Oslo, London and Amsterdam are closer to achieving completely green transport
Air quality in the cities is one of the factors determining the well-being of their residents, so sustainable urban mobility –especially in mega cities-, remains a challenge. In the ‘Urban Mobility Index Report' by the London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), 35 cities from across the world are ranked based on their level of progress towards achieving a zero emissions transportation system.
According to the report, Oslo, London and Amsterdam are leading the race, with the Norwegian capital having set the year 2030 as the latest to reach this goal. The city’s metro, trams and buses already run largely on hydro-electricity and the country has the highest percentage of electric cars globally (they made up almost 11% of the traffic passing toll booths into Oslo in January, up from 7% in all of 2016). Although it is stated in the report that London “may not seem an example of a green city to all residents’’, it ranked in second place. The fact that Londoners mostly prefer public transport to private, the comparatively low air pollution levels and the fact that green space covers a third of the city are some of the reasons behind this result. London also aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60% from 1990 levels by 2025 and has promoted electric cars and bike-sharing, says the report. Amsterdam, which came in third, has largely promoted cycling in an effort to cut emissions, and considers expanding its low emission zone measure. Furthermore, the government plans on operating only zero emission buses by 2026 and offers generous subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles, which make up for around 10% of all new vehicle purchases.
European cities filled the top ten positions, together with Tokyo and Seoul, and Asian cities –although frequently facing environmental issues- seem very promising in their approach to a zero emissions future, with a desire to create smart cities filled with electric vehicles and public transport.
The bottom of the list is populated with cities in Africa and South America, where due to low economic development, zero emissions initiatives are not a priority. Cairo ranked last in the report, just below Nairobi, Mumbai, Istanbul and Abu Dhabi, however the last one has huge ambitions and willingness to invest in a greener future, meaning that the Gulf city could rush up the index in the coming years.