European Green City Index | Executive summary
Why cities matter: More than one-half of the ways, from increased use of public transport due stability, with only the Balkan wars breaking the ernment to modify their actions or policies. In back on the methodology. This study is not the
world’s population now lives in urban areas, but to greater population density to smaller city general peace of recent decades. Moreover, citi- particular, increased costs or taxes are usually first comparison of the environmental impact of
they are blamed for producing as much as 80% dwellings that require less heating and lighting. zen awareness of the importance of protecting met with scepticism, if not hostility. In the cur- European cities, nor does it seek to supplant
of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions. Fur- Many European cities have demonstrated their the environment and of green objectives has rent financial situation, this difficulty may well other worthwhile initiatives, such as the Euro-
thermore, increasing urbanisation can negative- commitment to reducing their environmental markedly increased in recent years. This is boost- grow. Although many green technologies help pean Urban Ecosystem Survey or the European
ly impact everything from the availability of impact by joining the Covenant of Mayors, a ed in part by a growing body of environmentally to reduce costs in the long run, immediate finan- Green Capital Award. Instead, its value lies in the
arable land and vital green spaces to potable European Commission initiative launched in focussed EU legislation. cial concerns may impede the greater upfront breadth of information provided and in the form
water and sanitary waste disposal facilities. Liv- January 2008 that asks mayors to commit to cut- But even in environmentally conscious investment which they also frequently require. in which it is presented. The index takes into
ing in such close proximity tends to intensify ting carbon emissions by at least 20% by 2020. Europe, problems abound. Across the cities account 30 individual indicators per city that
thedemands that urban settlements impose on This is encouraging the creation — often for the profiled in this report, an average of one in How the study was conducted: To aid efforts touch on a wide range of environmental areas
their surrounding environments. very first time — of a formal plan for how cities three residents drive to work, contributing to and understanding in this field, the European — from environmental governance and water
It is clear, then, that cities must be part of the can go about reducing their carbon impact, increased CO2 emissions and general air pollu- Green City Index seeks to measure and rate the consumption to waste management and green-
solution if an urbanising world is to grapple suc- which bodes well for the future. tion. The average proportion of renewable ener- environmental performance of 30 leading Euro- house gas emissions — and ranks cities using a
cessfully with ecological challenges such as cli- Of course, environmental performance gy consumed is just 7.3%, a long way short of pean cities both overall and across a range of transparent, consistent and replicable scoring
mate change. In concentrated urban areas, it is inevitably varies from city to city, but some the EU’s stated goal of increasing the share of specific areas. In so doing, it offers a tool to process. The relative scores assigned to individ-
possible for environmental economies of scale encouraging trends are emerging. Of the 30 renewable energy usage to 20% by 2020. Nearly enhance the understanding and decision-mak- ual cities (for performance in specific categories,
to reduce the impact of human beings on the diverse European cities covered by this study, one in four litres of water consumed by cities is ing abilities of all those interested in environ- as well as overall) is also unique to the index and
earth. This has already started to happen in nearly all had lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emis- lost through leakage. And less than one fifth of mental performance, from individual citizens allows for direct comparison between cities.
Europe. According to the UN Population Divi- sions per head than the overall EU27 average of overall waste is currently recycled. Moreover, through to leading urban policymakers. The Of course, numbers alone only give part of
sion, 72% of the continent’s population is urban 8.46 tonnes1. Part of this success comes from encouraging environmentally helpful behav- methodology was developed by the Economist the picture. To complement the core data within
but the European Environment Agency (EEA) several advantages which European urban areas ioural change is not a straightforward matter: Intelligence Unit in co-operation with Siemens. the index, this study also seeks to provide con-
says that its cities and towns account for just share. Compared to other regions of the world, cities often have little leverage to induce citi- An independent panel of urban sustainability text, with in-depth city portraits that not only
69% of energy use. This is achieved in a range of the continent has enjoyed remarkable political zens, companies, or even other levels of gov- experts provided important insights and feed- explain the challenges, strengths and weakness-
6 1) Based on the most recently available data, the majority of which was for 2006-07. 7
European Green City Index | Executive summary
es of each city, but also highlight emerging best also face the legacy of history, dealing with scale, such as district heating or large public trans- Copenhagen, Stockholm and Amsterdam fea-
practice and innovative ideas that others might decades of environmental neglect during the port networks, come into their own. According- tured in the top places in both lists, whereas
wish to emulate. communist period. This is most visible in the ly, the index’s larger cities, with populations of 3 Bucharest and Sofia fared poorly in both.
The index also differs from other studies in poorly insulated concrete-slab mass housing that million or more, perform relatively well, general-
the fact that it is independently researched, was widely used, as well as the remains of highly ly occupying the top half of the rankings. Berlin The complete results from the index, includ-
rather than being reliant on voluntary submis- polluting heavy industry. Although many have does best overall (8th), followed closely by Paris ing both overall rankings and individual rank-
sions from city governments. This has enabled Highlights of the 2009 European Green unsurprising: wealthier cities can invest more innovative ideas regarding specific environmen- (10th), London (11th) and Madrid (12th). This ings within the eight sub-categories, follows
us to cover 30 main cities — either political or City Index include the following: heavily in energy-efficient infrastructure and tal initiatives, such as a “lottery” in Ljubljana that isn’t universal, though: Athens (22nd) and Istan- next. For insights into what some of the leading
business capitals — from 30 European countries. afford specialist environmental managers, for promotes the sorting of waste for recycling, bul (25th) both perform relatively poorly. cities have done to top the rankings within indi-
The goal of the index is to allow key stake- Nordic cities dominate the index top tier. example. Wealth isn’t everything, however: some these cities must also balance with other press- vidual categories, specific case studies are avail-
holder groups — such as city administrators, Copenhagen leads the index overall, coming individual cities punch above their weight within ing issues, ranging from unemployment and Cities with an active civil society perform well able from page 22. Finally, detailed insights into
policymakers, infrastructure providers, environ- marginally ahead of Stockholm, while third- individual sub-categories: low-income Vilnius, for economic growth to informal settlements. in the index. Although it was beyond the scope the individual performances of all 30 cities
mental non-governmental organisations (NGOs), place Oslo rounds out a trio of Scandinavian example, leads the air quality category; while of this study to measure specific citizen engage- included in the European Green City Index are
urban sustainability experts, and citizens — to cities on the medal podium. Fellow Nordic capi- Berlin, with a relatively low GDP per head, tops The index shows little overall correlation ment in environmental issues, a strong correla- available within the city portraits section of this
compare their city’s performance against others tal Helsinki follows in seventh place. Vienna, the buildings category and is ranked eighth overall. between city size and performance. However, tion exists between high-performing cities in report, starting on page 40. These explore both
overall, and within each category. The index also Amsterdam and Zurich occupy fourth, fifth and the leading cities in both the East and the West this index and other independent studies that the current status within each city on all eight
allows for comparisons across cities clustered by sixth places, respectively. Among east European cities (which also rep- do tend to be smaller, with populations of less than explore the strength of civil society in European categories, while also highlighting past, current
a certain criteria, such as geographic region or resent the low-income cities of the index, with 1 million. To some degree, this makes sense: physi- countries. The rank of a country in the voluntary and planned future initiatives to improve their
income group. In short, this tool is provided in There is a strong correlation between wealth GDP per head below €21,000), Vilnius performs cally smaller cities make it easier for people to participation of citizens in organisations—from relative performance. The wealth and diversity
the hope that it will help European cities move and a high overall ranking on the index. Nine of best of all, ranked in 13th place. It is followed cycle or walk to work, for example. However, religious groups to professional and charitable of initiatives detailed here provide encouraging
towards being a bigger part of the solution to cli- the top 10 cities in the index have a GDP per most closely by Riga, in 15th place. The rest of wealth, and more importantly experience, can bodies — was a strong predictor of the perfor- insights into the current directions that Europe’s
mate change and other environmental chal- head (measured at purchasing power parity, the east European cities rank at the bottom of overcome the difficulties of size as policies that mance of that country’s main city in the Euro- main cities are taking and their varying paths
lenges. PPP) of more than €31,000. In many ways, this is the index. The wealth divide aside, these cities take advantage of environmental economies of pean Green City Index. Of the applicable cities, towards a more sustainable future.
8 More detailed city portraits can be found at www.siemens.com/greencityindex 9
European Green City Index | Analysis of city trends
Analysis of city trends
T he European Green City Index makes an
effort to quantify and compare environmen-
urban Europe where most economic growth is
oriented towards services-led industries. Here,
their less wealthy peers. To give but one exam-
ple, two of the three cities that lack even a basic
Helsinki’s Air Protection Group, “but it is possible
to do quite a lot without having to pay more.” The link between wealth
tal performance. Analysing the results more an increase in average output per person of environmental plan are also two of the three She notes that energy efficiency, for example, and environmental performance
deeply reveals relationships and factors which €1,000 seems to yield a gain of two-thirds of a poorest. can save money and cut emissions. Similarly,
help to explain why some cities are more suc- point in a city’s overall index score — a relation- “Money is extremely important,” says Pedro Guttorm Grundt, Environment Coordinator in
cessful in a range of environmental areas than ship that on its own explains up to two-thirds of Ballesteros Torres, principal administrator at the Oslo’s Department of Transport, Environment 100 European Green City Index Score
others. In particular, the data strongly suggest the variance between cities. European Commission’s Directorate-General for and Business, agrees that Oslo’s relative wealth
the following key correlations: At an infrastructure level, the link is obvious. Energy and Transport and in charge of the helps, but notes that measures such as eco-certi- 90 actual
High-quality green infrastructure typically Covenant of Mayors. “Normally, the most fication are not expensive, and that the city’s Vienna
Wealth matters: The European Green City involves up-front costs that wealthier govern- advanced cities in environmental terms in own efforts to lead by example in increasing the 80 Berlin Zurich Helsinki
Index shows a close correlation between wealth ments can better afford. Conversely, poorer Europe are also the richest. When you have a efficiency of buildings and vehicles “is saving us Paris
and overall performance. cities must simultaneously grapple with a wider good infrastructure, it is easier to implement money, together with reducing consumption 70
This link is not only evident in infrastructure, range of development issues, from unemploy- things.” and waste.” Mr Grundt adds that the link may be Vilnius Riga Rome
but also in policy: richer cities appear more ment levels to growing informal settlements, It need not be this way. As the city portraits indirect. A relatively wealthy place like Oslo does 60
ambitious with their goals. which can easily distract from a green agenda. later in this report show, Berlin, with only a mid- not have certain policy concerns – there are no Tallinn Ljubljana Athens Dublin
One of the closest correlations in the data But a further finding is that the link between level GDP per capita, has a score that benefits slums for example – which poorer cities need to 50 Prague
collected for the index is that between the GDP GDP and the policy indicators within the index from advanced policy in various areas, and War- address, drawing on time and resources which Belgrade Zagreb
per head of cities and their overall score — an (which track environmental action plans and saw, while in the bottom half of the wealth richer peers might use elsewhere. Bucharest
aggregate figure between 0 and 100 reflecting public participation in green policy, among table, is ranked in joint-fifth place in the environ- The tie between money and environmental Kiev
performance across all the environmental indi- other things) is statistically even stronger. In mental governance category. Moreover, while performance, however, looks set to grow GDP
cators measured. Although greater pollution is other words, wealthier cities are not only able to costs may constrain certain policy options, they stronger as a result of the current economic (Euros)
often associated with economic development, afford more sustainable infrastructure, they are do not do so in general. “Money is in some ways downturn. Ms Väkevä notes that even relatively 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 70,000 80,000
at least in early stages, the reverse holds true in also setting more ambitious policy goals than very difficult,” admits Outi Väkevä, part of well-off Helsinki has little money to devote to
European Green City Index | Analysis of city trends
the expansion of current environmental efforts. ronmental effect from the former divide that is the mirror image of the east. As the city in the index’s building category — has had tively on the environment choices. For example, citizen engagement and environmental perfor-
The city portraits for this report note specifically between East and West. Thirteen of the top 15 portraits note, Copenhagen has been taking tremendous success in retrofitting housing many eastern urban areas — including the top mance.
