Birmingham has been ranked ahead of the likes of New York, Tokyo and Rome in research into the most sustainable cities in the world.
The Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index researches the long-term sustainability of 50 global cities and placed Birmingham 18th.
It examines explores the three metrics – social (People), environmental (Planet) and economic (Profit) and placed the city behind London, which was second overall, an Manchester in 14th in the UK.
Simon Marks, cities director, Birmingham, at Arcadis said: “Birmingham has shown very well on this first Sustainable Cities Index, beating some very high-profile cities along the way, which is impressive in itself. But Birmingham’s star is rising, generally, and I’d be very surprised if it didn’t make the top 10 in a few years’ time.
“That’s because it’s the new city hotspot in the UK. We’re already seeing a greater influx of young professionals attracted by the quality of life on offer here, and HS2 will bring many benefits, not least better connectivity with the capital. Birmingham has a diverse, vibrant population – the highest proportion of young people and children of any city in Europe, and last year the region attracted the greatest number of foreign investment projects – 77 – along with the employment that goes with that.”
Birmingham scored strongest (10th globally) on the Planet metric, reflecting the credentials of the city’s natural environment and amenities. This included its limited exposure to natural catastrophes, such as flooding and earthquakes, and low levels of pollution and access to clean drinking water, relative to other global cities.
The city’s high levels of literacy, health of its population, relative affordability of its property, and work/life balance also drove a high ranking (17th globally) on the People metric, relative to other global cities.
The city was also recognised for its energy efficiency, and ease and cost of doing business, which saw it place 29th globally, on the Profit metric.
The poorest performing cities on the list were Wuhan, New Delhi and Nairobi.
Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore were the only cities outside Europe in the top 10, which featured none from the US.
Mr Marks added: “But the city has its challenges. Economic growth creates more demand for housing, and whilst house prices are still competitive they are beginning to grow. Of course supply and demand will drive prices and there is a big challenge for Birmingham to address that. What’s encouraging, however, is that the city council is taking steps to address Birmingham’s infrastructural needs – initiatives like the ‘Birmingham Connected’ plans for a 20-year transport vision for the city are vital if the city is going to meet the promise it’s now showing.”