TravelBird: Reykjavik, Prague Rank Among Most Green Cities

Online travel specialist TravelBird has released its Green Cities Index 2018, highlighting the top urban destinations for environmentally minded travelers. The results recognize the cities making large efforts to be sustainable by preserving ecological areas and introducing initiatives to improve the quality and quantity of man-made green spaces.

TravelBird looked at the largest OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries and hand-picked 50 cities, focusing on prominent tourist destinations, for comparison. It then analyzed the area within the city limits of each location against three main categories of green space; Natural, Man-Made and Food Production. TravelBird then found how many square meters of green space each city has for every inhabitant as well as the percentage that each type of green space accounts for in every destination. 

“The World Health Organization has reported that urban green spaces help individuals to feel more relaxed, reduce stress levels and also help protect against harmful pollutants. With many of our travelers seeking refuge from the grind of their daily routine, the thought of a city break might have once seemed contradictory to the idea of a relaxing vacation—but this index, highlighting the various green cities around the world, proves otherwise.” says Fiona Vanderbroeck, chief traveler cfficer at TravelBird. "Many popular city destinations around the world have made significant strides towards both preserving and manufacturing green spaces. With this index we aim to inspire travelers to see city trips differently—inviting them connect with nature whilst also enjoying the vibrancy, culture and liveliness they look for in a city getaway."

Top 10 Greenest Cities — Square Meters per Person

Hauraki Gulf Auckland New Zealand

Auckland // Photo by Avi_Cohen_Nehemia/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images    

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland — 410.84 
  2. Auckland, New Zealand — 357.20
  3. Bratislava, Slovakia — 332.99
  4. Gothenburg, Sweden — 313.87
  5. Sydney, Australia — 235.73
  6. Prague, Czech Republic — 220.54
  7. Rome, Italy — 166.47
  8. Bern, Switzerland — 131.73
  9. Hamburg, Germany — 114.07
  10. Riga, Latvia — 113.04

Top 10 Greenest Cities — Percentage of Green Space

Prague Xantana/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Prague // Photo by Xantana/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images  

  1. Prague, Czech Republic — 56.74
  2. Madrid, Spain — 44.85
  3. Vienna, Austria — 42.68
  4. Edinburgh, UK — 41.72
  5. Auckland, New Zealand — 41.54
  6. Bratislava, Slovakia — 41.01
  7. Marseille, France — 39.30
  8. Luxembourg, Luxembourg — 38.01
  9. Gothenburg, Sweden — 37.82
  10. Rome, Italy — 37.37

Further findings include:

Central Park New York City - Lady-Photo/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

New York // Photo by Lady-Photo/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images    

  • New York ranks No. 42 in the index, with 18.50 percent of green space and 16.97 square meters of green space per person
  • Tokyo as both the smallest percentage of green space, at 5.97 percent, and the lowest number of square meters per person, at 4.03 meters
  • Auckland has the highest percentage of forest and woodland at 33.59 percent, with the most square meters of woodland per person, at 288.89 meters
  • Rome has the highest percentage of nature teserves, at 30.3 percent, while Reykjavik has the most square meters of nature reserves per person, at 223.21 meters
  • Paris has the highest percentage of park space, at 21.7 percent, while Sydney has the highest number of park space, square meters per person, at 54.40 meters
  • Amsterdam has the highest percentage of maintained grass, at 20.65 percent, while Rotterdam has the most square meters of maintained grass per person, at 58.27 meters
  • Edinburgh has the highest percentage of public garden space, at 8.79 percent, while Prague has the most square meters of public garden per person with 22.53 meters
  • Edinburgh also has the highest percentage of golf course green space, at 4.61 percent, while Sydney has the most golf course square meters per person, at 17.23 meters
  • Hamburg has the highest percentage of orchard green space, at 2.24 percent; it also the most square meters of orchard green space per person, with 9.11 meters
  • Vienna has the highest percentage of vineyards, at 1.66 percent, while Bratislava has the most square meters of vineyards per person, at 10.8 meters
  • Prague has the highest percentage of farmland, at 22.28 percent, as well as the most square meters of farmland per person, at 86.61 meters

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