that cities as far apart as Dublin, Budapest and index performers are in western Europe; 11 of environmental issues and sustainable energy stock, including nearly halving the energy use of five performers in this metric — score highly in Good environmental results generally do not
Belgrade are likely to scale back because of cur- the bottom 15 were part of the old eastern bloc. seriously since the oil shock of the 1970s; Stock- 273,000 concrete-slab buildings in the eastern the index on the number of people taking public happen by chance. European governments, for
rent economic troubles, and others will doubt- Aside from the wealth divide, this also has to holm also has a long tradition, and is now on its part of the city. Looking forward, Oslo’s efforts transport to work while Copenhagen, Stock- example, have had to regulate private carbon
less be doing so as well. It remains to be seen do with legacy. As the city portraits show, sixth consecutive environmental plan. to provide charging points for electric cars and holm and Oslo are amongst the lowest scorers. use through carbon trading because existing
how cities will balance maximising the benefits various eastern cities are still dealing with the As with wealth, history has a variety of Vienna’s to promote vehicles that run on natural This superior eastern performance, however, economic markets did not price the negative
of enhanced environmental performance while fallout from decades of environmental neglect impacts, some less obvious than others. Infra- gas are both creative ways to use existing infra- seems less a result of enlightened environmen- externalities of carbon emission. Even with such
minimising the financial costs in the near term. during the communist period: for example, even structure — whether building stock, transport structure — in this case roads — in a more envi- tal choice than a lack of alternatives, and there efforts, green choices sometimes still have a
though polluting industries have mostly disap- facilities, or water pipes — develops over the ronmentally friendly way. are signs that the balance may be shifting. higher price tag than other options, especially in
History matters: infrastructure and attitudes: peared in the face of market competition, poorly long term, and is hard to change quickly. More difficult to change than the physical Bratislava is a case in point. The city has the the short term. Moreover, city administrations,
Cities in eastern Europe have a tougher chal- insulated, concrete-slab, mass housing remains. Longevity of systems does not seem to matter so environment are the attitudes and aspirations of highest share of people taking public transport on their own, have relatively limited power. The
lenge to overcome, in terms of their relatively In Belgrade’s case, its relatively recent interna- much as upkeep. individual citizens. With so much of a city’s envi- to work but has also seen a surge in newly regis- sum of the individual decisions of their residents
aged and inefficient infrastructure. tional isolation — it was embargoed for years For example, Vienna’s and Ljubljana’s water ronmental performance reliant on how its resi- tered cars in the last decade. Tallinn, Zagreb, — from actions such as choosing to insulate
Historical attitudes and aspirations are also and eventually bombed in 1999 — only adds to systems both date back to the late 1800s, but dents act individually, in groups and as a whole, Ljubljana, and Prague all have similar news, and their homes, to opting to commute to work via
difficult to overcome. For example, the adop- the difficulty. Similarly, certain bureaucratic the former city comes in second in the water cat- winning hearts and minds is crucial (see next the Mayor of Vilnius cites this increased car public transport — have a deeper impact on the
tion of consumer culture in the East has led, habits can also outlive the transition to democ- egory, and the latter 27th. Whatever the diffi- section). Accordingly, one area of concern is usage as his city's leading environmental chal- environment than an army of policies. Accord-
understandably, to greater demand for vehicles. racy. “People (in the east) are ready to learn and culties — practical and financial — of upgrading how the legacy of suppressed demand in the lenge. ing to a 2008 report produced by Siemens in
Twenty years ago, the Berlin wall fell and change things quickly, but the inertia is quite physical assets, however, infrastructure age is countries of eastern Europe, after decades of conjunction with McKinsey & Company and the
Europe moved toward binding the wounds heavy,” argues Mr Ballesteros Torres. certainly not decisive. Copenhagen’s buildings, being economically less well off than their west- People matter: The individual decisions of Economist Intelligence Unit2, about three-quar-
inflicted from a turbulent century. While there On the other hand, if three Nordic cities are for example, are among the most energy-effi- ern neighbours, may play out. As these commu- cities’ inhabitants are, collectively, more power- ters of the existing technological changes that
has been much progress on the political and jostling each other for the overall leading posi- cient anywhere, even though only 7% were built nities get wealthier, some citizens may use new- ful than their governments’ ability to intervene. would help London to meet its long-term carbon
economic levels, there remains a marked envi- tion in the index, it is because they have a legacy in the last 20 years, and Berlin — the joint leader found wealth to make choices that impact nega- Accordingly, there is a correlation between reduction targets depended on the decisions of
14 2) Sustainable Urban Infrastructure: London Edition – a view to 2025, Siemens AG, 2008. 15
European Green City Index | Analysis of city trends
citizens or companies, not of governments. As a meetings or contacting officials). Twenty-three poorer performance. Each additional 120,000 slightly more likely to have people walk or cycle
result, the engagement of individuals with soci- Comparison of rankings: EFILWC Voluntary of the countries in these indices contain cities inhabitants correlates, approximately, with a to work — the average distance obviously being
eties around them — or the strength of civil soci- Participation Index and European Green City Index that are included in the European Green City score that is one point lower less in a physically smaller place. Even here,
ety in a city — has a strong link to environmental Index. A comparison between these indices Greater city size could be either a drawback however, the correlation is weak.
performance. yields two interesting findings. The first is a rela- or an advantage in this index. All things being Looking at eastern and western cities sepa-
This link is underscored by comparing the tively low correlation between the level of politi- equal, a given environment should be able to rately, however, it becomes clearer that small
results of the European Green City Index with an Best Rank (European Green City Index) Copenhagen cal participation and a city’s environmental per- handle the emissions and activities of a million urban areas have some advantage. The highest
independent report from the European Founda- Vienna
Stockholm formance. The second is a high correlation people more easily than those of ten million — scores in the survey overall, belong to smaller
tion for the Improvement of Living and Working actual Amsterdam between voluntary participation and a city’s the wind could blow the resultant air pollutants western cities (Copenhagen, Stockholm and
Conditions (EFILWC)3. The Foundation’s 2006 Berlin
environmental performance. In other words, away more quickly and waste would build up Oslo), and the top performers in the old east, Vil-
study looked specifically at participation in civil Brussels while political engagement is not closely linked more slowly. On the other hand, larger cities can nius and Riga, are also on the small side for that
society, based on a wide-ranging survey of Euro- London to environmental strength, an active civil society benefit from economies of scale, having greater grouping. All of these cities have populations of
pean citizens. As part of this study, the Founda- Vilnius
is extremely important. City leaders hoping to collective resources to pursue policies or create less than one million people. For east European
tion created two indices. One was of voluntary Rome improve their city’s overall performance would greener infrastructure. cities, there is an identifiable correlation between
participation in organisations (based on the Warsaw
do well to explore ways of engaging more close- At first glance, there seems to be little link higher population and poorer index perfor-
average number of voluntary organisations, Budapest ly with their citizens. between the size and population of cities and mance. Onehundred and twenty thousand more
such as religious groups, trade unions and Ljubljana their index performance, with smaller ones scat- people leads to, roughly, one less point. In par-
sports, professional or charitable bodies that cit- Athens
Size matters — at first: Although there is tered between Copenhagen at number one ticular, an increase in population has a notice-
izens belonged to), which is a useful proxy for Tallinn little correlation between city size and perfor- (with a population of about half a million) and able negative effect on scores for measures of
the strength of civil society. Bucharest Best Rank mance in the index overall, the leading cities do Zagreb at twenty-six (with a population of about air pollutants and carbon dioxide intensity.
Sofia (Index of Voluntary
The second was of political participation Participation) tend to be smaller in both the East and the West three-quarters of a million). Individual metrics Nature’s greater ability to cope with the environ-
(based on the proportion of citizens engaging in Among east European cities, however, there also demonstrate few links with size, except that mental demands of small cities than of large
political activities, such as voting, attending is a correlation between larger populations and those cities with lower populations may be ones remains relevant in these urban areas.
16 3) First European Quality of Life Survey: Participation in civil society, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Dublin, 2006. 17
European Green City Index | Analysis of city trends
In western cities the effect, if still present, is EU funding is a crucial factor in enabling low- ing a huge portion of the continent. Broad Euro- urban governments large and small. The EU is
residual. The statistical significance of the link is The link between population and environmental income cities to improve their environmental pean goals, such as the EU’s 20-20-20 goal of now tapping into the same sentiment. In early
very low, and it takes nearly a million extra peo- performance in east European cities performance. cutting carbon emissions, increasing renew- 2008 it launched the Covenant of Mayors, which
ple before a city’s score goes down a point. The This study highlights ways in which Europe ables and cutting energy consumption are also focuses specifically on matters of climate
explanation for the strong correlation in east — both through its institutions and more amor- driving change. The requirements of accession change and sustainable energy. The covenant
European cities is likely — again — to be histori- phously as a community — is having an impor- have led to the adoption of much more too has over 600 signatories and, as several of
65 European Green City Index Score
cal. Eastern cities have less experience with envi- Vilnius tant impact on urban environmental performance. advanced environmental legislation and policy the city portraits later in this report show, the
ronmental policy. 60
actual The first, very practical contribution of European in all of the newest eastern members of the very fact of membership is committing a num-
The disadvantages of greater size, while pre- fitted institutions is cash. As noted above, there is an Union in recent years, as they did for south Euro- ber of cities to put forward sustainable energy
sent initially, may be possible to overcome as 55 important link between money, at the very least pean entrants before them. It is having a similar plans for the first time.
larger cities gain more experience in environ- for investment, and environmental success. As effect on candidate countries and it may be no Ultimately, although money spent on physi-
mental management. “Some smaller cities are the city portraits show, inter alia, the EU is pro- accident that the one eastern city whose coun- cal infrastructure is important, it is this increas-
doing very well because at one moment or 45 viding funding for water plants in Budapest and try is not yet an EU accession candidate scores ingly pervasive notion that responsible and
another there were leaders who decided policy Zagreb Vilnius, as well as for Prague’s ring road; the worst in the survey. effective environmental governance ought to be
and there was a consensus among the popula- 40
Bucharest European Investment Bank (EIB) is helping with In addition to the force of law, voluntary insti- the norm for all European countries that could
tion in order to make things exemplary,” says Mr Sofia Tallinn’s water supply and sewage systems; and tutions have been developing that seek to har- provide the long-term political foundation
Ballesteros Torres. “In absolute and statistical Kiev
the European Bank for Reconstruction and ness and increase a growing sense that environ- which green efforts need for success.
terms, large cities have more resources, and 30 Development is providing finance for the reha- mental stewardship is part of what is expected
some are doing particularly well.” bilitation of Zagreb’s largest landfill site. As the from a modern European city. The European Location matters: Environmental sustain-
25 downturn hits city budgets more deeply, such Sustainable Cities and Towns campaign, for ability depends as much on the resources avail-
Europe matters: public funding and cul- Population (in millions)
assistance will be more important. example, dates back to 1994, and its 2004 Aal- able as how they are used.
ture: Accession to the EU has had a huge posi- 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 The expansion of the EU is also having an borg Commitments on a series of sustainability A problem of any comparative environmen-
tive impact in energising environmental policy. impact, with EU environmental law now cover- issues have been signed by over 600 European tal index is that the natural resources available,
European Green City Index | Analysis of city trends
and the robustness of the local ecology, can dif- cern in Stockholm where fresh water is plentiful ing problem. But when we get better integrated their environmental impact. This encompasses Of course, not all technologies are cost-effec- This engagement isn’t necessarily a one-way
fer markedly from place to place. Sustainability and therefore even the high levels of current use into the European grid, it becomes important.” areas where a city administration can lead the tive. The study referenced above showed that in process: citizens often lead the way, encourag-
involves, to quote the Brundtland Report4, a are sustainable. way, as well as measures which the residents of the context of London hybrid cars and photo- ing city leaders and others to embrace change.
