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Sustainable cities – A guide to your environmentally conscious international relocation

The importance, and the advantages, of renewable energy cannot be underestimated in modern times: if you’re thinking of moving to a new city, choosing one of the most sustainable is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. When dreaming about your international relocation, it’s much nicer to know your dream won’t be hurting the planet. There are plenty of cities around the world making huge efforts to provide sustainable energy, and to reduce their carbon emissions. These cities are some of the cleanest in the world and make great destinations for starting your new life overseas. Today, we’re going to discuss the best destinations to relocate to for sustainable living. 

Choosing a city with a low carbon footprint will affect the sort of experience you have in your new home city. Common things done to reduce carbon footprints include bigger and more frequent urban green spaces, such as parks, increased public transport infrastructure to discourage the use of cars, and organic and locally sourced foods being consumed more. Of course, none of these factors are negative, and many will be thrilled at the thought of clean air, spaces, and food.  

Australia 

Moving to Australia is already the dream for so many people: with hot sunny weather, a laid-back attitude, and stretches of glorious golden coast, the allure is understandable. The capital city, Canberra, is amongst the greenest in the world, with all of its energy being 100% renewable. In 2020 the local government achieved a wonderful milestone by making all of the city’s electricity completely renewable. Mostly supplied by wind power, this is one of the most impressive achievements of any city in the world. Besides this, Canberra is a wonderful place to live, and is brimming with culture: it houses both Australia’s National Gallery and National Museum. 

Canberra isn’t the only highly sustainable city in Australia – Brisbane also ranks as one of the greenest urban areas you can find. Boasting urban forests, sustainable public transport, and some of the cleanest air in a built-up environment, Brisbane is a fantastic choice to relocate to. The city has natural habitats for local wildlife within the city limits. With a bustling financial district and plenty of bars and clubs, there’s plenty to do there as well.  

Looking out over the river in Brisbane, showing trees in this sustainable city.
Brisbane, Australia

The Middle East 

Despite the wealth of Middle Eastern nations being founded on oil, a fossil fuel, many of its cities are clean and green, relying on sustainable power. With many of the large cities in the Middle East being built in the desert, the recycling and reusing of materials is a necessity, but one that helps to contribute to the smaller carbon footprints. Abu Dhabi, in the UAE, has invested heavily into researching renewable energy systems, which helps the city to run on cleaner power. Relying on nuclear power, and registering one of the highest outputs of solar generated power by any country, there’s plenty of sustainability work going on in Abu Dhabi. It’s also a city of opportunity, and of course allows you to live and work tax-free. 

Dubai’s capital, Riyadh, is also making efforts to move away from fossil fuels. Harnessing the massive potential for solar power and also using wind farms, Riyadh is dedicated to becoming a sustainably powered city. By 2030 they claim that 50% will be from renewable sources. Furthermore, they are currently running projects to take the green coverage of the city from 1.6% to 9%, creating parks and planting trees to benefit the atmosphere. They are also making efforts to counter desertification by preserving wild habitats and helping to protect vegetation.  

Camels on the road of Abu Dhabi, showing wildlife in this eco friendly city.
Abu Dhabi, The UAE

North America 

As one of the western world’s leading superpowers, it’s no surprise that the USA has some really great initiatives for keeping its cities sustainable. For example, whilst New York is considered by many quite a busy and dirty place, there are a number of new ways that it’s boosting its sustainability. New buildings are being constructed with tighter regulations concerning insulation and water usage to help keep them environmentally friendly. Low emission cars are also helping to reduce the carbon footprint in the city, whilst rooftop gardens are becoming increasingly popular. As well as the famous parks of New York, which further contribute to reducing their carbon footprint, there are loads of famous sights to see, incredible food, and a wash of cultures in New York making it the perfect place to relocate to.  

Across the American border, Canada also contains some eco-friendly cities. Toronto is often cited as one of the most innovative and sustainable cities in the world and is a great option for your international relocation. With strict housing regulations meaning all homes are environmentally friendly, highly developed and endorsed cycle ways, and a lush canopy of trees, the city is well on its way to being carbon neutral (a target it’s set itself to achieve by 2050). Toronto is also frequently ranked as one of the most liveable places in the world, impressing with its cleanliness, diversity, and safety. 

Greenery in the city of Toronto, looking out over the lake and onto the sustainable city.
Toronto, Canada

There are many cities around the world that are pushing for a more renewable present to secure the future. These cities have it all – still with the bustling life of urban areas, but also with the assurance that you’re not harming the environment whilst you go about your day. At John Mason International, no matter where you decide to move, we’ll help you get there to start your next adventure.  

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