As population density becomes a problem in several areas of the world, matters of pollution, cleanliness and environmental awareness become a fundamental key for survival in urban areas. In light of these essential aspects, several cities have focused their attention on growing the cleanest city in the world taking into consideration improvements in waste management, water treatment, public littering, air pollution, among others. In this sense, we’ve put together a list of the Top 5 Cleanest Cities in the world for 2019 considering overall littering, pollution, and waste management.
Finally, on the top of our list, you will find Calgary! When pointing out which is the cleanest city in the world, Calgary has been listed regularly among the top 10 for the last years due to its high-quality sanitation and eco-initiatives that ensure litter-free streets and high-quality water streams. Programs like the Too Good to Waste have pushed the population to reduce the amount of waste produced while campaigns like the “Green Calgary” present a series of advice on how to reuse the waste produced by composting and other simple daily measures that help reduce the waste production. Nevertheless, the city has also taken active actions to promote a cleaner environment by implementing fines that vary from $500 up to $1000 for those caught littering, which also includes cigarette butts on the street. Finally, with a Spring Street Cleaning schedule that sends sweeper trucks across town to collect the leaves, over 15,000 kilometers are cleaned daily until the end of summer which ensures the city is litter-free across the entire year.
In the heart of South East Asia, Singapore has a history of over 60 years fighting public littering, earning the position as the second cleanest city in the world. Relying on heavy fines for littering, that started to be implemented back in 1968 followed by government campaigns for cleaning water, planting trees, cleaning the local river and toilets. With the Clean and Green policy, Singapore has instituted a state of fines against littering, meanwhile motivating local population to engage in cleaning the city and keeping it clean. The municipality uses tens of thousands of dollars a year collected in littering incidents fines to improving technology and increasing staff to ensure the pristine state of the streets. In addition, automatization has become a great asset in the latest years, and robots and AI can be easily spotted on the streets doing continuous work of cleaning. Finally, with the very active participation of the population, actions like the “no-cleaners day” have helped locals to engage in a cleaner behavior and set the country apart from its dirtier neighbors.
Holding over 77% of the South-Australian population, Adelaide has been pointed out repeatedly as one of the world’s cleanest city. With a peculiar urban layout called Light’s Vision, Adelaide has been regularly improving its traffic distribution to manage air pollution and traffic congestion. The area also counts with several parks and wide avenues full of green spaces. Besides proper urban planning, the city also counts with a high-quality recycling program ensuring the city remains among the most livable cities in the world. Campaigns and community participation also contribute to form an environmentally friendly society oriented towards keeping the clean conditions of the city.
Known for its breathtaking beaches and scenic views atop its ridges, Honolulu is located on the south shore of Oahu, one of the eight islands that form the state of Hawaii. With a high traffic of tourists, the city has focused their attention on littering control and waste management earning its position on this list for the highly sanitized and clean aspects of the streets of Honolulu. The quality of the air in town has also been noted for the low concentration of pollutants and high frequency of light rains that clean smogs and help keep the visibility of the sky. A large amount of incentives for reducing consumption of oils by inserting more electric cars to traffic is also seen. In the latest years, the city has profoundly improved its public transportation and reduced the number of personal vehicles seen daily in one of the country’s most chaotic traffic jams.
Located in the north of Switzerland with over 1.8 million people living in its urban area, Zürich appears in every recent cleanliness census as the cleanest city in Europe and among the top 10 cities of the world. Spreading out in an area of 91.88 km2, Zürich stretches its territory around the Lake Zürich and towards the northern portion of Switzerland. The country has reached its position as fifth on this list due to its pro-active measures towards climate protection by voting through a referendum to fix a quantifiable deadline for CO2 emissions per person by 2050.
Clearly, with the problems presented in all major cities worldwide, learning from the experience and lessons that these cities have to share is the first step for a better future. As seen, a combination of strict laws and proactive measures that combine government action and community participation seems to be the key for these major cities to keep a healthy environment and earn the position as the top 5 cleanest cities in the world.