study from the UN’s World Commission on Envi- In the related fields of carbon emissions and Looking ahead: implementing sustainable a city will have to implement themselves. The voltaic panels on houses are expensive relative In Oslo, for example, early adopters of electric
ronment and Development on sustainable energy use, location might seem less important cities: Cities have an array of options or levers at aforementioned Sustainable Urban Infrastruc- to the impact they make on carbon reductions, cars banded together and lobbied the city
development, meeting “the needs of the present because released CO2 contributes to the global their disposal when it comes to the task of ture: London Edition study highlighted that sim- for example. Also, the economics of some tech- government to waive tolls and parking fees
without compromising the ability of future gen- problem of climate change. However, some improving their overall environmental perfor- ply by improving building insulation, using ener- nologies are often dependent on the policies that and allow access to the city’s dedicated public
erations to meet their own needs.” Behaviour issues remain. Oslo, for example, is ranked joint mance. First, policy and good environmental gy-efficient lighting and appliances, and installing accompany them, such as the subsidies required transport lanes. Whatever form it takes, this
that might exhaust resources rapidly in one place, 24th in the index for the amount of energy used governance clearly play an important role. These more advanced environmental controls in struc- to support the generation of solar energy in engagement is critical. Ritt Bjerregaard, Lord
then, may be perfectly sustainable in another, — one of several sub-indicators that go into help ensure that new buildings and infrastruc- tures, London could move over one-quarter of many countries. Mayor of Copenhagen, the top ranked city in
making comparative scores harder to interpret. scoring the energy category, where the city ture are developed (or retrofitted) with certain the way towards its overall aspiration of reduc- Third, as shown above, engaging and moti- the index, points out that for the city to reach
Two examples from high performers in the comes first overall. On the other hand, the over- minimum efficiency standards in mind, for ing carbon emissions by 60% by 2025. Over a vating communities within cities is also critical its climate change goals, citizens themselves
index illustrate the point. Stockholm, with the whelming majority of this power, including all example. They also encourage (either through 20-year lifecycle, the upfront investments required to delivering increased sustainability. Education have to change their habits. “Campaigns to
second-highest overall score, is ranked a surpris- the electricity and much of the district heating, incentives, or through penalties) citizens to change for these technologies would more than pay and public awareness are important here, giving motivate lifestyle change are an important
ing 16th place when it comes to water. The comes from renewable sources, in particular their behaviour, such as the establishment of a back in the form of reduced energy bills. people the necessary information to help them tool. We are also working hard to involve the
problem is not sewage, which it treats and even hydroelectricity and waste. The city does have congestion charge to reduce traffic or a sub- More advanced capabilities can go even fur- make greener choices. This can come in many citizens in developing solutions to the prob-
uses as a source of energy, nor leakages, which an energy efficiency fund, which seeks to sidised bicycle scheme to promote affordable ther: Amsterdam’s state of the art waste-to- forms and go well beyond the basics of publish- lems.”
are below average. Instead, residents simply use reduce power usage, but the question does arise alternative means of commuting. At a different energy plant achieves high levels of energy effi- ing advice. For example, a number of cities in The next section of this report, Lessons from
a lot of water, and the city makes little effort to of just how important it is to cut consumption of level, by ensuring that green spaces and other ciency that allow it to power more than the index have rolled out water meters and the leaders, highlights the work that Copen-
discourage them. While this behaviour might be entirely green energy rather than focussing on areas are off limits to further development, city three-quarters of the city’s households. It can smart electricity meters, thus giving consumers hagen and other leading cities in the index are
problematic in hot, dry cities, such as Madrid, or other areas. Mr Grundt agrees: “As long as Nor- leaders can ensure that the natural environment even profitably extract gold and other metals a means of quantifying their own consumption doing across a range of key categories to
even in London, which receives less rainfall per way cannot export much of its abundant hydro- remains preserved within the city’s boundaries. from the resultant ash, while sending just 1% of and choosing to be more careful about how improve their relative environmental perfor-
head than Addis Ababa, it poses less of a con- electricity, and we have enough, it is not a press- Second, technology can help cities to reduce the original waste to landfill. much they use. mance.
20 4) Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, 1987. 21
European Green City Index | Lessons from the leaders
Berlin’s renewable energy focus is on solar
power. Among the city’s many initiatives is
Europe’s largest photovoltaic system on a res-
I t would be easy to be complacent about
greenhouse gas emissions in Oslo. The city’s
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per head, at 2.2
cess. To begin with, Oslo has set itself one of the
most ambitious carbon reduction targets in the
index: aiming to reduce emissions by 50% from
monopoly to a district heating company, which
it largely owned, to provide all heat to any new
or thoroughly renovated buildings by refusing
another emission-reduction strategy is the
switching of fuels. The city is encouraging the
use of electric and hybrid cars through various
idential building, which produces 25,000
Helsinki now has the world’s largest heat
tonnes, are less than one-half of the 30-city 1990 levels by 2030, or a further 37.5% from permits to any construction plan that had other inducements, including the waiving of city tolls pump, under centrally located Katri Vala Park.
average of about 5 tonnes — itself lower than today. Guttorm Grundt, the environmental sources of supply. At the same time, it required and parking charges, as well as the establish- It uses heat from wastewater and seawater to
the overall EU27 average of 8.46 tonnes. The affairs co-ordinator in Oslo’s Department of municipal buildings to convert to district heating ment of electric charging points. “It started with provide district heating and cooling.
city benefits from its local natural resources: Transport, Environment and Business, remarks and exerted strong moral pressure on other pub- the enthusiasts,” notes Mr Grundt. “They formed In January 2008, Madrid approved a €14
high levels of rainfall, along with a mountainous that such long-term goals are very helpful in lic institutions such as hospitals and universities. an association and put pressure on the politi- million Ecobarrio project to revitalise several
countryside, provide significant opportunity for keeping progress on track. Mr Grundt says that others are now seeking the cians to change the rules.” One key step was run-down neighbourhoods. These will in-
clean hydroelectric power. This is a boon in The city administration has also tried to put service for commercial reasons. “More and more allowing commuters with electric or hybrid vehi- clude a thermoelectric plant using biogas
Oslo’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. As a its own house in order. “To be credible we have private owners and developers are joining,” he cles to drive in the city's dedicated public trans- from urban waste treatment and buildings
result, Oslo’s emissions per unit of GDP, at 20.2 to act as a good example: 60 % of the city’s own notes. “The prices are not much cheaper, but dis- port lanes. As a result, the Oslo region now has that capture solar power.
tonnes per million euros, are paltry compared car fleet, for example, has no or very low (green- trict heating involves a lot less maintenance.” about 1,700 electric-only vehicles, excluding In Paris, Aéroports de Paris has launched an
with the average across the study of around 356 house gas) emissions,” says Mr Grundt. The city The city has also taken an active role in reduc- hybrid cars. intra-company car-sharing network. If just 5%
tonnes or the broader European figure of more is even planning to use of biofuels derived from ing transport-related CO2 emissions. Here, the Other strategies have also made judicious of airport employees use the network regu-
than 339 tonnes. Simply put, if Europe as a human waste in its buses in 2012. stick — in the form of Oslo’s congestion charge use of taxes and inducements. The city’s €100 larly, it will save around 4,000 tonnes of CO2
whole were to perform as well as Oslo, it would To spur residents to reduce their CO2 emis- — has had some effect, cutting existing traffic million Climate and Energy Fund, for example, emissions.
surpass its overall carbon reduction targets. sions, Oslo provides both penalties and incen- by between 4% and 7% since its introduction. was funded by a tax on local electricity. Among Copenhagen has set an ambitious goal of
Nevertheless, Oslo is at the top of the CO2 tives. It has promoted district heating, use of Moreover, the charge has stopped private vehi- other things, it now provides a 50% grant for the becoming carbon neutral by 2025, building
emissions category because it has not been sat- which expanded by 36% between 2000 and cle travel from increasing in line with the city’s conversion of oil heaters to ones powered by on its existing climate plan which targets 50
isfied with its natural advantages, but has 2006, and which relies largely on biofuels and fast growing population. biofuels. With similar national grants in place, specific initiatives in energy production,
instead drawn on leadership initiatives and a the city’s carbon-free electricity. Progress was For those residents who wish to continue dri- Mr Grundt argues that there is “no excuse left transport, buildings and consumption.
range of sticks and carrots to increase its suc- initially the result of regulatory fiat: Oslo gave a ving, despite Oslo’s good public transport, not to change.”
European Green City Index | Lessons from the leaders
This highlights one of the key difficulties in private companies improving the energy effi- city has found that the optimal, cost-effective Energy Efficiency Network for Building Stock
reducing the environmental impact of buildings. ciency of public buildings with both the contrac- measures for saving heat energy are insulation (BEEN), Berlin shared its knowledge with cities Ideas from
Take Berlin, the category co-leader: since 1990, tors and the city benefiting from the cost sav- of the outer walls and top floor ceiling; new air- in Poland and the Baltic states and worked with other cities
the reunified city has had to find ways to shift ings. So far, the scheme has led to €60 million in tight windows; and renovation of the building’s them on understanding how best to finance
the carbon requirements of a host of building private investment, saved the city €2.4 million in heating system. These three measures reduce such renovation. Now the EU is funding the Urb
types towards a more sustainable level. One costs, and brought carbon emissions down by annual carbon emissions by between 1 and 1.4 Energy project to take things further, looking not From April 2010, London will start a trial
obvious place to start is not with the buildings 600,000 tonnes. tonnes per flat. just at individual buildings but at urban infra- scheme for retrofitting homes to save energy,
themselves, but with the kind of energy power- An even bigger effect has come from the However, Mr Wollschläger points out that structure and holistic rehabilitation of whole providing some energy-efficiency equipment
ing them. city’s efforts to improve what local experts call even over the long term the energy savings do residential areas. for free, such as low-energy light bulbs and
The city’s heating modernisation pro- the once “ramshackle” flats built of prefabricated not pay the entire cost of the refurbishment of By contrast, Stockholm, the other joint leader standby switches, while charging for more
gramme, for example, encouraged a substantial concrete under the previous East German these flats. The benefits extend beyond energy in the buildings category, has been at the fore- advanced measures.
shift in fuel source through grants, advice and regime. Of the 273,000 apartments, the city has savings, however, such as lower maintenance front of energy-efficient building standards for Residents of Prague can benefit from a na-
tighter regulation on new buildings. In 1990, fully refurbished about two-thirds of them, and costs for these flats given that the improve- some time. The city benefits from its extensive tional Czech programme for retrofitting
over 400,000 apartments still had coal furnaces; partially upgraded the other 35%, at an average ments reduce mould and mildew, as well as use of heat pumps, which make more efficient buildings with a €1 billion budget, which is fi-
W hen it comes to buildings, no city can start
from scratch: each has to work with the
legacy of generations. An unattributed quote,
by 2005, the number had dropped to just
60,000. Most of the shift was towards cleaner,
although still carbon releasing, natural gas.
cost of €20,000.
Not all of this goes to better energy efficien-
cy. It is a broad-ranging programme to increase
keeping temperatures more even. Quite simply,
they are nicer places to live.
The lessons which the city has learned could
use of electricity for heating. Insulation stan-
dards are also high. All this pays off: Sweden has
years of experience building homes with a total
nanced from a sale of CO2 emission permits
In 2001, Vienna began permitting the con-
meant for humorous effect, captures the prob- While improving the energy mix, Berlin has the attractiveness of these properties: about 5% have a substantial impact worldwide. Across annual energy consumption of well below struction of multi-storey buildings made pri-
lem neatly: “Our problem is that the buildings also attempted to address the deficiencies of of spending, for example, goes on the surround- central and eastern Europe, the city estimates 2,000 kwh, despite its cold climate. By contrast, marily of timber. This has helped to bring
from 100 years ago were built to last 100 years; some of its buildings. It has not been so much a ings. Energy efficiency is, however, an impor- that there are nearly 50 million flats of similar new houses built in the UK that comply with the about the development of a new kind of en-
the buildings of 50 years ago were built to last case of making do with existing infrastructure, tant consideration. construction, and in China there are about 200 country’s latest energy-related building stan- vironmentally friendly passive housing.
50 years; and the buildings of 20 years ago were but rather improving to make it greener. An According to Peter Wollschläger of the Berlin million. dards will consume an average of about 3,600
built to last 20 years.” “Energy Saving Partnership”, for example, has Senate Department of Urban Development, the Between 2005 and 2007, through the Baltic kwh.
