Come with us for a brief virtual tour of the world’s greenest cities
With sustainability at the forefront of city development moving into 2021 and beyond, we think it’s important to focus a spotlight on those cities who are already getting it right when it comes to putting the environment first, and transforming themselves into green, greener, greenest cities in the process.
Berlin is consistently recognized, not only as one of Europe’s greenest cities, but as one of the greenest cities in the world.
Berlin truly deserves this recognition and for several reasons.
The city has an abundance of green spaces, many of which it has actively protected from future development in the best interests of its residents, and their quality of life. Currently 30% of the city is recognised as being made up of green spaces, and amongst this green there are 2500 parks, and 180km of navigable waterway. Blue spaces rule in Berlin as well. The city has done an admirable job of maintaining and protecting many of its natural resources and spaces, and integrated them within the growth of the city in a way that has prioritized their protection and future.
Berlin has also not been afraid to turn unused industrial infrastructure into green spaces, parks and eco gardens. The Gleisdreieck park exists after old railway shunting yards and tracks were transformed into a green space for everyone to enjoy.
Berlin has a strong cycling culture, with lower car ownership rates than many large cities, and plenty of cycling paths and networks for people to move about the city by bicycle. The city has long adopted a commitment to sustainability - with eco farming and home gardens popular amongst many city residents. Community gardens are especially popular in the German capital, and Morchen Park is just one example of how communities, local governments and residents are coming together in the name of environmental sustainability.
Berlin is a creative city, with a strong emphasis on reducing and reusing consumer goods. Craft workshops are popular, and people are encouraged to create their own furniture, clothes and other necessities.
Madrid is actively working towards making itself greener at every turn. Its Strategic Plan of Green Areas, Trees and Biodiversity of the City of Madrid addresses what needs to be done to make the city more sustainable.
Madrid’s plan is to add to its existing urban green spaces with the creation of 22 new parks. There are also definite practical plans to turn vacant land into community gardens, to encourage the take-up of urban farming amongst city residents. The city is also committed to a large tree planting plan, which will aim to make the city cooler and healthier as well.
The city is also committed to more environmentally friendly transport options for movement around the city. It plans to reallocate 58000 square km of roads for cars and vehicles into pedestrian walkways, as well as to add more cycling lanes as well. Madrid is doing what it can to promote a sustainable lifestyle amongst its residents, in order to ensure the long term future of the city.
The plan also includes a greater commitment to renewable energy, with solar panels to be introduced to all municipality buildings, with the aim of making them dependent only on renewable energy sources. It is important for urban municipalities to take the lead with developing a truly green and sustainable city.
First off Copenhagen has set itself the goal of being carbon neutral by 2025. This is an impressive goal, but the city is already well onto its way to achieving this.
The city contains Copenhill, a facility which turns waste into energy for houses and businesses across the city. It also doubles as an artificial ski slope, and includes areas for hiking too.
Copenhagen has long been a cycling friendly city, it is most people’s preferred way to get around, and it looks set to expand this further with more cycling lanes planned. It also uses its waterways to move people around the city, and even more impressive - its canals are clean enough to swim. There are not many, if any cities who can claim the same.
The city is filled with organic restaurants, using only organically grown produce, in a nod to sustainability that is unique to Copenhagen. Recycling is also widespread, and they even have recycling vending machines for cans and bottles.
Copenhagen takes being a green city to a new level. Every aspect of the city, and life within it, is driven by the need for sustainability and an environment first approach.
At Vonder we believe in an approach to living that puts the environment first. Sustainability and encouraging a sustainable lifestyle is one of our core values. Our approach to co-living was developed to provide a better way to live, inspired by a need to prioritize sustainability in all aspects of living. We currently have co-living London, Berlin, Warsaw and Dubai locations.