When it comes to sustainability, Frankfurt is the place to be. The German city is known widely for its green initiatives, and it took the top spot in the recently released Sustainable Cities Index by Arcadis. London and Copenhagen were named second and third on the list, respectively. According to Arcadis, Frankfurt topped the list due to its “long track record of proactively taking action to improve its sustainability.”
London scored very well on the list, but fell short of Frankfurt due to poor scores for congestion, declining air quality, a lack of infrastructure and a chronic shortage of affordable housing, according to the Guardian. The one category where other cities came out ahead of the overall top three was social sustainability, in which Rotterdam, NL and Seoul, South Korea, came out first and second respectively. Amongst the least sustainable on the list were fast-growing cities Africa and Asia, with Nairobi, Kenya coming in 50th place.
The report warned that in many global cities, environmental and economic achievements happened at the expense of their social performance. The Guardian notes that Amsterdam was the best-balanced city on the planet, with a relatively consistent ranking in all three sub-incides.
The index ranks the top 50 major cities in the world based on three criteria, including: environmental progress, viability as a place to live and financial stability. CNBC notes that those factors are tallied using 20 different indicators ranging from green space to income equality and ease of doing business. Arcadis defines a sustainable city as one that “works well for their citizens in the present, without causing problems for themselves and the rest of the world in the future.”