European Green City Index | Lessons from the leaders
C ity transport is one of the key areas where
cities have a direct ability to influence the
choices that residents make in how they com-
size, allows an astonishing 68% of people to
cycle or walk to work, even though it has the sec-
ond-lowest average temperature of any city in
gestion tax on vehicles driving in the central part
of the city in August 2007, with the support of
residents there but over the objections of those
cial cycling zones where cars are banned, the city
also tries to make cycling easier. This includes
everything from giving cyclists information on
buses running on renewable fuel by 2011, and
all of them by 2025. Meanwhile, the city’s Trafik
Stockholm system constantly gathers data from
mute. This is most obviously done through the the index. Nor does a relatively small public living in outer areas. It has certainly had an traffic flows to free, secure parking to prevent a wide range of sources about the state of traf-
make-up and extensiveness of public transport, transport network unduly restrict use: intelli- effect on car use, reducing the number of cars bicycle theft — a serious problem in the city. fic. It then not only provides the analysed infor-
but consumers can also be directly encouraged gent city planning has created a network which entering or leaving the zone by about 20%. mation to drivers to help them choose their Budapest held a “Clever Commuting Race”
to do more walking and cycling (the greenest takes one-quarter of people to work each day, According to Mr Wallin, the tax also raised the Technology: Other cities are using congestion routes, it also adjusts traffic lights or uses vari- where local VIPs demonstrated the efficiency
possible options) through the provision of dedi- leaving only about 7% using private vehicles. number of daily travellers on SL by approximate- charges, and Mr Wallin notes that many of Stock- able road signs to reduce congestion. Advanced of travelling via public transport, by “racing”
cated cycle paths, pedestrianised areas and bicy- This is even more marked at peak times: Stock- ly 5%. Income from the tax is used to reduce holm’s strategies to make travel easier, while technology can be expensive. Mr Wallin notes that from a suburban district to the city centre.
cle subsidies. In Stockholm, the index’s leader in holm Public Transport (SL), the county council- congestion and improve the environment in the important, “are probably not very original.” pioneering is particularly costly. “You have to Brussels supports “Voiture avec Passagers”, a
environmentally friendly transport, three impor- owned transport company, reports that over city. Equally important, the city does not just for- What sets the city apart is its experimentation pay the prices for problems you could not fore- formalised hitch-hiking scheme.
tant building blocks come together: the ability of three-quarters of rush hour journeys into Stock- bid driving, there is universal political support for with new technology. One of SL’s environmental see when you start up.” Over time, the relative Dublin’s “Bike to Work” scheme allows em-
residents to easily access public or private alter- holm’s centre use its services. Looking forward, providing a green public alternative so that peo- principles is to “actively participate in, initiate cost premium of green technology has been ployers to divert up to €1,000 in wages on
natives that are green, safe and convenient; the €1.7 billion Citybanan project will double rail ple have a genuine choice. “Almost regardless of and push on the development of an eco-adapted coming down and will continue to do so as it behalf of employees for the purchase of a bi-
government policy that encourages use of such capacity. At the same time, Stefan Wallin, SL’s political colour,” Mr Wallin says, “politicians are transport system.” It is no accident that SL has matures, he adds, but in Stockholm’s case it has cycle. This money is subsequently not taxed,
alternatives; and the application of green tech- environmental manager, explains that it is try- quite keen to put their mark on sustainable devel- one of the largest fleets of ethanol buses in the still not completely disappeared. Even with 20 leading to up to a 47% savings on the price of
nology solutions to vehicles and infrastructure. ing to make travel easier for customers with opment. We are continuously pushed by politi- world: it has been using the technology since years' experience, for example, it remains more a bicycle for the employee.
efforts to provide real-time information on wait- cal pressure to come up with new solutions.” 1989. Mr Wallin explains: “I have a picture on my expensive to run ethanol than standard diesel Tallinn is fitting buses with electronic equip-
Opportunity: To begin with, in the promotion ing times for buses and trains and a commit- Amsterdam, which came second in the trans- office wall which shows ten different bus types buses. Being a public company, however, gives ment to alert traffic lights to their approach
of walking and cycling, Stockholm excels. For ment to make all of SL’s vehicles accessible for port category, also has a mix of restrictions and we have tested — battery buses, flywheel buses, SL the opportunity to pursue green solutions and give them speedier passage through in-
every square kilometre, it has over four kilome- the handicapped by next year. encouragements. There, geography and policy fuel cell buses, old versions of ethanol buses. SL because such spending is a political choice, and, tersections.
tres of cycle lanes, a figure second only to combine to make cycling one of the leading has been almost an engineer’s playground.” Its says Mr Wallin “so far the political view is that we
Helsinki. This, combined with Stockholm’s small Policy: Stockholm made permanent a trial con- ways to get around. In addition to creating spe- current targets include having one-half of its are ready to pay that premium.”
European Green City Index | Lessons from the leaders
Since the early 1990s residents have had to use explains: “We always say ‘garbage is gold.’ Waste with some 30 process innovations developed in- good, profitable return using its technology and
specially purchased “Zueri-sacks” to dispose of is not a problem but a valuable raw material.” house, has the world’s highest energy efficiency approach (despite high upfront investment Ideas from
all rubbish or face substantial fines. The sacks This begins with recycling: the city recycles 43% for a waste-powered facility, at 30%. The compa- costs), yet it is not allowed to compete for pro- other cities
are sold in local stores, with costs varying on the of all its waste, second only to Helsinki, and Ms ny produces enough energy to power more than cessing waste generated in Germany, for exam-
size of the sack, giving a significant incentive to Gehrels notes that for household waste the three-quarters of Amsterdam’s households, and ple, while German companies can take Dutch
throw out as little as possible and to use one of overall Dutch and Amsterdam figure is 64%. She provide 300,000 gigajoules of district heat, waste. Everyone needs to play by the same rules The recently established London Waste and
the many free collection points across the city sees three reasons for success here. One is the reducing CO2 production in the city by 470 kilo- to have an “honest chance that your investment Recycling Board has created a “dating
for recyclable materials. Within three years, city’s ongoing efforts to raise public awareness. tonnes. The resultant ash is richer in minerals will have the right return.” agency” to attract companies interested in
waste production in the city dropped by 24%. A second is tradition: given how long it takes to than most mine ore, and AEB is able to profitably Amsterdam and Zurich are not polar oppo- using different kinds of waste for either fuel
Now Zurich creates only 406 kg of garbage per reform people’s habits, Ms Gehrels believes the recover various metals, including iron and gold, sites: the former is increasing its use of waste- or recycling.
resident, well below the index average of 511 kg fact that the Dutch have been separating their and sell most of the rest as raw material for powered district heating, and the latter still sees Ljubljana introduced a lottery in late 2008
and putting the city in fourth place among those garbage already for decades is important for buildings. Only 1% of the 1.4 million tonnes of waste prevention as the most environmentally to encourage recycling. A household or office
A msterdam and Zurich come in first and sec-
ond respectively in the waste category of
the index (which also encompasses land use).
in the index. At the same time, it recycles 34% of
waste, the fourth best figure in that category.
Despite various public information cam-
achieving consistently high levels of participa-
tion. A third is ensuring that sorting and recy-
cling is very easy, with collection points on near-
waste entering the system goes to landfill. The
city eventually hopes to go further, and move
from a waste management approach to sustain-
friendly approach to the issue. Nevertheless, the
different emphasis by each may be no accident.
Ms Gehrels notes that scale is important in get-
recycling bin is randomly selected to win
money—if it contains the correct type of
The reasons for their success in waste manage- paigns, Amsterdam does only modestly well at ly every street corner. able material and energy cycles. Ms Gehrels says ting energy from waste, although she adds that Vienna has created the Vienna Repair Net-
ment, however, differ greatly and show how com- waste reduction: its actual levels of waste pro- Other cities have similar, if less successful, that it is important for AEB to be at the cutting smaller municipalities can work with others work, a group of over 50 repair shops which
munities can take various paths to the same end. duction per resident, at 487 kg, is below aver- recycling efforts. But what really sets Amster- edge of technology to give it a competitive within the same region. It is likely to be easier for people are encouraged to visit rather than
Zurich’s strength in recent decades has been age, but it still ranks 17th out of the 30 cities in dam apart is its use of non-recyclable waste. The advantage. However, she argues that what is smaller cities to make an impact by focusing on throwing away broken goods. “Frequent user”
waste reduction. As early as 1985, the city decid- the index. Instead, the city’s strength is in what it city has been incinerating waste for over 90 really needed now to allow such development to reduction. Nevertheless, the two examples do cards give customers a discount on every
ed that it could not continue to incinerate all the does with the garbage. As Carolien Gehrels, an years, and Amsterdam’s Waste and Energy Com- flourish is a level playing field in Europe, with an show that treating waste as a problem and as a fourth item repaired.
garbage that it was producing. It chose to place Amsterdam City Council Alderwoman whose areas pany (AEB) has become a leader in waste-to- open market and a common European standard resource both have their place in urban environ-
the cost of dealing with waste on producers. of responsibility include waste management, energy technology. Its newly built power plant, for energy from waste. AEB, she notes, makes a mental management.
European Green City Index | Lessons from the leaders
water lost to seepage, tiny compared with the one-half of households in Amsterdam are Prices are kept low for what is a human
overall index average of nearly 23%. Jan van der metered, a process that started in 1998. Com- necessity and, he says, making the link to sus- Ideas from
Hoek, executive officer at Waternet, Amster- pleting the job will take much longer, as the easy tainable development in the popular mind is dif- other cities
dam’s water company, explains that this low rate locations have been hooked up and the more ficult as there is no mental tie between waste or
has been achieved through the use of good difficult ones, such as rooms within houses, over-consumption and the consumer’s carbon
materials, and intensive maintenance, as well as remain. It is worth the effort, however. The price footprint, even though water transport and By 2013, waste water will be used to clean all
the city’s beneficial geography, which allows for itself may not make water use prohibitive, but wastewater treatment do cause a carbon of Lisbon’s streets and water all of its green
relatively low pressure in its pipes thanks to the awareness of the extent of consumption in itself impact. spaces.
limited height variation. Berlin, the third-placed has a positive effect and nobody wishes to pay Even so, Amsterdam is not resting on its lau- Sofia is carrying out an integrated water im-
city in the water category, shows the impor- for wasted water. Mr van der Hoek explains that rels. During 2009, it is instituting differential provement plan addressing a range of issues,
tance of leak management. Its overall leakage is the very fact of installing a meter leads to an pricing, based on the time of day, to encourage including purification, leakage and treat-
not far behind Amsterdam’s at 5.2%. This is a average reduction in household water use of more evenly distributed water use. Waternet is ment.
result of significant efforts to address the prob- 10-15%. He adds that people are happy with also looking to water’s contribution to broader Tallinn’s water company is “biomanipulat-
lems which surfaced in the eastern part of the metering: “They see that they pay for what they sustainability issues, reducing the emissions ing” Lake Ulemiste — the city’s water source
W ater management has been central to
Amsterdam’s existence for centuries. At an
elevation of just two metres and with some sur-
obvious strengths is its low water consumption.
It uses just 53.5 cubic metres per person, the
second-lowest figure among cities in the index
city before unification and in the years immedi-
ately afterwards. Burst pipes there tripled
between 1965 and 1995, but since that year
In fact, Amsterdam’s position illustrates how
water consumption is an area where city govern-
associated with pumping water around the city
and processing waste water.
“One of the main challenges is to make the
— to improve the quality of drinking water.
This long-term project involves increasing na-
tive fish diversity, and re-establishing a
rounding countryside below sea level, the area and half the overall per head average of 105 have dropped by nearly one-half. This helps to ments and companies can do relatively little whole water system climate neutral,” adds Mr healthier ecological balance in the lake.
has been shaped for centuries by its association cubic metres. explain how total supply requirements have beyond public education and the use of charges van der Hoek. Warsaw’s new sewage works will be able to
with the sea and, more recently, the Ijsselmeer, a There is, however, no single easy answer as gone from about 292 million cubic metres in to give an incentive to reduce consumption. Mr To achieve this goal, Waternet is seeking to provide not only biogas for heat, but also fer-
lake. As a result, the city’s relationship with to why this figure is so low. An obvious start is 1991 to about 196 million in 2007. van der Hoek explains that his organisation does use renewable sources of energy, while also tiliser for sale to farmers.
water is deeply ingrained, and is reflected in its simply keeping control of leaks. Here the Dutch Another strategy in both cities is metering not have many instruments to affect consumer generating energy from the sludge from sewage
overall first place ranking in the index. One of its city comes first in the survey with only 3.5% of water usage. Mr van der Hoek says that over behaviour. treatment.
