The Greenest Cities

Russia’s Top 10 greenest cities: ideal places for nature lovers

Most of Russia’s regions are considered to be environmentally unsatisfactory. Official data suggest that 60% of the population lives in polluted environment, affected by emissions from factories and plants, as well as active work of electric and thermal power plants. However, there are places in the country that satisfy ecologists. In order to assign the status of an environmentally friendly region, experts conduct a series of checks, forming a general opinion from the obtained indicators. Particular attention is paid to the presence of green areas, rivers and protected areas. Those who are tired of the dull view from the window or afraid of the increasing frequency of diseases because of the environment, it is worth looking at cleaner areas. We have compiled a list of the greenest regions of Russia in 2021.



The city of Kemerovo is located on the banks of the Tom River. The area is rich in lakes and artificial springs. Four landscapes are noted here – river, steppe, mountain and coniferous. The largest area is occupied by forests. Places for family recreation and Victory Park form a single ensemble. On the right bank of the Toma River there is a landscape park of 400 ha. Landmark of the region is the Shorsky National Park. It contains unique monuments, river basins and mountains. Here one can engage in fishing, bee keeping, and harvesting of edible plants. In summer there are horseback riding, and in winter there is an opportunity to master one of the few ski trails.

Penza .


Penza is located in Privolzskaya Upland. It is located on the banks of the river Sura. The environmental situation of the city is in a satisfactory condition. The area is rich in green spaces, a sufficient number of parks and squares, there are forest belts, which are inhabited by deer, martens, hares. Water resources of the city, if you believe the research, meet sanitary standards and can be used as recreational areas. The total area of green spaces is 33 hectares per thousand people. The city has a botanical garden, the territory of which is divided into 3 huge zones. At the end of April, an alley of ash trees was planted. The state of the atmosphere is considered to be favorable – there is a small number of industrial zones, which could have a negative impact on the air.


Ufa is located on the bank of the Belaya River. The city is rich in natural sites and landscapes. It has a lot of green spaces – almost the entire city is covered with flowerbeds and avenues of trees. There are natural monuments – lakes, groves, forests, cliffs – in the vicinity. Each of them has an area of several hectares. Botanical Garden has a huge abundance of species of flora and fauna, which are replenished every year. The collection fund includes 4 thousand species of plants. City administration has approved 61 objects of natural monuments, which include forest-steppe zones, reservoirs and landscape structures.

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Snow-white mountains, mountain rivers, the smell of grass – all this can be found in Altai. The city is located between two mountains – Tugai and Komsomolsky. It is small in area, there are no large factories and a minimal number of cars that pollute the air. Alleys, parks, fountains and springs create an incredible comfort and tranquility in the city. A total of 236 million rubles was allocated for the arrangement of green areas, landscaping and construction of new facilities. More than 5 new vertical planting objects were made: 28.7 thousand flower seedlings and 1.4 thousand bushes were planted. Since recently springs and Square with a waterfall are functioning in the city.



This city is located in the north-east of Russia, far from main roads. It is a forested area – steppe zones, forest belts at every turn, which can not but affect the atmosphere. Because of the large amount of industrial infrastructure, the government has decided to actively “populate” the city with plantations. Over the past 5 years, about 10 parks and squares have appeared. Every year, utilities are engaged in planting trees along the roads, creating floral arrangements on the main streets. Artificial ponds were created in the squares, which were later stocked with fish and small mollusks. Occasionally, the residents themselves organize subbotniks or join public works in the city.



Murmansk is located on the Kola Peninsula. The climate is fairly harsh, but pleases with an abundance of natural areas. In addition to the Kola Bay in the city limits placed several bodies of water, which are carefully monitored – special teams clean the coast, check the level of water pollution. Vegetation in the settlement is rather sparse – small and large trees grow randomly. Outside the city you can see forested areas. In the city itself, there are several parks with artificial springs, which delight the locals in the warm season.

Vladivostok .


This is the capital of Primorye, it is considered a major commercial port of the Far East. The city is located on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The environmental situation in the past few years was not good – the waters were polluted by domestic and industrial waste, the atmosphere was considered one of the worst in the country. However, after reclamation, the city began to actively build green areas – trees and flowers were planted in each neighborhood, and artificial lakes were created. Nature helps to cope with the exhaust – in the wintertime, strong winds clean the city of impurities. There are 10 park zones in the region, some of them have a national status.

