7 Sustainable Cities and their Green Initiatives

Ariel Canie | October 21, 2022 | 5 min read

7 Sustainable Cities and their Green Initiatives

With cities housing over half of the world’s population, it’s no secret that they contribute to a large portion of our climate footprint. Luckily, many progressive cities around the world are taking action and reimagining what it means to be green. From implementing plastic bans to aiming for carbon neutrality, these cities are making steady leaps and bounds towards a more sustainable future. Have you visited any of the cities listed below?

7 Sustainable Cities and their Green Initiatives:

Reykjavik Iceland

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

As a leader in renewable energy, 100% of Iceland’s electricity is produced from hydropower and geothermal resources. A whopping 90% of Iceland's buildings are heated by utilizing the country’s natural heat sources like geysers and hot springs while the other 10% is heated with electricity. By the year 2040, Iceland’s government has set out to be completely carbon neutral.

Oslo Norway

2. Oslo, Norway

Ranked as #1 this year in the Sustainable City index, Oslo boasts over 1,400 km of forest roads and 2,100 km of nature trails. With large amounts of greenery and low carbon emissions, Oslo has been able to achieve the World Health Organization’s (WHO) target air pollution figures of 10-12 µg/m³ since 2019. The city also has a focus on renewable energy with hydro accounting for 60% of its total energy consumption. 

Vancouver Canada

3. Vancouver, Canada

Named as the third greenest city in the world by the Economic Intelligence unit, Vancouver has set a goal of being completely zero-waste by 2040 with the Zero Waste 2040 strategic plan. To achieve their zero waste goal, Vancouver is committed to conserving resources, composting inedible food, repairing products and and reusing materials before recycling them. 

San Francisco California

4. San Francisco, California

San Francisco has been paving the way as a sustainable city ever since implementing their plastic bag ban in 2007. In 2020, the city took it a step further and became the first American city to ban all single-use plastic. This ban includes items such as plastic straws, plastic food containers and plastic bottles. 

Tokyo Japan

5. Tokyo, Japan

As one of the world leaders in sustainable transportation, Tokyo’s transportation is mostly made up of non-motorized vehicles. In fact, only 10% of it’s transportation is motorized. Tokyo’s dependance on vehicles smaller than cars (aka “micromobility”) has helped reduce carbon emissions as well as city traffic and congestion. The city is hoping to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2050. 

Basel Switzerland

6. Basel, Switzerland

Thanks to the help of financial incentives and building regulations, the city of Basel, Switzerland passed a law in 2002 that would ensure all new and renovated flat roofs are “green roofs”. Green roofs are defined as contained green space on top of a human-made structure. When built correctly, these roofs help lower temperatures, reduce surface runoff and promote energy and biodiversity conservation

Copenhagen Denmark

7. Copenhagen, Denmark

Often referred to as the  world’s greenest major city, Copenhagen, Denmark is very well-known for its bicycle infrastructure. In 2012 the city launched a plan to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital city by 2025 and is on track to achieving that goal thanks to their eco-friendly transportation options such as their Cycle Super Highway, hydrogen-powered taxis and electric car sharing options. 

Do you want to make an impact in your city? Find a tree planting event near you and volunteer your time to plant a tree in your community! Alternatively, donate $1 to plant trees where they’re needed most, every tree planted helps!

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Longleaf Pine Restoration
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Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Longleaf Pine Landscape
Longleaf Pine Planting
Longleaf Pine Main Image
Longleaf Pine Restoration
Longleaf Pine Tree Planter
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Longleaf Pine Landscape
Longleaf Pine Planting

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. This project is currently supporting Longleaf Pine Restoration. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Protect wildlife habitat and increase biodiversity
  • Restore essential watersheds for soil stability and erosion control
  • Sequester carbon in the biomass of the forests through climate stability
  • Longleaf pine forests are among the most biodiverse in North America and provide habitat for numerous threatened and endangered species. Longleaf pine forests are well-adapted to a warming climate as longleaf pine is a resilient species that is fire-dependent, drought-tolerant, and long-lived. Reforestation of longleaf pine ecosystems- to increase, maintain, and enhance the species- has been identified as a priority area within America's Longleaf Range Wide Conservation Plan. 🌲
  • Our longleaf pine reforestation project will restore habitats, control soil erosion, and sequester carbon in an effort to stabilize the climate in the area. Not only will wildlife benefit from the clean air and water provided by the planted trees, but the surrounding community will, too. This project will work with a variety of landowners whose responsible forest management and stewardship will only further increase the benefits for species residing on the lands. Some of the most notable species that will benefit from habitat restoration include gopher tortoises, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and eastern indigo snakes
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about our Longleaf Pine Restoration project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the ground!
  • We always plant a mix of diverse, native species from local nurseries. This project is working to replenish longleaf forests, so the native species grown in the nurseries will mainly be longleaf pine, but also include shortleaf pine and loblolly pine.

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