Canada’s cities are slowly shaping their municipal infrastructure to combat the climate crisis by integrating walkability, cycling lanes and adding greenspaces.
This not only increases the likelihood that residents will use lower carbon modes of transportation, but it is better for the air.
While this shift takes place, a new study has determined which Canadian cities are the “greenest.”
Released on Thursday, the Re/Max group behind the website GreaterTorontoHomePros.com looked at cities across Canada to understand which are ahead of the game on sustainability.
“As Canadian wildfires ravage millions of acres and the climate crisis escalates across the world, it’s interesting to see which cities lead the way in the green revolution in Canada,” a press release from GreaterTorontoHomePros.com said.
The group used a 10-point system to rank 29 cities based on metrics such as walkability, parks, greenspaces, hiking trails and air quality, among others, compared to its population.
At the top of the list was Kelowna, B.C., with a score of 70.63 out of 100.
According to the data, the city’s “abundant natural beauty,” steps away from trails and forests, ranked it higher than other communities.
The municipality also focused on its pedestrian and cycling routes, ranking high in those metrics, as well.
Coming in second is Lethbridge, Alta., located in the south end of the province, with a score of 66.39.
The city has many parks, the data shows, which aided its high ranking. The press release says that of the land it owns 23.3 per cent is parkland.
The municipality scored lower on its walkability but higher on cycling infrastructure and hiking trails.
“The city has 48 hiking trails alongside six community gardens/urban farms,” the press release says.
Third place went to Fredericton, N.B., at a score of 65.40 largely due to being pedestrian-friendly.
Despite the hills in the area, the team ranked the city “excellent” for cyclists. The hiking trails and 21 hectares of parkland per 1,000 people improved its air quality, allowing the city to slip ahead of North Vancouver.
The North Vancouver community earned a score of 63.02 mainly for its 168 hiking trails and 17 nature and wildlife tours. The area has six community gardens or urban farms.
Halifax came fifth in the ranks despite having the second-largest population in the top 10.
Public transportation scored high in the city, which aided its air quality index. Urban farms and gardens, hiking trails and many parks also boosted its overall score.
Below are the other cities studied and the ranking as the “greenest” city: