World’s Most Forward-Thinking City
The Global Destination Sustainability Index has named Sweden’s second city the world’s most sustainable destination (just ahead of neighboring Copenhagen) every year since 2016
4 November 2019
by Mark Johanson
In fact, it’s so far ahead of everyone else on the list that it ranks a full 22 percentage points higher than the city in 10th place (Brussels).
Despite the superlatives, Katarina Thorstensson, head of sustainability at tourism board Göteborg & Co, says “we try not to rub the word sustainability in peoples’ faces, but rather communicate it in the atmosphere.”
“To us, sustainability is very much about making a livable and a lovable city,” she explains. “If the people of Gothenburg like living here, then other people will probably like to come here, too.”
Gothenburg is a green city, in part, thanks to its closeness to forests and parks, but also on account of its compact layout and plentiful public transportation, 65% of which runs on renewable energy.
Its Landvetter Airport has held the highest level of Airport Carbon Accreditation (Level 3+) since 2011, which means the airport itself is carbon neutral. Meanwhile, the local government has pushed hard for eco-innovation ever since 2013 when Gothenburg become the first city in the world to issue a green bond for investments benefiting the environment and climate.
Perhaps it’s little surprise the nation that gave the world Greta Thunberg is at the forefront of sustainability. But this is one arena where Gothenburg truly outshines the Swedish capital.
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