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Vancouver ranked one of the world’s most sustainable cities

Photo of Vancouver with people enjoying the park outdoors

Most visitors and locals can agree that Vancouver is a beautiful city, and it is consistently named amongst some of the most beautiful cities in the world. However, while a beautiful view is nice to look at some might argue that environmental sustainability is more important and global travel publication Lonely Planet recently named Vancouver one of the world’s most sustainable cities.

“With forests, mountains and beaches all within reach, Vancouver has plenty of incentive to do its bit for the planet,” Lonely Planet states. “From neighbourhood clean-up parties to shared gardens, community sits at the heart of many of Vancouver’s eco-friendly initiatives.”

The City of Vancouver has planted more than 122,000 trees in the city since 2010, intending to reach 150,000. The city’s emissions are amongst the lowest in North America and it has a goal of being a zero-waste community by 2040.

The article highlights the green roof at Vancouver Public Library’s central branch in downtown Vancouver, which happens to be a quick 10-minute walk from UCW’s West Pender Campus. The roof design helps manage rainwater, regulates the building temperature and provides a habitat for bees. It also includes an accessible rooftop garden, complete with drought-resistant native plants and solar panels.

The Lonely Planet article also highlights Vancouver’s 28-kilometre seawall, the world's longest uninterrupted waterfront path, which connects many public spaces, including Granville Island, Sunset Beach, English Bay and Stanley Park. It also happens to be just steps away from UCW’s new Vancouver House campus.

Other cities on the list include:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Singapore
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Bengaluru, India
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • San Francisco, California

In other recent rankings, Canada was named #2 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Overall Best Countries Ranking, moving up from the #3 spot in the 2019 ranking.

The ranking rates each country in several different categories, including Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power, and Quality of Life.

Canada was ranked #2 for Citizenship with a score of 98.6 out of 100 with high marks for religious freedom, respect of property rights, human rights, gender equality and well-distributed political power.

And the country came in at the #1 spot for Quality of Life, noting political stability, a well-developed public health system, economic stability and a good job market.

“Canada is a high-tech industrial society with a high standard of living. Trade agreements in the 1980s and 1990s dramatically bolstered trade with the U.S., and now the two counties are each other's largest trading partner,” the ranking states. “While the service sector is Canada’s biggest economic driver, the country is a significant exporter of energy, food and minerals. Canada ranks third in the world in proven oil reserves and is the world’s fifth-largest oil producer.”

The ranking gave Canada an overall score of 99.4 out of 100.

The Top 10 Overall Best Countries

1. Switzerland
2. Canada
3. Japan
4. Germany
5. Australia
6. United Kingdom
7. United States
8. Sweden
9. Netherlands
10. Norway

Read the full ranking at usnews.com.


Published on Jan. 14, 2021.