Prague leads CEE in sustainability

Europe led the global ranking, but the West is ahead of the East

Prague was ranked 23rd in an index most sustainable cities in 2018, which was the best in the CEE region. Europe made a strong showing compared to the rest of the world, taking eight spots out of the top 10.

The list was topped by London, followed by Edinburgh. Vienna was fifth. Warsaw and Budapest did not make the top 50, and Bratislava was not ranked.

Only three North American cities made the top 20: New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Africa and much of Asia fell to the bottom of the rankings.

The 2018 Sustainable Cities Index (SCI) was created by Arcadis, a global design and consultancy for natural and built assets.

“In many cities, developed or developing, citizens face huge challenges to meet basic needs, including shelter, food, water and warmth. Therefore, it is critical that cities maintain and evolve their services based on current needs, as well as assure that they address future requirements. City policymakers will play a key role by helping create long-term sustainable policies that specifically address these issues,” John Batten, Arcadis global director of cities, said in a press release.

The SCI ranks 100 global cities on three pillars of sustainability: people, planet and profit. These are closely aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Prague had an overall score of 62 percent, compared to 74 percent for London. Prague was in sixth place in the people category, while Edinburgh was first. For the planet, Prague was in 68th place, while Stockholm was first. In the profit category, Prague was 12th, while Singapore was first.

The 2018 SCI highlights the impact digital technologies have had on citizens’ experience of the city. Resiliency data for floods or super storms, digitized utility bills, personalized mobility applications for mobility as a service (MaaS) are some examples of successful urban digital tools.

“Nevertheless, technology is not yet able to mitigate some of the ordinary urban discomforts, such as traffic jams, a lack of affordable transport options, the absence of sufficient green space, or the uncertainties caused by aging infrastructure, among others,” the report states.

According to the report, cities need to focus on well planned long-term resilience, even if they are subject to short-term changes and trends. “The successful path to long-term resilience requires the support and involvement of citizens, while at the same time, cities can also learn from each other,” the report said.

The leaders on the SCI have succeeded not only due to a historic economic legacy, but also due to far-sighted decisions were taken to manage the long-term impacts of growth, according to the report.

“Most highly ranked cities score well in one or two pillars. This means that even a high score in the Sustainable City Index does not offer any room for complacency. Also, high-end middle ranking cities need to improve their performance across all pillars,” the report states.

2018 Sustainable Cities Index:
1. London
2. Stockholm
3. Edinburgh
4. Singapore
5. Vienna
6. Zurich
7. Munich
8. Oslo
9. Hong Kong
10. Frankfurt
11. Copenhagen
12. Amsterdam
13. Seoul
14. New York
15. Paris
16. San Francisco
17. Hamburg
18. Berlin
19. Seattle
20. Dublin
21. Madrid
22. Boston
23. Prague
24. Taipei
25. Ottawa 

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