If living in an environmentally friendly city, with low pollution levels, abundant green spaces, pristine natural environments, good public transport and progressive environmental policies are important factors for you when moving abroad, here's Britannia's list of top green expat destinations. These factors will also generally have an effect on quality of life and will contribute to a more relaxed lifestyle, so if you are looking for these when moving abroad, our list could be just as interesting for you.
1. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen in Denmark has been repeatedly recognised as one of the greenest cities in Europe and indeed the world. Copenhagen has invested in environmental policies and renewable energy in the last few decades, has abundant green spaces and parks and low levels of air pollution. Effective sewage treatment means that the city's inhabitants can enjoy a swim in the harbours around the city. Copenhagen has an extensive public transport system, and is one of the world's most bicycle friendly cities, with over 35% of its inhabitants commuting to work by bicycle. Copenhagen is a city built on a human scale, and has been recognised as one of the cities in the world with the best quality of life.
Malmo in the south of Sweden is a pioneer in eco-friendly living. Nature is present throughout the city, with rich greenery along the streets, large parks, green roofs and green walls that are good for the local climate and also look superb. The city is home to a range of other green urban development projects that involve local residents and make life in the city more relaxed and pleasant. Malmo's streets are pedestrian and cycle-friendly, with 40% of the city's workers and students commuting by bike. Malmo is also a pioneer in its use of renewable energy and the world's third largest wind park is located just outside Malmo. The city's green credentials, coupled with its vibrant economy and its proximity to Copenhagen make it an ideal destination for many expats looking for a different lifestyle.
3. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver in Canada is already one of the greenest cities on the continent, and is dedicated to becoming even more environmentally-friendly in the next few years with an ambitious 100-year plan for green living. Vancouver has lots of parks and abundant green spaces, an extensive public transport system, extensive bike lanes and a variety of programs that promote more sustainable planning and living in the city. Much of the city's energy comes from renewable resources, such as solar, tidal and wave energy. It is therefore no surprise that Vancouver has the lowest per capita carbon emissions of any major city on the continent. Vancouver is also ranked as one of the world's most liveable cities.
Oslo is one of Europe's and the world's leading sustainable and green cities, with a large part of the city's municipality covered in forests, waterways and fjords. There are a number of environmental programs in the city, such as bike and car sharing, charging stations and free parking for electric vehicles, as well as intelligent lighting that adjusts intensity depending on traffic and weather. The city relies on renewable energy to a great extent , for example, Oslo's heating system is now 80% powered by renewable resources. Oslo also has a large number of parks and green spaces inside the city. Besides being one of the world's most liveable and sustainable cities, as the capital of Norway, Oslo also has a strong economy and is number one among European cities in economic potential.
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