This is a much coveted title, but it is not immediately obvious who the title holder should be. Indeed it can depend on the measures you use to come up with the answer.
But we’re opting for Newcastle, which may come as a surprise to some. However it topped the charts of the most sustainable cities in the UK in 2009 and 2010. This was in the index created by Forum for the Future.
Why did Newcastle perform so well?
Newcastle did extremely well in three distinct areas used to measure how well cities were performing. The environmental impact a city has is the first measure. The second is the quality of life experienced by those living in the city. The third is how future proof the city is, i.e. how effectively is it focusing on a more sustainable and greener future. Newcastle excelled in all these areas for two years in a row, beating off competition from the likes of Brighton and Bristol, which were previous winners.
An impressively low carbon footprint
Most of us are aware that having a lower carbon footprint is better for the environment. Newcastle has clearly worked on this and has a carbon footprint of around 6.8 tonnes every year.
Other good measures that have been focused on include the push to get more electric car recharging points added across the city. This means it will be more attractive for car owners to switch to electric vehicles.
Looking to invest in the future
The main difference between Newcastle and many other less green cities in the UK is its ability and focus to invest for the long term. While we can take on many green elements immediately and see a difference – such as recycling for example – others take time to show results.
Newcastle has clearly decided it is best to look to the future and invest in a greener outcome instead of just focusing on short term solutions. This has led to its status as the greenest city in the UK, but it has also seen it pull some significant distance ahead of its rivals in establishing the city as one to catch.
Certainly, Newcastle can be seen as an excellent role model when it comes to going green in a big way. The future is looking bright for the city, and it is still focusing on making things better.