Tokyo named the greenest city in Asia

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The Independent Online

The Japanese capital of Tokyo has been named the greenest city in the Asia-Pacific region by specialist consulting firm Solidance.

Solidance evaluated cities according to their CO2 emissions, energy usage, transportation facilities, air quality, water, waste treatment, "green space" and "environmental governance." According to a statement by Solidance, the evaluation was carried out in response to their clients' requests for information on green-tech opportunities in the region.

Solidance's findings correlate with the latest available data from the World Bank which shows that in 2009, 43 percent of Japan's urban population lived in Tokyo, yet emission levels were far below that of other high-income developed countries.

The growing trend for greener cities stems in part from an increase in the world's urban-to-rural population ratio. For example the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that by 2020 the ratio of urban to rural inhabitants in the Asia-Pacific region will approach four-to-one.

This increased urban population is expected to put increasing strain on already limited resources and highlights the need to develop alternative power sources to match increased energy demand.

In February, Vietnam became the latest country to develop greener urban areas, announcing the construction of a green-tech corridor outside of the city of Hanoi. The project is expected to be completed over the next 10-15 years, will include renewable energy-powered heating and cooling systems and rainwater collection points. When fully inhabited the area is expected to be home to around 20,000 people.

The world's cities are responsible for around 71 percent for global greenhouse emissions according to a study released January 25 by the journal Environment and Urbanization. The same study also found that Chinese cities were amongst the worst polluters and that in terms of gas emissions per GDP inhabitants of Tokyo were 5.6 times more efficient than Canadian citizens.

The top ten cities in the Asia-Pacific region according to Solidance's evaluation are:

01.   Tokyo, Japan
02.   Seoul, South Korea
03.   Melbourne, Australia
04.   Singapore
05.   Osaka, Japan
06.   Sydney, Australia
07.   Auckland, Australia
08.   Busan, South Korea
09.   Taipei, Taiwan
10.   Hong Kong, China

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