The World's Most Efficient Cities

8 years ago
3 minutes

Despite Melbourne being consistently recognised as the most liveable city in the world, it’s when comparing Melbourne to other cities in terms of efficiency that shows how far we, as a city, have to progress.

Here are the ranked top five cities in the world when it comes to efficiency:

No. 5 - London, England

This will come as a bit of a shock - a city of over eight million people has made the top 5, and in England? Well, it’s true, and since the implementation of a new Climate Change Action Plan in 2007, London aims to drop its emissions by 25% by 2020. Coupled with London’s strict automobile charges; such as huge taxes on automobiles existing in Greater London, and entering Central London (electric vehicles are exempt), as well as a recent conversion of double-decker buses to hybrid engines, gives London a leading edge over any other English speaking nations. It is, in England, that 10 of the top 25 off-shore wind farms exist.

No. 4 - Oslo, Norway

Norway, a nation of Scandinavian principles, is no surprise on this list. 80% of Oslo’s heating system is operated by renewable energy, specifically bio-methane waste. Additionally, by 2050, all of Norway aims to be completely carbon-free - offering one of the smallest imprints in the world. Interestingly, throughout Oslo are ‘intelligent lights’ that vary in output (and therefore consumption) depending on weather, time, and traffic conditions - this, coupled with free parking, toll immunity and VIP driving lanes, means that Norway is serious about car emissions and are offering an incentive. 

No.3 - Copenhagen, Denmark

Again, no surprise here - Copenhagen is well-renowned for progressive and clean thinking. Copenhagen has the largest and most efficient off-shore wind farms in the whole world. Of the top 3 biggest producers of energy, Denmark occupies all of them. Within Copenhagen, there are designated bike highways, and by 2025, Copenhagen aims to be the world’s first and only carbon neutral capital - some goal, but predictors believe they are on pace to do just that.

No.2  -Vancouver, Canada

This one surprised us - a North American city is the second-most efficient city. Yes, Canada is very different to the USA, but even still, we were left drop-jawed. It is Vancouver that aims to be the world’s greenest city in 2020, and, much like Copenhagen, they are on track to achieve their goal. Hydro-Electric power accounts for 90% of the cities power supply, with the remaining 10% coming from the likes of wind, solar and wave technology.

No.1- Reykjavik, Iceland

Another city tucked up in the north, and yes, they’re numero uno. They are widely regarded as the most efficient city in the world, as they rely on renewable hydropower and geothermal plants to provide heat, electricity and hot water to its 120,000 citizens. One geothermal power plant services majority of the city. The city itself plans to be completely fossil-fuel free by 2050, with hydropower being the primary resource. As early as the mid-2000s, Reykjavik began substituting their public transport system for 100% hydrogen fuelled buses.


Melbourne, and Australia as a whole, has a lot of catching up to do…