Zurich took first place in the 2016 Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index, “which ranked 100 major cities on 32 indicators across three aspects of sustainability: people, planet and profit,” The Local reported.
Arcadis, a global consultancy firm that focuses on sustainability, carried out the survey in partnership with the Centre for Economic and Business Research.
The top five also included Singapore, Stockholm, Vienna, and London. Of the top 20 slots, 16 of them were European cities.
Zurich was praised for its “commitment to the environment,” citing its focus on energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy. It was deemed a “pioneer” for its goal to “become a 2000-watt society by 2050,” or using only 2,000 watts of energy per capita, “the amount globally recognized as a sustainable level of energy use.”
In addition to the overall rating, the cities were ranked on the people, planet, and profit sub-indexes individually. Zurich placed first in “planet,” and fifth in “profit,” but only 27th in “people.” This sub-index measured social performance, including quality of life, health, education, income inequality, crime, housing, and living costs.
“Many cities do well in two of the people, planet and profit ratings, but very few do well in all three, indicating the challenge that cities have in balancing all three needs effectively to ensure long-term sustainability,” the survey said.