Sustainable Darwin Comes Out Ahead in Top 20
The Sustainable Cities Index, developed by the Australian Conservation Foundation tracks the progress of Australia’s 20 largest cities across 15 indicators including air quality, ecological footprint, green buildings, water, biodiversity, health, density, wellbeing, transport, employment, climate change readiness, education, food production, public participation and household debt.
By Environment reporter Sarah Clarke for ABC News (15 June 2010)
Darwin and Brisbane have been ranked as the country’s most sustainable capitals while Perth is the least sustainable in an assessment of the carbon footprint of Australia’s 20 largest cities.
The Australian Conservation Foundation tracked the progress of the nation’s 20 largest cities.
The study looked at key indicators including air quality, climate change readiness, public transport, and water use.
Darwin performed well in all categories, and is the nation’s most sustainable city, followed by Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
Brisbane was third, Canberra fifth, followed by Hobart and Melbourne.
Sydney ranked 12th, Adelaide 14th and Perth came in last.
But the Foundation’s Don Henry says the results show even the most sustainable cities need to do more to reduce their ecological footprint.
“We found Darwin, the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane are up there near the top. We found Perth, Geelong, Newcastle are near the bottom,” he said.
“I think the important point is we’re all in a pretty average space and our cities can do a lot better to be more sustainable.”
Mr Henry says Australians use more water and energy and own more cars per person than the citizens of almost any other developed country in the world.
AAP report (15 June 2010):
Darwin has been ranked the country’s most sustainable city in a new index created by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).
The Sustainable Cities Index tracks the progress of Australia’s 20 largest cities across 15 indicators including air quality, ecological footprint, green buildings, water, biodiversity, health, density, wellbeing, transport, employment, climate change readiness, education, food production, public participation and household debt.
Darwin topped the list, scoring well with clean air and strong biodiversity but lost marks on health and preparedness for climate change.
It had the lowest unemployment rate at 1.89 per cent and household repayments were the lowest, with less than 23 per cent of household income spent on loan repayments.
Perth was the least sustainable city.
It was dragged down by recording the highest level of water use, ecological footprint per person and car ownership, with 641 private vehicles for every one thousand people.
ACF executive director Don Henry said the index was sure to ignite inter-city rivalries and stimulate debate.
“Australia’s major cities consistently rate among the most liveable, but liveability is not the same as sustainability,” Dr Henry said in a statement.
“In this federal election year it’s up to our political leaders to prove they have the plans to deliver world class public transport systems, clean up Australia’s vehicle fleet and make our cities truly sustainable.”
Queensland had the most cities in the top 20.
The Sunshine Coast came in second, Brisbane third, Townsville fourth, the Gold Coast eighth and Toowoomba 11th.
The Sunshine Coast shares the top of the environmental performance category with Brisbane and it was listed as having the best air quality.