Whether you visit for Earth Day or any other day of the year, an Exchange to one of these globally recognized sustainable destinations is sure to be an experience to remember.
With over a third of the city’s land green space, it is no wonder that Stockholm was the inaugural city to be named the European Green Capital back in 2010. With sustainability planning dating back to the 1970s, the city has the goal to be free of fossil fuel by 2050. Between the recycling programs, the public transportation and the easy access to bikes, Stockholm is a role model to cities everywhere on how dedication to the environment can have a huge impact.
With a mission to become a “zero waste” city within the next few years, San Francisco paves the way for green cities in the US. Back in 2007, they banned the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags and continues to push policies that encourage the use of renewable energy. Between its extensive parks and the ever-improving public transportation system, San Francisco is a place to leave your heart and experience a more environmentally sound way of living.
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Over 450 parks and green spaces are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes explaining how eco-friendly Bristol has become. It is the only city in the U.K. to hold the title of European Green Capital (back in 2015), and it’s not hard to see why. The area, with all its nature, has become a haven for eco-entrepreneurs, sustainable farming, and culinary delights which utilize farm-to-table methods. Topping the list of as one of the most “livable cities,” being green goes beyond a cause and turns into a way of life.
Dubbed one of the happiest places to live in on Earth, Copenhagen is also a world leader in sustainability. It is so ingrained in society that, last year, over 50% of the city’s population rode their bikes to and from work or school. That is just one step in its quest to be carbon neutral by 2025. Grab a bike and discover the Danish capital’s impressive history of utilizing wind power, promoting solar panels, and the remarkable reduction in using fossil fuels.
In a city with eyes of the future, Singapore works hard to cultivate and maintain its “greenness.” Its sprawling Botanic Gardens is the first of its kind to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Between the solar power-harvesting Supertrees and the over 162,000 plants, the Gardens by the Bay marks an essential effort in respecting ecology today while planning for the tomorrow.
The sun and the sights are a huge draw for this coastal city. That is just part of what makes Sydney one of the most impressive eco-friendly metropolises in the world. After reinventing its concrete container wharf into an award-winning parkland featuring native flora and becoming the first city to be certified as carbon neutral by the Australian National Carbon Offset Standard, Sydney has transformed into a go-to location for green business and travel. In many ways, the cities environmental efforts are becoming almost as famous as the iconic Opera House, and that’s saying something.
While it might not be known the world-over, Nijmegen has the honor of being the European Green Capital for 2018. Disputably the oldest city in the Netherlands (2,000 years and going strong), the efforts of the citizens to become a recognized leader in sustainability are continuing to develop and proves that old cities not only can learn to adapt but are enthusiastic about the potential it holds. Discover the area for yourself.
As the global necessity for sustainability becomes an increased priority, it is encouraging to see so many influential cities embracing the call. Do you feel like we missed an important one? Share your thoughts in the comments below. We look forward to reading your suggestions.