• Shanghai is the most sustainable city in Mainland China

    24 February 2015

    Shanghai, 9 February 2015 – Shanghai ranks eighth in Asia Pacific on the inaugural Sustainable Cities Index from Arcadis, the leading global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm.


    The Index, which was conducted by the Center for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) explores social (People), environmental (Planet) and economic (Profit) demands to develop an indicative ranking of 50 of the world’s leading cities. The 2015 report finds that no utopian city exists, with city leaders having to manage a complex balancing act between these three key pillars of sustainability. Frankfurt sits in first place, followed by London and Copenhagen on the ranking.

    Beijing is ninth and Wuhan is thirteen on the Asia-Pacific ranking.  The research also finds that one of the biggest challenges facing Shanghai, and many other tier one cities in China, will be around improving the quality of the living environment. Directives within the most recent Five Year Plan have driven a renewed focus on cleaning up old industrial zones within the Shanghai so that the land can be repurposed for alternative use. Similarly, efforts are underway to try and clean the three main rivers running through the city, to improve water quality, and to future-proof the Northern parts of the city against the risk of flooding.

    William Taam, City Executive Director for Shanghai and the Pearl River Delta at Arcadis comments: “Shanghai’s built and natural environments will play a key role in helping to cement its place as the city of the 21st century. There is a lot of work to do and success will be dependent on thorough planning and management of this portfolio of work. However the speed of progress the city has made over the last decade demonstrates what it can achieve. Supported by a well-educated workforce that is increasingly confident around the city’s status, the future looks very bright for Shanghai.”

    Asia cities ranking in the 2015 ARCADIS Sustainable Cities Index are:

    Overall Asia Pacific ranking City Overall Global ranking People sub ranking Planetsubranking ProfitSubranking
    1 Seoul 7 2 13 7
    2 Hong Kong 8 6 19 3
    3 Singapore 10 16 7 8
    4 Sydney 11 4 18 16
    5 Melbourne 17 8 23 5
    6 Tokyo 23 21 28 25
    7 Kuala Lumpur 26 23 24 22
    8 Shanghai 35 22 33 38
    9 Beijing 39 19 46 37
    10 Jakarta 45 44 38 43
    11 Manila 46 47 34 40
    12 Mumbai 47 48 36 47
    13 Wuhan 48 45 48 50
    14 New Delhi 49 49 49 48


    The full rankings can be viewed at www.sustainablecitiesindex.com

    Three advanced Asian cities, Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore, make the global top ten. Seoul performs particularly well on the People sub-index which index rates transport infrastructure, health, education, income inequality, work-life balance, the dependency ratio and green spaces within cities, reaching second place globally.In part this is due to a strong performing transport infrastructure, which is second only to another city in the continent, Melbourne. Yet the Index also shows that high working hours (20 per cent higher than the global average) and a consistently poor work-life balance hold several Asian cities back from performing stronger on its people factors.

    Hong Kong excels on the Profit sub-index. The Profit sub-index examines performance from a business perspective, combining measures of transport infrastructure (rail, air, other public transport and commuting time), ease of doing business, the city’s importance in global economic networks, property and living costs, GDP per capita and energy efficiency. Hong Kong also leads the way on university education and life expectancy, and offers its people the highest percentage of green space.

    Whilst Singapore is placed in the top ten in the Sustainable Cities Index, it ranks lower than Hong Kong and Seoul largely due lower scores for indicators like work-life balance,  expensive property prices, low use of renewable energy and a high cost of doing business. However, Singapore is the only country in Asia Pacific which made it into the top 10 of the Planet sub-index. The Planet sub-index looks at city energy consumption and renewable energy share, recycling rates, greenhouse gas emissions, natural catastrophe risk, drinking water, sanitation and air pollution. This demonstrates Singapore’s capability and commitment to green urbanization and to ensuring that sustainability is at the heart of its overall master plan.

    Graham Kean, Asia-Pacific Head of Client Solutions at ARCADIS comments: “Cities in Asia Pacific demonstrate the greatest divergence: Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore all make it into the top ten of the overall ranking, while New Delhi, Wuhan, Mumbai, Manila and Jakarta sit at the bottom. The Sustainable Cities Index highlights the areas of opportunity for city leaders, to develop strategies for future decision-making to hopefully make them more sustainable economically, environmentally and for the welfare of their inhabitants.”


    Natural and Organic: Red Dunes Playtopia Video credit: CHENIN Studio

    World Architecture Festival 2022 took place in Lisbon, the 2023 edition will be held from 29 Nov - 1 Dec at Singapore.


    no images were found