How Green is Your City?

green cities

A new infographic details municipal efforts to make cities more environmentally friendly.

With the definition of “green” still fuzzy when it comes to products, it’s even more difficult to measure the efforts of cities attempting to decrease their carbon footprint. What are water consumption policies like? How many cars on the road? What types of recycling programs and waste reduction efforts are underway? Are there any green building or alternative energy incentives?

HouseTrip set out to find out and measure the efforts of the world’s top “green” cities. Motivation for the project came from wanting to help draw attention to the importance of cutting global pollution generated by cities. With more than half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, cities are beginning to become leaders in environmentally responsible living. Data collected from the Siemens Green Cities Index and other sources provided the information to develop the infographic.

The inforgraphic shows which of these most progressive cities are doing what in the world of green: London, New York, Vancouver, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Stockholm. So what are these cities up to? Just 44 percent of New Yorkers own a car, for example. Compared with 95 percent of the rest of Americans, that’s a pretty huge difference. Head over to Amsterdam and you’ll see more bikes than people—one bike for every 0.73 people in fact. Copenhagen is among the cities embracing the benefits of green roofs, with legislation requiring green rooftops on all new buildings, which will add 5,000 square meters of vegetation. Vancouver and Copenhagen recycle 55 percent of all their waste. Vancouver generates 90 percent of its energy from renewable resources; Stockholm is at 60 percent.

green cities

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Images: HouseTrip

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.