City Ranking

The Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index charts the average of three sustainability factors to rank 100 of the world’s major cities. Cities can be explored by overall rank or region.


Rates health, education, income inequality, work-life balance, ratio of wage earners to dependents, crime, housing, and living costs


Energy consumption and renewable energy share, waste management, green space, sanitation, water, greenhouse gas emissions, natural catastrophe risk, and air pollution

(Economic health)

Transport infrastructure, ease of doing business, tourism, GDP per capita, the city’s importance in global economic networks, Internet connectivity, and employment rates

View by Regions
Overall Rank
1st Place 25 50 75 100th Place
North America

Of the three factors, the social aspect ranks lowest for 34 cities. Sixteen of them are in North America.

Chicago’s sustainability plan has led to more than 225 miles of new bicycle lanes. But the city still struggles with limited green space and high traffic congestion.

South America

With 22 million people, São Paulo is challenged by aging infrastructure—water outages are common—and mobility.


Half the North American cities in the ranking stress economic health. By contrast, that factor is in last place for 19 of the 32 European cities.

Berlin has ambitious environmental and social goals. By 2050, it aims to be CO₂ neutral, add bike paths, and increase energy efficiency.

New ways to combat floods allow Rotterdam to run, and benefit from, Europe’s largest port.


Its four cities rate highest in environment but ranked near the bottom overall.

Middle East

The Middle Eastern cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Muscat have the greatest contrast between factors. The lowest ranking for all three was in the environment category.


The continent's top ranked city, Singapore excels at long-term urban planning. The government is investing in more rail and subway networks to improve connectivity.

It's not surprise that with a world-class infrastructure, vibrant economy, and well-educated talent pool, Hong Kong is considered one of the best places to do business.


While Sydney scores high for its green space and infrastructure, it's vulnerable to natural disasters, which may increase with climate change.

Ranking World Cities
  • Seoul
  • Rotterdam
  • Hamburg
  • Vienna
  • Berlin
  • European cities dominate this category, but Seoul’s strengths in health and education give it the top spot. The city’s sustainability plan aims to bolster South Korea’s cultural identity through historic preservation, and to promote stronger communities by improving public transit.

  • Zurich
  • Stockholm
  • Geneva
  • Vienna
  • Frankfurt
  • Ranked first in the overall index, Zurich is recognized for its environmental priorities, including energy efficiency and renewable power. The city is a model, running a sustainable public transit system and holding annual “environment days” to raise public awareness.

  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Dubai
  • Zurich
  • Singapore ranks high on matters of commerce. It was awarded first place for ease of doing business and for accessibility to tourists. To improve the mobility of its growing population, the city is investing in public transit by building more subways and high-speed rail.

    Economic Rank: 65
    Detroit, U.S.