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Irkutsk is considered the largest city in the Angara Region. The proximity of Lake Baikal gives it constant seismic activity. The city is polluted by automobile exhaust and emissions from small businesses. It is located in the taiga zone, so over 80% of the territory is forest and steppe areas. There are about 16 public gardens and a botanical garden. A swath of asphalt has been replaced by designer flowerbeds and shrubs. Central alleys were planted with coniferous trees and stylish lanterns. The benches at the entrance to the city were ennobled with trees and grass. This reduced the level of air pollution to a minimum.



Magadan is located in the northeast of the country on the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk. The city is surrounded on all sides by coniferous forests, which affected its ecology. The territory of Magadan is a nature reserve, which occupies 117839 hectares. On the outskirts of the city and in the center there are city squares – they are planted with coniferous and fruit trees, many of them are ennobled by fountains or artificial lakes. The parks are well-kept green areas, with pedestrian paths and memorial monuments. The climate of the region is rather harsh, but this helps it rank among the cleanest cities.



Perm belongs to the large industrial cities. It has a large influx of capital. About 50% of the areas are planted with green plants. Their area is 800 square kilometers. There are protected sites on the territory: botanical gardens, forests, and marshes, which require close attention. Perm has enormous water resources. There are two rivers running along the city, the Kama and the Chusovaya. They give the city a unique look. On the territory of the region there are 129 springs to maintain the water balance. The authorities have allocated several millions for nature preservation – these funds will be used for landscaping suburban areas and planting trees in the main areas.

Today many activists focus their attention on environmental problems. Russia is trying to keep up with European colleagues, introducing innovations in the regions, protecting natural areas from anthropogenic activities. Public services and concerned citizens can influence the situation, if they want to.

Top 5 greenest cities in the world

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The greenest cities in the world

The Brazilian city of Curitiba has been in the international spotlight these past few weeks, thanks to several World Cup matches held there. And not many people know that this megalopolis is considered the “green capital of the world. Today we’ll tell you about the 5 most environmentally friendly cities on the planet.

Curitiba, Brazil

The history of “green” Curitiba dates back to the seventies of the twentieth century. At a time when the rest of the world was expanding freeways, building new interchanges and parking lots in preference to personal automobile transport, the mayor of this city, Jaime Lerner, arrogantly declared, “Curitiba is not for cars!” Trained as an architect, he personally participated in the development of a new master plan for the metropolis, which laid out the principles for the city’s development over the next decades.

Green City Curitiba

The plan was truly revolutionary. For example, it foresaw the expansion, not reduction, of green areas in the city, including in the central part of Curitiba, recycling, energy efficiency, support for fresh food producers and retailers and, most importantly, transport reform.

Green City Curitiba

The result has not been long in coming. Nowadays, Curitiba is considered one of the most comfortable and comfortable cities in the world. And well-thought-out public transport in the city is used daily by more than 70 percent of passengers, which is an absolute world record among cities with a population above 1 million people.

A well-developed public transport network is the pride and trademark of Curitiba

The city is so fixated on efficiency in even the smallest manifestations of public life that the city’s lawns are mowed not by gasoline-powered lawnmowers but by live sheep.

Green City Curitiba

Curitiba’s unique experience of transformation has become the basis for similar programs in hundreds of cities around the world. Lerner and his followers have set the highest standard, almost impossible to reach.

Vancouver, Canada

The closest thing to Brazil’s Curitiba is Canada’s Vancouver. The city has been voted “Best City on Earth” four times in the last decade, the result of years of hard work by the city authorities and local businesses.

Green City Vancouver

Located on the west coast of Canada, Vancouver has unique natural features, allowing for maximum wind, solar and tidal energy development. Hundreds of hydroelectric power plants of different sizes have been built on all the rivers and streams surrounding the city. As a result, about 90 percent of Vancouver’s electricity comes from renewable sources.

Green City Vancouver

Vancouver officials support electric transportation in every way, including public transportation. And the total length of bicycle paths in the city is approaching a thousand kilometers. The use of a personal car is frowned upon, and the use of bicycles is encouraged in every way.

