The World’s 30 Greenest Cities

So, Earth Day is tomorrow. Are you prepared to talk with your students about it?

Every year on April 22, people around the globe try to make a bit more effort than usual to focus on the issues facing our planet. In the past, we’ve looked at some of the details on exactly what Earth Day is, resources for teaching about sustainability, and different ways to teach about Earth Day.

This year’s Earth Day comes with the theme of “Green Cities“. With more than half the world’s population living in cities and a growing climate change crisis, huge results can come from changing how our cities function. The handy infographic below takes a look at the 30 greenest cities in the world. We can all learn from what they’re already doing! Keep reading to learn more.

The World’s Greenest Cities

The 30 greenest cities are:

  • Oslo
  • Malmo
  • Reykjavik
  • Barcelona
  • Copenhagen
  • Birmingham
  • Stockholm
  • Zermatt
  • Vancouver
  • Toronto
  • Chicago
  • Eugene
  • Costa Rica
  • San Francisco
  • Austin
  • Portland
  • Minneapolis
  • New Delhi
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo
  • Accra
  • Cape Town
  • Nairobi
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • Adelaide
  • Curitiba
  • Bogota
  • Bahia de Caraquez
  • Belo Horizonte

What’s So Green About These Cities?

  • 70% of Oslo is covered in agricultural land
  • 30% of Malmo’s population commutes by bike
  • All but 1% of Reykjavik’s energy is from renewable sources
  • Barcelona has a 113,000 sq ft solar panel in the city
  • 50+% of people in Copenhagen travel by bike
  • Birmingham has over 3500 hectares of open space
  • 99% of household waste in Stockholm is recycled or used to make energy
  • Zermatt uses horse carts or manual carts to transport goods through the city
  • Vancouver wants to be the greenest city by 2020
  • Toronto has reduced its greenhouse emissions by 40%
  • Chicago has planted over 2 million sq feet of rooftop gardens
  • Eugene is known as the “Emerald City” for being so green – literally
  • Costa Rica is working on reforestation
  • San Francisco recycles 77% of their waste
  • Austin aims to have 20% renewable energy by 2020
  • Over 60% of workers in Minneapolis commute with public transport
  • Accra is constructing a huge monorail system
  • Singapore has 480 green certified buildings
  • New Delhi produces the least waste of any city in Asia
  • Tokyo has the lowest CO2 emissions in Asia
  • 10% of Cape Town’s homes have solar panels
  • Nairobi is at the head of a fashion upcycling trend
  • Melbourne has many car free zones in the city
  • Sydney is aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% in 2030
  • In Curitiba, poorer residents are rewarded with food and supplies in exchange for recyling
  • Bogota relies heavily on public transport and has many green spaces
  • Bahia de Caraquez has the world’s first certified organic shrimp farm
  • Belo Horizonte aims to reduce their greenhouse gases 20% by 2030


green cities