Every week there is another "greenest city"--we've read about Portland, Modbury, and San Francisco and thought we should move to each of them. And today's winner is Bristol, a smallish town with a population of 410,000. According to a new report by Forum of the Future, Bristol is best for cycling, environmental performance, quality of life and readiness for challenges ahead. It has moved up on the list since last year due to its impressive increase in recycling and composting and top scores on water quality, waste collection and green spaces.
The report is the second annual Sustainable Cities Index and it rates Britain's top twenty cities on the basis of a number of indicators such as environmental impact, quality of life and future-proofing. Bristol has knocked out Brighton as the coolest (green) place to live although many would probably disagree. Plymouth, Newcastle, Cardiff and Edinburgh are next. Last are Birmingham, Liverpool and Hull.
Image of Portland, Oregon
Newcastle upon Tyne has improved dramatically in the areas of recycling, whilst Leicester shot up by six places thanks to the council's commitment to tackling climate change. Leadership at the highest levels of municipal government is an important factor.
The report finds that not even the UK’s best-performing cities can match international leaders in sustainability like Stockholm, Portland in the US and Curitiba in Brazil. It acknowledges that "their success now is due to far-sighted policies in the 70s and 80s, which are coming to fruition now... In the 70s when the rest of the US was embracing shopping malls, Portland enacted strong land-use policies, which set the city boundary and encouraged housing density." Forum for the Future
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