European Green City Index | Methodology
The Index scores cities across eight cate- tistical offices, local city authorities, and city and ed CO2 emissions. For those cities with missing
gories — CO2 emissions, energy, buildings, national environmental bureaux. In most cases data, the Economist Intelligence Unit took Clusters
transport, water, waste and land use, air quality data are for the year 2007, which is the latest national per-head averages of other types of
and environmental governance — and 30 indi- year available for most indicators, given the time energy consumption, and used the city’s popula-
vidual indicators. Sixteen of the index’s 30 indi- needed to collect, record and publish official data. tion data to create an estimate for overall energy
cators are derived from quantitative data and Where gaps in the data existed, the Econo- consumption. To calculate associated CO2 emis- In order to conduct deeper analysis of the city
aim to measure how a city is currently perform- mist Intelligence Unit produced estimates from sions for the city, the project team adopted a trends, the 30 cities in the index were clus-
ing — for example, its level of CO2 emissions, national averages. The CO2 and energy cate- widely accepted (albeit crude) technique of tered into a series of groups, calculated on in-
the amount of energy it consumes, how much gories deserve special mention here. Owing to a using national CO2 emissions factors associated come, temperature and size. These included:
waste it produces or levels of air pollution. The lack of statistical resources, around one-third of with the combustion of each energy source. Income: “low income”, with GDP per head
remaining 14 indicators are qualitative assess- the 30 cities do not measure the full amount of of less than €21,000; “middle income” of
ments of cities’ aspirations or ambitions — for energy consumed in their city, or the associated Indicators: In order to be able to compare data €21,000 to €31,000; and “high income” of
example, their commitment to consuming more CO2 emissions. In most cases, the cities calculate points across countries, as well as to construct more than €31,000;
Temperature: “cold”, with an average tem-
T he European Green City Index measures the
current environmental performance of major
European cities, as well as their commitment to
renewable energy, to improving the energy effi-
ciency of buildings, to reducing congestion or to
recycling and reusing waste.
only how much energy is consumed from elec-
tricity, gas and district heating (if applicable),
since such data are fairly easily attainable from
aggregate scores for each city, the project team
had first to make the gathered data comparable.
To do so, the quantitative indicators were
perate of 4-8 degree Celsius; “temperate”,
with an average temperature of 9-12 degrees
reducing their future environmental impact by distribution companies. But on average, such “normalised” on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 Celsius; and “hot”, with an average tempera-
way of ongoing initiatives and objectives. The Data sources: A team of in-house and external data miss around 30% of energy consumed, par- points were assigned to cities that met or ture of more than 13 degrees Celsius;
methodology was developed by the Economist contributors from the Economist Intelligence ticularly from liquid fuels consumed in the trans- exceeded certain criteria on environmental per- Size: “small”, with a population of less than
Intelligence Unit in cooperation with Siemens. Unit collected data for the index over the period port sector. However, as part of their Kyoto com- formance. Cities were scored either against an 1 million; “middle-sized”, with a population of
An independent panel of urban sustainability February to August 2009. Wherever possible, mitments, all countries included within the upper benchmark or lower benchmark. Bench- between 1 million and 3 million; and “large”,
experts provided important insights and feed- publicly available data from official sources have study must report national data on energy con- mark targets were chosen from international or with a population of more than 3 million.
back on the methodology. been used. Primary sources included national sta- sumption across all sources, as well as associat- European directives. For example, an upper
European Green City Index | Methodology
List of categories, indicators and their weightings
Category Indicator Type Weighting Description Normalisation technique
CO2 CO2 emissions Quantitative 33% Total CO2 emissions, in tonnes per head. Min-max.
CO2 intensity Quantitative 33% Total CO2 emissions, in grams per unit of real GDP Min-max; lower benchmark of 1,000 grams
(2000 base year). inserted to prevent outliers.
CO2 reduction Qualitative 33% An assessment of the ambitiousness Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
strategy of CO2 emissions reduction strategy. on a scale of 0 to 10.
Energy Energy consumption Quantitative 25% Total final energy consumption, in gigajoules per head. Min-max.
Energy intensity Quantitative 25% Total final energy consumption, in megajoules per unit Min-max; lower benchmark of 8MJ/€GDP
of real GDP (in euros, base year 2000). inserted to prevent outliers.
Renewable energy Quantitative 25% The percentage of total energy derived from renewable Scored against an upper benchmark of 20% (EU target).
consumption sources, as a share of the city's total energy consumption,
Clean and efficient Qualitative 25% An assessment of the extensiveness of policies promoting Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
energy policies the use of clean and efficient energy. on a scale of 0 to 10.
Buildings Energy consumption Quantitative 33% Total final energy consumption in the residential sector, Min-max.
of residential buildings per square metre of residential floor space.
Energy-efficient Qualitative 33% An assessment the extensiveness of cities’ energy efficiency Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
buildings standards standards for buildings. on a scale of 0 to 10.
Energy-efficient Qualitative 33% An assessment of the extensiveness of efforts to promote Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
buildings initiatives energy efficiency of buildings. on a scale of 0 to 10.
Trans- Use of non-car Quantitative 29% The total percentage of the working population travelling Converted to a scale of 0 to 10.
port transport to work on public transport, by bicycle and by foot.
Size of non-car Quantitative 14% Length of cycling lanes and the public transport network, Min-max. Upper benchmarks of 4 km/km2 and
transport network in km per square metre of city area. 5 km/km2 inserted to prevent outliers.
Green transport Qualitative 29% An assessment of the extensiveness of efforts to increase Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
promotion the use of cleaner transport. on a scale of 0 to 10.
Congestion Qualitative 29% An assessment of efforts to reduce vehicle traffic Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
reduction policies within the city. on a scale of 0 to 10.
Water Water consumption Quantitative 25% Total annual water consumption, in cubic metres per head. Min-max.
Water system leakages Quantitative 25% Percentage of water lost in the water distribution system. Scored against an upper target of 5%.
Wastewater Quantitative 25% Percentage of dwellings connected to the sewage system. Scored against an upper benchmark of 100%
treatment and a lower benchmark of 80%.
Water efficiency Qualitative 25% An assessment of the comprehensiveness of measures Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
and treatment to improve the efficiency of water usage and the treatment on a scale of 0 to 10.
policies of wastewater.
benchmark of 50% was set for the amount of indicators assigned to the other cities. Qualita- overall, based on the composite of the underly-
waste cities should aim to recycle, which is in tive indicators were scored by Economist Intelli- ing category scores. To create the category Waste Municipal waste Quantitative 25% Total annual municipal waste collected, in kg per head. Scored against an upper benchmark of 300 kg (EU target).
and production A lower benchmark of 1,000 kg inserted to prevent outliers.
line with the EU’s 2020 target for recycling gence Unit analysts with expertise in the city in scores, each underlying indicator was aggregat-
land use Waste recycling Quantitative 25% Percentage of municipal waste recycled. Scored against an upper benchmark of 50% (EU target).
waste. Cities that met or exceeded this bench- question, based on objective scoring criteria ed according to an assigned weighting. In gen-
mark scored 10 points, and the rest received a that considered concrete actions, strategies and eral, most indicators receive the same weighting Waste reduction Qualitative 25% An assessment of the extensiveness of measures Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
score between 0 and 10, based on their distance targets being taken and set by cities. The qualita- — or importance — in the index. The category and policies to reduce the overall production of waste, on a scale of 0 to 10.
and to recycle and reuse waste.
away from the target. For other indicators, lower tive indicators were again scored on a scale of 0 scores were then rebased onto a scale of 0 to 10.
benchmarks were set, such as for the maximum to 10, with 10 points assigned to cities that met To build the overall index scores, the Economist Green land use Qualitative 25% An assessment of the comprehensiveness of policies to contain Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
policies the urban sprawl and promote the availability of green spaces. on a scale of 0 to 10.
amount of pollutants cities should emit on an or exceeded the check-list of criteria. In the case Intelligence Unit assigned even weightings on
average daily basis (for example, 40 ug/m2 in the of the “CO2 reduction strategy” indicator, for each category score — that is, no category is Air Nitrogen dioxide Quantitative 20% Annual daily mean of NO2 emissions. Scored against a lower benchmark of 40 ug/m3 (EU target).
case of nitrogen dioxide). In such cases, any city example, cities were assessed according to lent greater importance than another, and the quality Ozone Quantitative 20% Annual daily mean of O3 emissions. Scored against a lower benchmark of 120 ug/m3 (EU target).
scoring the same or higher than the benchmark whether they actively and regularly monitor CO2 index is essentially the sum of all category Particulate matter Quantitative 20% Annual daily mean of PM10 emissions. Scored against a lower benchmark of 50 ug/m3 (EU target).
received a score of 0, while the city furthest Sulphur dioxide Quantitative 20% Annual daily mean of SO2 emissions. Scored against a lower benchmark of 40 ug/m3 (EU target).
emissions, what targets have been set and how scores, rebased out of 100. This equal weighting
below the benchmark scored 10. Remaining ambitious they are, given the time period within reflects feedback from the expert panel, as well Clean air policies Qualitative 20% An assessment of the extensiveness of policies Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
to improve air quality. on a scale of 0 to 10.
cities received a score according to their dis- which they are supposed to be met. The inde- as wider research on measuring environmental
tance away from the best-performing city. pendent expert panel provided input into the sustainability, which indicated that all cate- Environ- Green action plan Qualitative 33% An assessment of the ambitiousness and Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
Where no targets existed, the cities were criteria assigned to each indicator. gories in this index merit equal weighting. mental comprehensiveness of strategies to improve and on a scale of 0 to 10.
gover- monitor environmental performance.
scored instead using a min-max calculation,
where the score is the standard deviation from Index construction: The index is composed of nance Green management Qualitative 33% An assessment of the management of environmental issues Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
the mean, with the best city scoring 10 points aggregate scores of all of the underlying indica- and commitment to achieving international environmental on a scale of 0 to 10.
and the worst scoring 0 points. In some cases, tors. The index is first aggregated by category —
reasonable benchmarks were inserted to pre- creating a score for each area of infrastructure Public participation Qualitative 33% An assessment of the extent to which citizens may Scored by Economist Intelligence Unit analysts
in green policy participate in environmental decision-making. on a scale of 0 to 10.
vent outliers from skewing the distribution of and policy (for example, energy) — and finally,
European Green City Index | City Portrait
tives for renovation to a higher level of energy Waste and land use: Amsterdam ranks first for
efficiency. There are also energy-efficiency re- waste and land use. The city recycles around
quirements for new constructions. In terms of 43% of its waste, second only to Helsinki, and is Amsterdam
the energy consumption of residential build- only a moderate producer of waste. In terms of
ings, Amsterdam ranks 12th, with a consump- land use, Amsterdam is a compact city. The
tion of 720 megajoules per square metre (below Netherlands is densely populated and green
the average of 909 megajoules), a level that the spaces are highly protected; in Amsterdam this In mid-2009 Amsterdam launched Smart City
city is working to reduce. is covered by the Main Green Structure urban Amsterdam, a collaborative project with its
Initiatives: Amsterdam runs an alliance in co- plan. A ”wedge structure“ provides green spaces inhabitants and businesses. It will launch a
operation with local housing corporations. The- that reach deep into the city from the surround- series of environmental pilot schemes over a
se are required to employ energy-saving and ing green belt. The waterways around the city two year period, which if successful could be
energy-efficient measures across their housing are another type of green space. translated to national and European level.
portfolios, and especially in new-build housing. Initiatives: Much of the city bus network uses The schemes are intended to reduce energy
fuel from the Waste and Energy Company that is consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. The
Transport: Amsterdam ranks second for trans- produced from waste. initial schemes include:
port. As the city is criss-crossed by canals, there for businesses, the establishment of a ”cli-
is little heavy road traffic and a large number of Air: Amsterdam performs relatively poorly in this mate street“ in the city centre, which will
pedestrian zones and cycle paths. Public trans- category for a city so committed to clean air, rank- combine smart meters, an energy feedback
port is provided by bus, tram, canal boat and ing 11th. The main pollutants are fine dust and display, energy scans and smart plugs to en-
local trains. Amsterdam boasts 3.2 km of public nitrogen oxides. Amsterdam suffers particularly courage lower energy use; and
transport network per square km and 2.8 km of from its proximity to heavy industry in the Nether- shore power units that allow cargo vessels
cycle lanes per square km. Walking or cycling is lands, Germany and Belgium, as well as from and river cruisers to connect to the electricity
used for 38% of journeys and public transport traffic congestion in the wider Randstad area. grid when in port, rather than using on-board
for 24%. Initiatives: The 2009 action plan on air quality diesel generators.
