Here’s a roundup of some of the most eco-friendly cities across the world.
Author: Harini Sriram
What makes a city sustainable? It’s a combination of a commitment to clean energy, green spaces and reduced emissions. But it’s also in the little things. Giving back to the community, supporting local businesses and switching to eco-friendly lifestyles can also make a difference.
At Enchanting Travels, we believe in responsible travel. As a Travelife Partner, we strive to create sustainable travel experiences and make a positive impact while working with partners who share our vision for a better world. It is a work in progress and we seek inspiration from cities across the world that are doing it right.
1. Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland takes sustainability quite seriously. This stunning country with its otherworldly landscape aims to be carbon neutral by 2040. About 90 percent of its energy needs are currently being met by renewable sources – hydropower and geothermal power. The Land Of Fire And Ice knows a thing or two about harnessing its intrinsic energy to help lower emissions and carbon footprint. Even its cuisine hinges on local, seasonal fresh produce, fueled by fresh water and pristine air.
What You Can Expect: Our Iceland tours are designed to showcase the country’s unmatched natural beauty and commitment to sustainability. The Blue Lagoon, for instance, is a perfect example of direct geothermal energy. Our South Iceland Road Trip gives you a glimpse of the region’s great outdoors dotted with tumbling waterfalls, volcanic mountains, glaciers, beaches and lakes. The icing on the cake is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to witness the glorious spectacle, Aurora Borealis, on our Northern Lights Road Trip.
Singapore is leading the way when it comes to reimagining urban spaces. Whether it’s setting apart prime real estate for greenery (such as in Marina Bay) or making sure all structures adhere to stringent green building standards, the island country is ensuring development and sustainability go hand in hand. It is currently building a one-of-its-kind smart forest town in a 700-hectare space complete with green spaces, public housing, forest corridors, community farming and more.
What You Can Expect: Visit the famed Gardens By The Bay, a 100-hectare ‘green lung’ and admire its distinct Cloud Forest. There’s something for everyone in Singapore. Explore its cutting-edge culinary scene or indulge in some shopping and sightseeing. You could combine this vacation with stops at Penang, Kuala Lumpur and more on our Singapore and Malaysia tour, or add Bangkok and Hong Kong if you opt for this tour.
3. Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE
Both Emirates may seem like unlikely contenders for world’s most sustainable cities, but they have considerably reduced their ecological footprint since the early 2000s. Today, Dubai and Abu Dhabi rank among the top 20 most sustainable cities, thanks to their shift towards clean energy. A combination of government action, extensive research and collaborations have resulted in the development of Masdar, a net zero energy, solar powered community-driven city amid a desert.
What You Can Expect: Our tours to the Middle East take you to bustling souks, grand mosques and expansive deserts. The past and the present collide in Dubai and Abu Dhabi where towering skyscrapers and traditional markets coexist. Go on a road trip across UAE or add Oman to your itinerary with our multi-center tour. Flying to the Maldives via Dubai? Make the most of your stopover with a full-fledged vacation in the swanky Emirate.
4. Brisbane, Australia
Brisbane was named Australia‘s most sustainable city in 2014 and 2016, and with good reason. The city, along with the capital of Canberra, has been at the forefront of getting the entire community involved in embracing a sustainable way of life. By influencing lifestyle changes, big and small, both cities have been able to create a paradigm shift. From cycling, recycling, switching to green energy and conducting awareness drives at the school level, Brisbane has taken several steps towards an eco-friendly future.
What You Can Expect: Journey into the vast and diverse continent with our specially curated Australia tours. Go on a road trip to North Australia and discover the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Eat your way through Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and more on our exciting culinary tour. Or uncover the pristine natural beauty of New Zealand along with a road trip across Australia.
5. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam conjures up images of iconic canals flanked by Dutch Baroque style buildings. Every nook and cranny here brims with history and art. The city is also a cyclist’s delight. It has, over the years, worked on developing an infrastructure that promotes walking and cycling, and the result is a relatively emission-free transport system. In fact, Amsterdam has the second-highest percentage of people walking and cycling to work, with 58% of its residents setting off on foot or astride bikes to their offices. And that’s not all: the city is working towards cutting down carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030 and 95 percent by 2050, while ensuring that 80 percent of houses run on sustainable energy by 2030.
What You Can Expect: There’s no dearth of things to do in Amsterdam. Pedal away across the city and visit its museums, boutiques and experience its famed nightlife. For a more exciting vacation, how about adding another glorious city to your itinerary? Our European Romance tour lets you soak in the best of Amsterdam and Paris. Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Vienna, Prague and Budapest on our European Capitals tour or chug along on a train to Germany, Austria and Switzerland as you take in their natural beauty, rich history and culture.
Would you like to know more about responsible travel or head to one of these sustainable cities in 2022? Reach out to us and our travel experts will be happy to take you through ways in which you can contribute. They will build a custom itinerary for you based on your interests and preferences, so you can go on a vacation you will cherish forever!
travel to greener pastures!