’s perhaps sustainable, but still… it’s hardly “green”.)
    The WAC Bennett dam in northern BC (besides leeching various toxins out of the soil its flooded and displacing the local aboriginals) cuts off the flow of water into Alberta, desiccating the Peace-Athabasca Delta, which is already under assault from the municipal and industrial wastes that flow into it. I understand more dams are planned (mainly to supply the US with more power).
    I suspect there are various small solar and wind projects happening there, but not significantly so as yet…at least not that I’m aware of (please let me know if this is really so, other than domestic, small industrial/residential type projects). Tidal power is being tested off Vancouver Island, but it is not a contributor to the grid there, and won’t be for some time.
    But basically…Vancouver simply doesn’t need more people moving there. It’s full.

    Try Reykjavik. It looks like a lovely country, as does its Nordic cousin, Malmo, Sweden.

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