aims to reduce transport bottlenecks, extend
Water: The city is ranked number one for water. park-and-ride facilities and encourage electric
Select city data overall in the European Green City Index, with a Energy: Amsterdam ranks fifth in energy. The
score of 83.03 out of 100. It ranks highest out Netherlands’ primary energy sources are natural
Population: 743,000 of all cities for water and also for waste and land gas, coal and oil, although the country also has
GDP per head, PPP: € 41,443 use. Even in its weaker categories its perfor- significant installed wind capacity. Amsterdam’s
CO2 emissions per head: 6.66 tonnes mance is still strong. Like many of the index’s energy consumption per head per year (at 74.5
Energy consumption per head: 74.51 gigajoules best performers, Amsterdam has a fairly small gigajoules) is slightly below the average of 81
Percentage of renewable energy population, allowing it to address environmen- gigajoules. The city performs better in terms of CO2
consumed by the city: 5.8 %
tal concerns with a tighter focus. energy consumption per unit of GDP, at 1.7 me- Amsterdam is served by numerous canals and is vehicles, among other targets, to enable Ams- 10
Total percentage of citizens walking, gajoules per euro (compared with an average of protected from the sea only by a system of pold- terdam to meet legal standards for particulate
cycling or taking public transport to work: 62 % 8
CO2 emissions: Amsterdam’s worst perfor- 5.2 megajoules), and it is among the top scorers ers (dams). But despite an abundance of water, matter by 2010 and those for nitrogen dioxide
Annual water consumption per head: 53.47 m3 Environmental governance Energy
mance is in the category carbon dioxide (CO2) for policies promoting clean and efficient energy consumption per head is low, at about 53 cubic by 2015. 6
Share of waste recycled: 43 % emissions, at 12th out of 30. The city’s main use. Nearly 6% of the energy that the city con- metres per inhabitant per year, one-half of the
weak spot is CO2 emissions per head, which at sumes is sourced from renewables, just below average consumption level of 105 cubic metres. Environmental governance: Amsterdam ranks
6.7 tonnes per inhabitant per year is among the the average of 7.3%. In terms of leakages Amsterdam is the best-per- tenth in green environmentalgovernance, but is 2
highest levels measured and well above the Initiatives: Amsterdam has one of the most forming city, losing just 3.5% of water, com- within reach of the best performers. The city is 0
Air Quality Buildings
average of 5 tonnes. Most emissions are caused energy-efficient district heating networks in pared with an average of 22.6%. strongly committed to improving its environ-
A msterdam is the Netherlands’ largest city,
with just 750,000 inhabitants. The city is
the business and financial centre of the coun-
by transport, with industry and building heating
Initiatives: The city is targeting an aggressive
Europe. Most of the heat is produced by the
Waste and Energy Company, by converting bio-
mass and biogas derived from waste and
Initiatives: The city is working to fit every home
with water meters, in order to make water use
more efficient and equitable. The goal is to fit
mental performance, despite already leading
the way in some fields. Amsterdam has a highly
developed environmental action programme
try, with a wide range of business services. reduction of 40% in its emissions by 2025 (com- sewage into heat and electricity. 300,000 homes by 2010, leaving 100,000 with measurable environmental goals and regu-
Waste and Land Use Transport
There is little manufacturing in Amsterdam pared with 1990 levels), equivalent to a reduc- homes that are unsuitable for water meters lar reviews. It suffers slightly on the level of pub-
itself, but there is considerable industry beyond tion of 34% by 2020, far beyond the EU target of Buildings: Amsterdam ranks sixth for buildings. — for these, alternative solutions are being lic participation in developing and adopting Amsterdam
the city borders. Amsterdam is ranked fifth a 20% reduction by 2020. The city’s stock is old, but it is providing incen- sought. these goals. Average
European Green City Index | City Portrait
accounting for 17% of total energy consumption the best-scoring cities in this subcategory. How- been on brownfield sites, including the redevel-
in 2008 and for 27% of electricity consumption. ever, Copenhagen claimed joint top spot for opment of the harbour front. The municipality
Initiative: The national government’s climate water system leakages, wastewater treatment actively seeks to use urban development as a
change strategy aims to raise the share of and water efficiency. tool to minimise transport requirements and
renewable energy to 30% of total consumption Initiative: The municipality has a target to energy consumption.
by 2025. reduce household water consumption from 114
litres per person per day in 2007 to 100 litres per Air quality: Copenhagen is ranked fifth for air
Buildings: Copenhagen is ranked fourth in the person in 2012. The city council spends around quality, with a score that is broadly similar to
buildings category. Danish buildings are among Dkr2 million (€270,000) each year on water-sav- those of several other north European cities. The
the most energy-efficient in the world, despite ing initiatives. great bulk of air pollutants measured in Copen-
the ageing housing stock. The annual energy hagen come from traffic.
consumption of residential buildings, at 554 Waste and land use: Copenhagen ranks sev-
megajoules per square metre, is the lowest of enth for waste and land use. However, the city is Environmental governance: Copenhagen is
the 30 cities in the survey, being marginally bet- placed joint first for its green land use policies, ranked joint first for environmental governance.
ter than that of Berlin. Almost all buildings in the thanks to the ongoing redevelopment of brown- The municipality has recently taken steps to
Danish capital are connected to the district heat- field sites and the widespread availability of ensure integrated environmental management
ing system. green spaces (almost 80% of residents in the across all of its departments, appointing envi-
Initiative: The Copenhagen municipality aims municipality of Copenhagen live within 300 ronmental co-ordinators for each administrative
to achieve 10% of its CO2 reductions through metres of a park or recreation area). Some 55% unit, who meet regularly to exchange experi-
construction and renovation projects. The of all waste is recycled, although the proportion ences. There is already a dedicated team within
municipality intends to upgrade all municipal for household waste is lower, at 24%. the city council to which citizens can direct their
buildings to ensure compliance with the highest Initiative: The vast majority (80%) of new complaints or concerns on environmental mat-
energy-efficiency standards. developments during the current decade have ters.
In partnership with energy companies, archi-
tects, construction firms and other interested
parties, the municipality has launched two
flagship urban development projects to create
“carbon-neutral neighbourhoods”, charac-
terised by low-energy buildings, sustainable
energy networks and environmentally friend-
ly transport. One such development is in the
Amager Faelled district, south of central
Select city data
T he City of Copenhagen is small by European
standards, being home to just over 500,000
people, or around one-tenth of Denmark’s popu-
fuel sources are coal, oil and natural gas. A drive
to improve energy efficiency has contributed to
a significant fall in emissions over the past
Transport: Copenhagen is ranked third in the
transport category. The city has an extensive
public transport system — including a metro
Copenhagen, where it is expected that some
300,000 square metres of residential and
commercial buildings will be built. Before a fi-
GDP per head, PPP: € 43,640 lation. Copenhagen is the country’s main busi- decade or so. The city now produces about 5.4 system, a suburban railway and bus networks — nal development plan for the area is adopted
Environmental governance Energy
CO2 emissions per head: 5.38 tonnes ness and financial centre, and is also one of tonnes of CO2 emissions per head per year, with the result that virtually all residents live 6 in 2012, the city authorities will conduct an
Energy consumption per head: 80.63 gigajoules* western Europe’s leading locations for interna- slightly above the index average. within 350 metres of public transport services. analysis of the technologies required to en-
Percentage of renewable energy tional company headquarters and distribution Initiative: The city’s 2009 climate change plan Copenhagen is also famous for the ease with sure that the district’s energy supply, build-
consumed by the city: 18.76 % 2
centres. Copenhagen achieves the highest rank- includes a target to reduce CO2 emissions by which its residents can cycle in the city. ings, transport and waste management sys-
Total percentage of citizens walking, ing in the European Green City Index, with a a further 20% by 2015 relative to their 2005 Initiative: Copenhagen has set itself the objec- Air Quality 0 Buildings tems can be operated on a carbon-neutral
cycling or taking public transport to work: 68 %
score of 87.31 out of 100. The city performs well levels. The plan also sets an ambitious long-term tive of becoming the “world’s best cycle city”, basis. Another major new urban development
Annual water consumption per head: 147 m3 in all eight categories of the index, and is ranked goal for the city to become carbon neutral by and aims to raise the share of the capital’s inhab- will take place at Nordhavn, a 200-hectare
Share of waste recycled: 23.61 % joint first in the environmental governance sub- 2025, which, if achieved, would make it the first itants who regularly use a bicycle to get to their site situated at the northernmost part of the
category. Successive governments at both nation- large carbon-neutral city in Europe. place of work or education from 36% currently city’s docks. Following a public consultation,
al and municipal level have strongly supported to 50% by 2015. Waste and Land Use Transport an international competition was launched in
the promotion of sustainable development. Energy: Copenhagen is ranked in second place 2008 to elicit plans, with the winning propos-
for energy. Denmark’s energy policy has sought Water: Ranked in joint fifth place in the water Water Best al developed into a comprehensive plan dur-
CO2 emissions: Copenhagen is ranked fourth to reduce the country’s dependence on coal and category, along with Zurich, Copenhagen’s ing 2009-10. It is envisaged that a first phase
for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, thanks to oil in favour of natural gas and renewable ener- score is dragged down by high levels of water of development will begin in 2011, with a
good scores in the CO2 intensity and CO2 reduc- gy sources. Renewable energy sources play an consumption which, at 147 cubic metres per second phase scheduled for 2018.
tion strategy subcategories. The city’s primary increasingly important role in the country, inhabitant per year, is almost three times that of
European Green City Index | City Portrait
Energy: Helsinki ranks 19th for energy, which is houses, the municipally owned Helsinki Water is
its weakest category in the index. At around 89 not particularly active in promoting water sav-
gigajoules per year, energy consumption per ing.
head is high (the 30-city average is 81 giga- Initiative: In order to improve the state of the
joules), largely because of the city’s cold climate Gulf of Finland (one of the most polluted parts
and its high standard of living. of the Baltic Sea) and the entire Baltic Sea,
Initiative: Helsinki Energy, which is municipally Helsinki is actively participating in international In March 2009 Sitra, the Finnish Innovation
owned, is to build two large offshore wind- co-operation projects such as wastewater treat- Fund, and the City of Helsinki launched an in-
power parks with a generating capacity of 500- ment in St Petersburg, Russia. ternational competition for the construction
1,000 mw. of a sustainable and innovative block in the
Waste and land use: Helsinki ranks third in the western harbour area of Helsinki. The
Buildings: Helsinki does well in the buildings waste and land use category, in large part Low2No competition seeks comprehensive
category, ranking fifth as a result of its energy- because of its high level of waste recycling and solutions to the problems of low- or zero-car-
efficient building standards and incentives and reuse, and also thanks to its waste-reduction bon and energy-efficient building design. The
the below-average energy consumption of its policies. New construction takes place on competition aims to show that national and
residential buildings (at 683 megajoules per brownfield sites rather than green areas, so that international targets for reductions in CO2
square metre in 2007, compared with the 30- expansion into green areas is now minimal. emissions and improvements in energy effi-
city average of 909 megajoules). Initiative: The construction of a gas engine ciency can be reached and surpassed, at the
Initiative: Eko-Viikki is an ecological suburb power plant in the area of Ammassuo, which is same time producing an economically sus-
located 8 km from the centre of Helsinki. Eko- intended to recover landfill gases and will pre- tainable and architecturally high-quality envi-
Viikki was the first ecological neighbourhood to dominantly produce electricity, began in 2009. ronment. Some 74 entries were received, and
be built in Finland, and in 2010 the area is The plant is due to open in 2010. five were selected for the final round, with a
expected to support 6,000 jobs and to provide winner announced in September 2009. In the
homes for 13,000 people. Air quality: Helsinki ranks third for air quality. long-term, Sitra and the City of Helsinki hope
The city’s air quality has improved substantially that the competition process will help in the
Transport: Helsinki ranks ninth in the transport in recent decades as a result of the introduction implementation of an innovative sustainable
category. Its public transport network is the of district heating and, more recently (from urban development solution in Helsinki, in
shortest in Europe. However, the city ranks first 1991), with the replacement of coal by natural developing a sustainable-development frame-
with regard to the length of its cycling network, gas as a fuel for energy production. work applicable to other contexts, and in
and is a leader in green transport promotion. Initiative: Helsinki Energy has invested in sev- spurring innovation in the field of energy effi-
ciency and sustainable development.
Environmental governance Energy
Select city data
W ith a population of 570,000, the Finnish
capital, Helsinki, has an economy domi-
nated by the services sector, with a particularly
Air Quality 0 Buildings
GDP per head, PPP: € 52,832 high concentration of jobs in information tech-
CO2 emissions per head: 6.01 tonnes nology and the public sector. The Helsinki Metro-
Energy consumption per head: 88.62 gigajoules politan Area consists of four municipalities,
Percentage of renewable energy Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen, the
consumed by the city: 3.51 %
total population of which is around 1 million.
