Two German cities, Frankfurt and Berlin, have made the top 10 of the new Sustainable Cities Index from ARCADIS, the leading global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm based in Amsterdam with U.S. headquarters in Colorado.
Frankfurt was dubbed the No. 1 sustainable city overall and Berlin made the No. 6 spot – a testament to Germany’s longstanding commitment to being a green country in which to live and do business.
The Index, conducted by the Center for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) based in London, explores performance against three factors – People (quality of life), Planet (emissions, pollution levels), and Profit (economic strength) – to develop a sustainability ranking of 50 of the world’s leading cities.
On the sustainable meetings industry front, Germany is recognized as a global green leader, with Frankfurt recently hosting the biennial greenmeetings and events conference, organized by the German Convention Bureau at the new, ultra-sustainable “Kap Europa” convention center. The meeting brought together nearly 400 representatives across the German meetings industry — from congress centers, venues and conference hotels to CVBs, service providers and agencies — who are dedicated to continually learning about and creating sustainable meetings.
The self-described “Green City Frankfurt” reduced its CO2 emissions by 15 percent since 1990, and it has the largest German city forest and extensive green belt. It is also working towards 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2050. What’s more, 15 percent of commuters in Frankfurt travel to work on a bike, and the city is very compact and walking-friendly.
Berlin was also recognized by the ARCADIS ranking for excellent waste management and low air pollution. Another green fact about the dynamic cultural and business hub is that 44 percent of the city is parks, woods, rivers, lakes and waterways. The streets are lined with approximately 440,000 trees, and within the city there are 934 “Kleingarten Kolonien” (garden/allotment areas) containing almost 75,000 gardening plots.