World’s Most Eco-Friendly Cities

Posted February 12, 2012 by Kenza Moller in Top 10

When traveling, there’s a myriad of ways to choose your next destination: you might be looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure, some warm beaches for the winter, or a few city streets to wander. Whatever you’re searching for, pick up a smidge of duty-free good environmental karma on your next vacation by traveling to one of the next few cities, which have topped eco-friendly traveling lists in the past few years.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland’s capital city uses 100% renewable sources for its heat and electricity, and hydrogen buses zip around its streets. Reykjavik is aiming to be the cleanest city in Europe and free of fossil fuels by 2050.


Flickr image by pocius

Portland, Oregon

Portland, with 92,000 acres of green space, has a plan in place to reduce its CO2 emissions that seems to be working, currently boasting green building initiatives and increased public transportation and bike lanes to encourage eco-friendly transportation.

Portland Head Light

Flickr image by pfly

Curitiba, Brazil

About 75% of Curitiba residents use public transport, and the city has large amounts of green space. Its municipal parks are famous for keeping their lawns trimmed by grazing sheep.

jardim botânico de curitiba

Flickr image by Mathieu Bertrand Struck

Malmo, Sweden

Malmo makes the ranks for having the world’s third largest wind farm, great cycling trails, and innovative eco-friendly urban developments.

Sunset In Malmo, Sweden

Flickr image by Alex Berger

Vancouver, Canada

This bustling city in British Columbia runs on 90% renewably-sourced energy and tops the charts for its use of hydroelectric power. With 200 parks and a 100-year plan for sustainability, Vancouver draws many eco-friendly people from around the world.

Vancouver Skyline

Flickr image by jenn

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is an environmentalist’s dream, with the ability to rent bikes for free, an offshore wind farm, and Tivoli Gardens, the first carbon-neutral theme park in the world.


Flickr image by Trey Ratcliff

Honourable mentions: London, England; San Francisco, California; Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador; Sydney, Australia; Barcelona, Spain; Bogota, Colombia.

Is your city also an eco-friendly place? Share with us in the comments field!

About the Author

Kenza Moller

Kenza Moller is our magazine editor and also our expert on budget travel. She is originally from the Dominican Republic and currently wrapping up a writing degree in Victoria, BC. She ran a non-profit foundation for animals and also interned at Canadian Geographic, and is happiest when traveling, scuba diving, writing or running. Check out her blog at

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