Middle East cities were ranked low generally
A Sustainable Cities Index (SCI) was proposed by Arcadis, a UK leading global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm. It has surveyed and ranked 50 of the world’s most prominent cities by looking at their viability as a place to live in, at their environmental progress and at their financial stability..
The German city of Frankfurt came first.
Dubai has been named as the most environmentally-friendly city and came at the 33rd place out of the 55 selected world cities.
Apart from Arcadis’ study and object of this article, a week earlier a senior statistician Dr Hans Rosling, speaking during a UAE Government Summit 2015 in Dubai, has predicted that Dubai will become the centre of the world, snatching the title from London, by the year 2100. The Doctor, Co-Founder of Gapminder, said that population growth in Africa and Asia would push the centre of focus from Europe to the Emirates, more specifically to Dubai.
Meanwhile at the SCI, Abu Dhabi came 41, Jeddah 43 and Riyadh 44.
Arcadis explaining said : ”Frankfurt’s high ranking in the SCI may come as a surprise, however, the self-proclaimed ‘Green City Frankfurt’ has a long track record of proactively taking action to improve its sustainability,” adding that a total of 52%of Frankfurt has been set aside for recreation and to offset climate change.
Some 20 different indicators ranging from greenspace to income inequality to ease of doing business are taken into account by the SCI.
A sustainable city for Arcadis is one that “works well for its citizens in the present without causing problems of sustainability for themselves and the rest of the world in the future.
European cities dominated the top ten, with London in 2nd place and Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Rotterdam in 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.
“London scores highly in part due to good health outcomes and excellent higher education facilities, alongside being the best—connected global city, with New York, in terms of its importance to global business networks, Arcadis said.
“Whilst Singapore is placed in the top tenth of the SCI, it ranks lower than Hong Kong and Seoul largely due to lower scores in work-life balance, having expensive property prices, low use of renewable energy and a high cost of doing business,” Arcadis said, elaborating on Singapore however as performing very well from an environmental perspective, notably demonstrating a commitment to green urbanisation.
However, some of the fastest growing cities in Asia were the least sustainable including Jakarta (45th), Manilla (46th), Wuhan (48th) and New Delhi (49th). Nairobi was regrettably last.