Waste and Land Use Transport
Total percentage of citizens walking, This area accounts for one-third of Finland’s GDP
cycling or taking public transport to work: 44.7 %
and is accordingly wealthy: its inhabitants’ aver- Helsinki
Annual water consumption per head: 76.29 m3 Water
age annual income is the second-highest Average
Share of waste recycled: 57.61 % among the cities reviewed in this study, after
that of Oslo. Helsinki ranks in seventh place in
the European Green City Index, with a score of emissions per head of 6 tonnes, well above the Initiative: An extension of the Helsinki metro eral wind-energy plants in Finland, in order to first capital city in Europe to complete a full-
79.29 out of 100. Helsinki is ranked fourth 30-city average of 5 tonnes. This results from the system to the city of Espoo received official raise its share of renewables and move away scale sustainable development action planning
among the Nordic cities, largely because of its city’s high need for heating in buildings and its approval in September 2006 and will be com- from the use of fossil fuels, which adversely process.
relatively high carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rising electricity consumption. pleted by 2013 at the earliest. affects the air quality of the city. Initiative: Since 1995 Helsinki has taken a col-
and energy consumption, even though the city Initiative: Helsinki’s first, and the world’s laborative approach to planning the use and
is a leader in energy efficiency. largest, heat pump plant, Katri Vala, was com- Water: Helsinki is ranked 11th in the water cate- Environmental governance: Helsinki is ranked development of municipally owned urban
pleted in 2006. The plant uses heat pumps and gory, largely because of its limited water-effi- joint first (with three other cities) for environ- forests, allowing residents to help set goals for
CO2 emissions: Helsinki ranks 11th in the index produces both district heat and cooling, signifi- ciency policies. Although the city encourages mental governance. Its Sustainability Strategy the use of green areas and minimising conflicts
for CO2 emissions, as a result of its relatively high cantly reducing Helsinki’s CO2 emissions. the installation of water meters in individual and Action plan 2002-10 made Helsinki the over space.
European Green City Index | City Portrait
1,653 megajoules per square metre per year, Waste and land use: Ljubljana is ranked 18th CO2
well above the index average of 909 mega- in the waste and land use category, bolstered by 10
joules. Ljubljana has no specific standards relat- a strong score for municipal waste production,
ing to the upgrading of older buildings, al- where it comes joint sixth overall. The city’s Environmental governance Energy
though efficiency standards do exist for new inhabitants produce about 441 kg of waste per 6
buildings. year, well below the 30-city average of 511 kg. 4
Initiative: The city hopes to reduce the use of However, Ljubljana performs poorly on recy-
energy in public buildings by 15% by 2013 com- cling, which pulls down its overall score. A new
pared with the level in 2004. It also plans to waste-management site, to help to raise the Air Quality 0 Buildings
increase the availability of renewable energy share of recycled waste, is currently being built.
sources in general. Initiative: Ljubljana introduced a lottery in late
2008 to encourage recycling. It involves a fort-
Transport: Ljubljana ranks in 13th place in the nightly draw in which a household or office
transport category. Although the city does rela- recycling bin is randomly selected, with a cash Waste and Land Use Transport
tively well in transport when compared to other prize awarded if it contains the correct type of
categories, it is still set back to some degree by the waste. Water Best
T he city of Ljubljana is Slovenia’s capital and
the hub of the country’s political, economic
and financial activities. With 24.5% of Slovenia’s
CO2-reduction policy, but has pledged to draw
up such a strategy during 2009 as part of its
membership of the Covenant of Mayors. This
relatively low usage of non-car transport. Although
the city has a vast bus network, buses move
slowly because of the general lack of dedicated
Air quality: Ljubljana ranks 14th for air quality.
It performs particularly well on sulphur dioxide
emissions, with lower levels than many larger,
population, in 2006 Ljubljana contributed strategy would aim to reduce CO2 emissions by bus lanes. wealthier cities.
36.1% of national GDP. at least 20% by 2020. As a consequence, the number of bus pas- So far Ljubljana has been unsuccessful in
Ljubljana ranks 19th place in the European sengers has been decreasing steadily for the reducing traffic volumes in the city centre, and
Green City Index, with a score of 56.39 out of Energy: Ljubljana is ranked just 27th for energy, past 15 years, and commuters tend to use their this contributes to high volumes of particulate From April to October, the main cycling sea-
100. Its score is adversely affected by poor per- mainly because of its high energy consumption own cars for reasons of speed and comfort. matter, although overall pollution levels are son in Ljubljana, there are 80 bicycles avail-
formances in the water, energy and buildings and low use of renewable energy. At national Initiative: In 2007 Ljubljana closed a large part about average. able to the public for hire from eight loca-
categories. These reflect Ljubljana’s antiquated level oil products account for 34% of energy con- of its city centre to traffic, and plans to introduce Initiative: The opening of the Sentvid tunnel in tions in the city centre. Charges are €1 for
water and sewage network; its scant use of sumption, coal for 22%, nuclear power for 20%, further pedestrian areas during 2009. 2008 has made it possible for motorists driving two hours or €5 for a day, but hire is free of
renewable sources of energy; and the poor qual- natural gas for 14% and renewable sources for from the seaside to the north of Slovenia to charge for anyone with a Ljubljana tourist
ity of insulation of its buildings. 10%. Water: Ljubljana ranks 27th in the water cate- bypass Ljubljana, thus reducing traffic and relat- card. The scheme is targeted primarily at
Select city data Initiative: In early 2009 Ljubljana built its first gory. This is mainly owing to poor scores for ed air pollution. tourists rather than local residents. Accord-
CO2 emissions: Ljubljana ranks 14th for CO2 solar power generating unit, which will provide water system leakages and the proportion of ingly, most of the bicycles are rented during
Population: 271,000 emissions, among its better results, and is the enough energy for 25 households. dwellings connected to the sewage system, as Environmental governance: Ljubljana ranks the peak tourist season from July to August.
GDP per head, PPP: € 25,830 third-greenest city in terms of direct emissions There are plans to install additional solar pan- the city’s per-head water consumption level is joint 15th with London in the environmental As an indication of the popularity of the
CO2 emissions per head: 3.41 tonnes per head (at 3.4 tonnes per year), being outper- els on the roofs of several buildings from 2010 below the average (at 84 cubic metres per year, governance category, mainly thanks to a high scheme, at one location bicycles were hired
Energy consumption per head: 105.87 gigajoules formed only by Oslo and Istanbul. Although its onwards. compared with a 30-city average of 105 cubic score in the green management subcategory. out more than 400 times for two-hour peri-
Percentage of renewable energy emissions are low compared with those of big- metres). Over the past decade Ljubljana has paid ever ods in July alone, and around one-half of that
consumed by the city: 0.21 %
ger cities, the amount of CO2 produced by the Buildings: Ljubljana ranks 19th in the buildings Initiative: The city authorities are planning a more attention to green policies, and has recent- number were used for full-day rental. The city
Total percentage of citizens walking, city’s traffic increased by 73% in 1989-2004, category, as the energy consumption of most further increase in the number of wastewater ly suggested plans to design a sustainable ener- authorities are planning to increase the net-
cycling or taking public transport to work: 36.4 %
reflecting greatly increased use of private trans- buildings in the city is relatively high. The city connections in the next few years, along with gy action plan and to set a target for the reduc- work of locations and the number of bicycles
Annual water consumption per head: 84.31 m3 port. scores particularly poorly for energy consump- repairs to the existing system in order to improve tion of CO2 emissions, as well as subscribing to in the scheme.
Share of waste recycled: 4.05 % Initiative: Ljubljana does not have an official tion by residential buildings: it uses an estimated the water supply and reduce pollution. the Covenant of Mayors.
European Green City Index | City Portrait
residential homes is slightly higher than average Initiative: Thames Water has a £6.5 billion tory of energy use and greenhouse gas emis-
and well above that in a number of cities with investment programme planned for 2010-15, sions in 2004-05.
colder climates, such as Berlin and Copenhagen. which plans to cut system leakages by nearly The fact that some authority is devolved to
However, new building standards are higher, one-fifth. By 2010 it aims to have reduced leak- the city’s 33 boroughs and some is concentrated
and significant efforts are being made to retrofit age rates to 690 megalitres per day, from 850 at national government level causes difficulties
older buildings. megalitres in 2003. in terms of co-ordination on environmental gov-
Initiative: New homes will have to meet Level 3 ernance.
of the Code for Sustainable Homes by 2010 and Waste and land use: London ranks 11th in the Initiative: London’s 2012 Olympic Games have
Level 6 by 2016. The code sets minimum stan- waste and land use category. It produces 558 kg been touted as the first sustainable Olympics.
dards for energy and water usage levels, on a of municipal waste per inhabitant per year, com- Commitments include using at least 20% local
scale of 1-6, helping to rate the sustainability of pared with a 30-city average of 511 kg. About renewable energy sources and operating a zero-
new homes. one-half of this waste is currently managed landfill policy on waste during the games.
Environmental governance Energy
Air Quality 0 Buildings
Waste and Land Use Transport
Select city data
Population: 7.6 million
L ondon is the UK’s largest city and its capital.
It has also come to be recognised as a global
centre for financial and professional services, as
Adaptation Strategy, published in 2008, aims to
reduce London’s emissions by 60% from their
1990 levels by 2025.
Transport: London ranks 16th in the transport
category, largely because of its poor scores on
the relative length of its cycle lanes and public
within London, and the city’s overall recycling
rate is about 20%.
Initiative: A London Waste and Recycling Board
GDP per head, PPP: € 44,890 well as a major tourist destination. The city has a Initiative: In September 2009 ten boroughs transport network. was set up in July 2008, with a budget to 2011
CO2 emissions per head: 5.84 tonnes population of 7.6 million and is the headquar- were chosen to be low-carbon zones, and will A ten-year-plus programme is under way of £84 million. In February 2009 it established a
Energy consumption per head: 77.96 gigajoules ters for more than one-half of the UK’s largest receive funding to help meet a targeted 20% to upgrade track, signalling, trains and stations “dating agency” to attract companies interested
Percentage of renewable energy companies, as well as being a hub for multina- reduction in emissions by 2012. on London’s underground rail system, with in utilising different kinds of waste for energy One of London’s key energy ambitions is the
consumed by the city: 1.20 %*
tional companies establishing a foothold in the the aim of increasing capacity and reducing reuse or recycling. London Array, a planned 1,000 mw offshore
Total percentage of citizens walking, European market. Energy: London is ranked tenth in the energy journey times. London was one of the first cities wind-turbine project in the Thames estuary.
cycling or taking public transport to work: 63 %
London is ranked 11th overall in the Euro- category, with annual energy consumption per to adopt a congestion-charging zone for road Air quality: London is ranked 12th for air quali- When completed, it will be the largest off-
Annual water consumption per head: 57.59 m3 pean Green City Index, with a score of 71.56 out head almost equal to the 30-city average, at traffic; the zone covers the central area of the ty. The UK government has a national Air Quality shore wind farm in the world, occupying 233
Share of waste recycled: 20 % of 100. The city has been actively promoting its about 78 gigajoules. At just 1.2%, the city’s use city. Strategy that sets out policies on local air quality. square km. The project will supply enough
*Estimate efforts on climate change, with a range of initia- of renewable energy as a proportion of total Initiative: A cycle hire scheme is planned for Normally this is done in line with EU law, but power for 750,000 homes — about one-quar-
tives and plans that target various aspects of the energy consumption is well below the average the summer of 2010, with around 400 cycle London is applying for extensions to certain EU- ter of the homes in the Greater London area
environment. of about 7%. docking stations and some 6,000 cycles. reduction requirements. — and will save 1.9 million tonnes of CO2
Initiative: London aims to generate enough Initiative: In October 2009 a draft Air Quality emissions each year. The project will cost an
CO2 emissions: London ranks tenth overall in energy from renewable sources to power the Water: London is ranked eighth in the water Strategy was published, which sets out a frame- estimated £2.2 billion, and aims to contribute
the category for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. equivalent of 100,000 homes by 2010. category, one of its strongest areas. London’s work for delivering improvements to London’s as much as 10% to the UK’s renewable-energy
Its inhabitants were each responsible for an drinking water is of high quality, given that one- air quality. targets, with London becoming a major con-
average of 5.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2006, Buildings: London is ranked tenth in the build- half of its water mains are over 100 years old, sumer of such energy. It is hoped that the ar-
slightly above the 30-city average of 5.2 tonnes. ings category, a position that is boosted by its and its leaky Victorian-era pipes are in the Environmental governance: London ties in ray will start supplying electricity to the na-
However, the city has significant reduction tar- strong performance on energy-efficient build- process of being replaced. 15th place with Ljubljana in the category for tional grid by 2012, although 2013 is a more
gets in place, and is therefore ranked seventh for ing incentives, many of which originate at Annual water consumption per head is only environmental governance. Environmental likely date for completion of the first phase,
the ambition and credibility of its CO2-reduction national level. 57.6 cubic metres, the fifth-lowest among the reporting by the city is not systematic, although following initial planning and financing delays.
