Krakow, Poland – The Polish city of Krakow and the Czech capital of Prague have been ranked among the top ten greenest cities in Europe.
Krakow and Prague among greenest cities in Europe
According to the Husqvarna Urban Green Space Index (HUGSI), Krakow, Poland’s second largest city, is the third greenest city in Europe – topped only by Vilnius in Lithuania and Dortmund in Germany – and fifth in the world.
The HUGSI Index, now in its second year running, uses satellite images and computer vision to determine how much of a city is made up of greenery. Its ranking is based on a set of criteria, including the percentage and distribution of urban green space, the heath of urban vegetation, the size of urban greenery per capita and the percentage of urban area covered by trees and grass.
Researchers estimate that around 36% of Krakow’s urban space is covered by trees and 20% by grass.
Ranked ninth in Europe and 13th worldwide, Prague’s urban area is covered at 28% of trees and 27% by grass. The UN has previously ranked the Czech Republic as a whole as one of the top 10 most sustainable developed countries in the world.
According to the study, Krakow has over 207 m² of green space per capita, compared to 180 m² for Prague.
“Raise awareness” about the importance of urban green spaces
Other cities in Central Europe to have been included in the ranking include Wroclaw (16th in Europe), Warsaw (17th), Vienna (43rd) and Budapest (56th).
The top 10 greenest cities in the world, according to the HUGSI Index:
- Charlotte, United States
- Durban, South Africa
- Vilnius, Lithuania
- Dortmund, Germany
- Krakow, Poland
- Stuttgart, Germany
- Austin, United States
- Wuerzburg, Germany
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Heidelberg, Germany
HUGSI is a digital innovation initiative developed in collaboration with Overstory, whose goal is to help safeguard and improve maintenance of green spaces cities and urban areas.
With urbanisation accelerating around the world and cities increasingly focused on sustainable development, the HUGSI Index is designed “to raise the awareness about the value of urban green space among citizens, support city officials and politicians to make data informed decisions and facilitate the collaboration across industries and organization to […] make smart and sustainable city a reality.”
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