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Bicyclists on the streets of Vancouver

Vancouver is also known for its green spaces. There are more than two hundred parks and squares in the city, and the length of the landscaped waterfront is 30 kilometers.

Reykjavik, Iceland

God forbid Reykjavik should be one of the greenest cities in the world! Ironically, Iceland is a much greener island than Greenland, and Greenland is much more snowy and icy than Iceland.

Reykjavik Panorama

Reykjavík, like many other places in Iceland, has many surface outlets of hot groundwater. This natural energy is used to generate electricity, heat water, heat homes, and even keep the sidewalks on city streets warm throughout the year.

Sidewalks in Reykjavik heated by thermal water

But Reykjavik residents are not ready to limit themselves to the benefits that nature lavishes on them. The city government and private entities invest millions of dollars each year in research into the efficient use of resources, as well as the introduction of new, intelligent technologies.

Reykjavik's thermal water pool

Many attribute these positive changes to the city’s small size, which allows it to innovate quickly and efficiently. But city officials argue that this parameter is only detrimental. After all, it is much more difficult for a tiny settlement to accumulate a large amount of money for an advanced infrastructure project. And Reykjavik has quite a few of them! As an example, the city bus system, but which only runs vehicles powered by hydrogen engines. Even in the wealthiest cities, this is not very common.

Another impressive project underway in Reykjavik is an attempt to create a 5 square kilometer zone inside the city with zero carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

By the way, even the polar lights in Reykjavik are green!

The aurora borealis in Reykjavik

Portland, Oregon, USA

The United States has never been very environmentally conscious. After all, not even the Kyoto Protocol, which limits atmospheric emissions, has been signed. However, there are cities and regions in this country that put environmental safety on the list of priorities ahead of the economy. Portland is one of them.

Portland's green panorama

Portland has the nickname “City of Roses. After all, it was these beautiful flowers that started the citizens’ love of all things green, clean and beautiful. This passion led to the fact that Portland is now the cleanest and most environmentally friendly major population center in the United States.

Japanese Garden in Portland

Portland has a successful light rail and bus rapid transit system. Dozens of miles of new bicycle lanes are added each year. City officials have set strict standards for carbon dioxide emissions. They dramatically lowered the tax burden for energy-efficient buildings and other environmentally responsible businesses.

A real forest in Portland's city limits

Green spaces in Portland cover 350 square miles, well over half of the city’s total area. The density of parks, squares and even forests in the city limits is so high that it is not uncommon to see hares, foxes and other wild, but not dangerous, animals on the streets of this settlement.

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Cyclists on the streets of Portland

London, United Kingdom

London, of course, is not yet in the top five greenest and greenest cities in the world, but in the coming years will certainly appear there. It is impossible not to notice the dramatic changes that are taking place in the British capital. The city that a century ago was considered a symbol of mindless and harmful industrialization, where smog made it impossible to breathe properly, has now become a model for other megacities in terms of environmental and infrastructural innovation.

Central London

The London authorities, led by the extraordinary Boris Johnson, have set a clear course for turning London into the green capital of Europe. They restrict in every way the use of personal cars and internal combustion engines in the city. For example, to enter the center of the gasoline and diesel cars is a decent amount of money, but the electric and hybrid cars can pass completely free.

Green Park in Central London

London is trying to catch up with and overtake traditionally cycling cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen. In the future, this city could become the world’s first megalopolis with highways, overpasses, and multilevel interchanges for bicycles running through the city. All the more so because Norman Foster personally undertook the implementation of this ambitious project.

The city's network of public bikes in London

There is also a program in London aimed at the development of alternative energy sources. Builders are obliged to equip absolutely all new homes with solar panels on the roofs, and the owners of existing buildings, who have decided on such modernization, receive from the city tax and utility benefits.

Solar-paneled bridge over the Thames

Every city has its own way of going green. Some, like Reykjavik, are lucky in terms of geography and natural resources. But still, the main role in this transformation lies with the city authorities. Somewhere it’s single enthusiastic people determined to turn the world upside down, somewhere it’s teams of like-minded people working together to make it a better place. However, experience shows that changes should not be expected on the state level, but always must be initiated by local residents.

Some decided to turn their city “green” half a century ago, while others have only just grasped this idea. But the trend towards this kind of perception of the world is evident. And the earlier authorities and residents of localities themselves get down to it, the better for all of us.

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