strategy. The draft London Climate Change Energy consumption per square metre in 30 cities. in December 2008 the city published an inven-
European Green City Index | City Portrait
sumption, with energy consumed per head strong water-efficiency and water-treatment Environmental governance: In 13th place in
marginally lower than the 30-city average of 81 policies. Residents consume an average of 71 the environmental governance category, Madrid
gigajoules. Energy consumption is centred mainly cubic metres per head per year, below the 30- ties with Budapest. Sustainable development is
on electric power, oil-based fuels and natural city average of 105 cubic metres. Water leakages relatively new to Madrid, but it has set itself an
gas. Renewables account for less than 3% of are also substantially lower than average. ambitious range of targets. Its recent Sustain-
total energy consumed; however, solar power Madrid, like most of Spain, is subject to uncer- able Use of Energy and Climate Change Preven-
use in particular is expected to increase consid- tain water resources because of high tempera- tion Plan for the City of Madrid was approved by
erably. The use of coal has fallen substantially. tures and low rainfall. Madrid’s government in June 2008. While citi-
Initiative: Madrid’s Climate Change Prevention Initiative: Madrid’s water-treatment and water- zens are not usually involved in any initial city
Plan includes a target of a 20% reduction in fossil reuse plan for 2005-10 involves the improve- planning, there is occasional participation later
fuel use by 2020 compared with the 2004 level. ment of existing water-treatment systems and in the process.
the reuse of purified effluents and sludge for
Buildings: Madrid ranks 17th for buildings. Its agricultural purposes. CO2
average annual energy consumption in residen- 10
tial buildings, at 614 megajoules per square Waste and land use: Madrid ranks 19th for
metre in 2007, is lower than the index average waste and land use. Just 10% of solid waste is 8
Environmental governance Energy
of 909 megajoules. However, the city’s overall recycled, lower than the index average of 18%. 6
rank is not as strong as it could be, mainly Around 40% of waste is sent to landfill. Municipal
because of its lack of high-level energy efficien- waste per head, at 551 kg per day, is above the
cy standards, although solar panels are now average of 511 kg. The waste sector has reduced 2
required in all new buildings. its emissions in the past decade by installing
Air Quality 0 Buildings
Initiative: The city has a target of issuing ener- degasification systems and recovering biogas
gy certifications for 30% of new constructions from landfill. Madrid’s green surface area makes
by 2012. Its long-term target is to make energy up 43% of the city’s total area, including the
certification mandatory. city’s urban parks, gardens and forested areas,
and there are measures in place to protect them.
Waste and Land Use Transport
Transport: Madrid ranks 15th for transport. However, a decade-long construction boom has
The proportion of people walking or cycling to contributed to a significant amount of sprawl. Madrid
work (14%) is under the 30-city average (21%), Initiative: The City of Madrid aims to recover all Average
Select city data
Population: 6.1 million
S pain’s capital, Madrid, covers 0.12% of the
nation’s territory but is home to 7% of the
total population. The city’s economy is dominat-
The Manzanares River Project, Madrid’s main
urban-regeneration project, is under way to
GDP per head, PPP: € 25,012 ed by the services sector and is Spain’s financial, transform the banks of the capital’s river.
CO2 emissions per head: 4.08 tonnes administrative and transport nerve-centre. Water flow in the river, which runs to the
Energy consumption per head: 80.28 gigajoules Madrid accounts for around one-tenth of Spain’s west and south of the city centre, will be im-
Percentage of renewable energy GDP. In terms of average annual income, Madrid proved and more public spaces will be creat-
consumed by the city: 2.78 %
is at the lower end of the scale among west ed, helping to stabilise the river’s ecosystem.
Total percentage of citizens walking, European cities but ranks above all east Euro- Nine new pedestrian walkways over the river
cycling or taking public transport to work: 54 %
pean cities. will link some of Madrid’s poorer neighbour-
Annual water consumption per head: 71.37 m3 Madrid ranks 12th overall in the European sions-reduction strategy. Emissions per head, at while the proportion of those taking public organic matter contained in urban waste gener- hoods and will give a boost to a run-down
Share of waste recycled: 9.88 % Green City Index, with a score of 67.08 out of 4 tonnes per year (2004), are below the 30-city transport to work is about average, at 40%. Still, ated in the city by 2011, preventing it from area. The land reclamation along the river
100. Among larger cities Madrid occupies a mid- average of approximately 5 tonnes per year. Madrid is well connected, with an extensive and being sent to landfill. was made possible by the construction of a
dle ranking, below Berlin, Paris and London but Road transport accounts for just under one-half growing metro system and a high-speed train new and controversial motorway, the M-30,
above Rome, Athens and Istanbul. Its ranking is of all CO2 emissions, followed by residential network that is extending its reach. Madrid Air quality: Madrid ranks 18th for air quality. which has rerouted traffic. The area will be
buoyed by good performances in carbon dioxide homes and then the commercial and industrial hopes to reduce motorised, and particularly pri- Particulate matter stood at 38 micrograms per planted with 25,000 trees, include 42 km of
(CO2) emissions and water. While sustainable sectors. vate, transport use. It has a number of ambitious cubic metre in 2007, above the 30-city average pedestrian paths and 32 km of cycling tracks,
development is newer to Madrid than to many Initiative: As part of the Sustainable Use of targets, such as increasing the use of biofuels to of 35 micrograms, mainly due to the high num- and will provide a riverside beach, new chil-
of its west European neighbours, the city has set Energy and Climate Change Prevention Plan for 10% of the total by 2012 and lowering private ber of vehicles on the roads and heavy depen- dren’s playgrounds and quiet areas designed
ambitious targets to catch up. the City of Madrid 2008, the city has a target of a transport use by 10% by 2012 and by 20% by dence on fossil fuels for heating. Madrid’s nitro- to attract elderly visitors. The project began
14% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2012, com- 2020. gen dioxide emissions and sulphur dioxide in 2008, and will cost an estimated €250 mil-
CO2 emissions: Madrid does relatively well in pared with the level of emissions in 2004. emissions are also above average. lion. The first phase will be completed by
this category, ranking ninth for CO2 emissions, Water: Madrid ranks seventh for water, its best Initiative: The city has a plan for low-emission 2011.
in large part because of its ambitious CO2 emis- Energy: Madrid ranks 12th for energy con- performance in the index, mainly due to its zones.
European Green City Index | City Portrait
12,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, Oslo plans to har- city’s low rate of residential water metering. CO2
ness one-half of it and convert it into bio- Daily use of water per head fell from 208 litres in 10
methane to run 80 of the city’s public buses. 1997 to 172 litres in 2007; by contrast, Amster-
dam, the top-scoring city in this category, con-
Environmental governance Energy
Energy: Oslo is ranked first in the energy cate- sumes just 53 litres per person per day. 6
gory, despite ranking joint 24th with Zurich in Initiative: The new Oset water treatment plant
the energy consumption subcategory. This is uses coagulation and filtration as the first
because the city receives full marks for its hygienic barrier in water treatment. The second 2
renewable-energy consumption and its clean hygienic treatment is UV disinfection with a
Air Quality 0 Buildings
and efficient energy policies, and also because trace residue of chlorination being retained.
of its number-two ranking in the energy intensi-
ty subcategory. Waste and land use: Oslo ranks sixth in the
Initiative: Oslo has adopted an energy action waste and land use category, surpassing other
plan to improve energy efficiency and replace high-income cities, such as Copenhagen and
fossil fuels with renewable sources, and to Stockholm. The city’s position is bolstered by its Waste and Land Use Transport
reduce greenhouse gas emissions from munici- policies on green land use and waste reduction,
pal buildings by 95% by 2030. but is held back by lower rankings for waste Water Best
Buildings: Oslo is ranked third overall in the recycling and reuse and for municipal waste
buildings category. The city is ranked sixth in the reduction. Powered by leftovers
subcategory for energy consumption of residen- Initiative: The Marka forested hill area to the
tial buildings. Energy-efficient building stan- north and east of Oslo encircles part of the city.
dards are also strong, with the city ranking in The part of Marka owned by the city has been
joint fourth place in that subcategory. certified with a local “Living Forest” standard.
Initiative: Following a city council ruling, ener- In 2009 the Waste to Energy Agency awarded
gy efficiency assessments are being carried out Air quality: Oslo ranks only 15th in the index contracts to build a biogas facility at Klemet-
on existing municipal buildings, with energy for overall air quality, primarily because of its srud that will transform food waste into bio-
management of buildings being part of local poor performance on nitrogen dioxide. Its mid- gas and bio-fertiliser, producing about 6 mil-
certifications. dling performance on particulate matter results lion cubic metres of biogas annually, which
Select city data
N orway’s capital, Oslo, is a relatively small
city, and with fewer than 550,000 inhabi-
tants it is home to just 12% of the country’s pop-
Oslo is ranked third overall in the European
Green City Index, with a score of 83.98 out of
100. It is also the best-performing city in terms
Transport: Oslo is ranked fifth overall in the
transport category, behind several other high-
from pollution in the winter months resulting
from wood-burning stoves and temperature
when upgraded to fuel is equivalent to about
4 million litres of diesel. The facility will be
able to receive about 50,000 tonnes of food
GDP per head, PPP: € 59,467 ulation. The city contributes about 17% of Nor- of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, largely income, small cities. While the city does well on Initiative: Since 2005 the city council has waste a year, with the possibility of extending
CO2 emissions per head: 2.19 tonnes way’s GDP but one-quarter of its tax revenue. because of the use of hydroelectricity to power green transport promotion and congestion- implemented schemes including a charge on this to 80,000 tonnes. Together with biogas
Energy consumption per head: 94.78 gigajoules Accordingly, it is a wealthy place: as of 2008, its rail-based public transport. reduction policies, it performs relatively poorly studded tyres (which produce road dust and par- from the wastewater treatment plant, it will
Percentage of renewable energy GDP per head was the highest in Europe. Busi- in terms of the size of its non-car networks and ticulate matter), grants to replace old wood- guarantee a steady stream of biogas for the
consumed by the city: 64.8 %
ness services provided one-fifth of Oslo’s gross CO2 emissions: Oslo’s top ranking for CO2 use of non-car transport. burning stoves, an increase in the use of envi- operation of vehicles, including 230 buses
Total percentage of citizens walking, value added (GVA) in 2006. The wholesale and emissions is the result of its use of renewable Initiative: Buses running on fossil fuels will be ronmentally friendly public transport, and that are currently being adapted to use this
cycling or taking public transport to work: 57 %
retail trade (which accounts for 14.5% of GVA) and alternative energy sources for public trans- replaced by vehicles using biofuels and bio-gas training for bus drivers in eco-friendly tech- fuel. Production of biogas from Klemetsrud
Annual water consumption per head: 172 m3 and the financial sector (nearly 11%) are also port and its reduction of landfill emissions. The — the latter consisting of methane generated niques. will begin once a system for the separation of
Share of waste recycled: 26.6 % strong. By contrast, the city’s manufacturing focus on transport has had a significant impact, from the city’s wet organic waste in a system household organic waste is under way by
sector is small, accounting for less than 7% of as pollution from private and public transport that is to be introduced in 2011. Environmental governance: Oslo is rated 2011. The renewable-energy and wastewater
GVA, and this is a boon to Oslo’s environment. combined accounts for one-half of the city’s CO2 joint fifth with Warsaw for environmental gover- project known as EGE 2010, of which
However, the population is growing by some 2% emissions. Water: Oslo is ranked a relatively poor 20th in nance. Oslo’s environmental planning is co-ordi- Klemetsrud forms a part, has a budget of
per year, faster than any of the other Nordic Initiative: From 2009, rather than allowing gas the water category, reflecting its high water nated by the city council, which is both the city Nkr2.3 billion (about €264 million).
capitals. from its sewage plant to burn off and release its consumption, a fairly high leakage rate and the and the county authority for Oslo.