The most sustainable cities to visit

Mobility 3 min read , November 14, 2018

Cities are more than ever improving to get ready for the future. Especially mobility within the city has been increased significantly the last years. Bicycle infrastructure, access to public transportation and electric vehicles are now an established aspect of daily life.

We listed below the highest scoring cities according to the Sustainable Cities Mobility Index. Find inspiration for your own city's mobility plan, or plan your next citytrip destination* to these progressive cities.

Sustainable cities

*but think twice how sustainable it is if you have to take a 10-hour flight to get there. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Whether itโ€™s Londonโ€™s Tube, the Los Angeles freeways, Hong Kongโ€™s metro system, Sydneyโ€™s ferries or Amsterdamโ€™s bicycles, it's the urban transport system that enables mobility of everyone and everything in the city. According to the Sustainable Cities Mobility Index, following cities are best ranked in the world, meaning they score high in all three pillars: people, planet and profit.

  • People: social and human implications of mobility systems (safety, access to (public) transport, rider connectivity,...) for overall quality of life
  • Planet: environmental impacts (greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to lower them, bicycle infrastructure, electric vehicles,...)
  • Profit: efficiency and reliability of a mobility system to facilitate economic growth

Overall winner: Hong Kong

Hong kong

Having both the highest people and overall score, Hong Kong wins the contest with its transportation. As one of the planet's most densely populated cities, it has to provide efficient traveling for 7,3 million people. And it works. Their public transportation oversees 12,6 passenger journeys each day, and the Mass Transit Railway is one of the most efficient in the world. ๐ŸšŠ



Zurich has the second best overall score (and the highest score on the profit index!). Lots of people need to get to work from both within and outside city borders. Trams, buses, city trains and even ships & cable ways form a tight and efficient public transportation network nowadays, and they're still improving. It's a highly affordable system that boasts one of the highest transport journeys per capita of any city.

Side note: with the Cargo sous terrain project, they want to transport goods between Swiss economic centers via a network of tunnels by 2030 to reduce traffic.



Recent measures designed to develop cycling infrastructure and make the city more pedestrian-friendly made Paris score in the top 20 of all three People, Planet and Profit indices. It was one of the first cities in the world to have a bike-sharing program and to convert a highway to a place for walking and exercise. The recent investment in the Grand Paris Express will extend the dense and interconnected metro network in the city. It should be able to carry 2 million people a day, and reduce the travel time significantly.


The modern public transportation system is what defines Seoul. The integrated system carrying 7 million people a day includes fast tram and suburban trains, connected to a fleet of buses (120.000) that will run in 2020 exclusively on electricity. Did you know that more than half of total trips taken are made by public transportation?
Efficiency, reliability, accessibility and even (guaranteed) entertainment are drivers of the success.



With a 10th overall place, but as first city in the Planet ranking, Frankfurt deserves a place here. The city's many green spaces, low air pollution levels and encouraging lower emissions vehicles make sure to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions even more. They're currently following an e-mobility strategy with charging stations both for electric vehicles as bicycles. Frankfurt also introduced the 'Bike + Ride' concept, similar to the 'Park + Ride' concept for cars.
(Source: Sustainable Cities Mobility Index report 2017.)

Having said all this, make sure to visit these cities when you happen to be in the neighbourhood and discover the public transportation network yourself - maybe try to get there without a plane or car? Happy discovering! ๐ŸŒŽ

More inspiration? Check out our other blog posts.

Sustainability Mobility Strategy
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