The sustainable development organisation publishes an annual Sustainable Cities Index.

The index tracks progress on sustainability in Britain’s 20 largest cities, highlighting their environmental performance, quality of life and their readiness for the challenges of the future.

The organisation looks at the environmental impact of the city in terms of resource use and pollution, what the city is like to live in and how well the city is preparing for a sustainable future.

Newcastle has galloped up the ratings since 2007 when it was eighth in the table. Newcastle City Council’s chief executive, Barry Rowland, proudly said: “Sustainability is right at the top of our agenda, and we intend to keep it there.”

“Our commitment to a sustainable future is underpinned by our innovative work with partners. For example, we are working closely with Newcastle University to develop their centre for research and sustainability, Shepherds Offshore to help transform the banks of the Tyne into a central hub of the UK renewable energy technology sector.”

Forum for the Future judged that the city was planning well for the transition to a low-carbon economy with clear goals on how it would achieve this.

The city has developed a clean tech cluster in the North East and aims to become the UK’s “electric car capital” beginning to install 580 charging points in the region.

The quality of life is relatively high with good life expectancy, access to services and high-quality green spaces.

Leicester came second followed by Brighton, at third in the index, with the English capital coming fifth. Hull was bottom of the league – the third year in a row.

You can read the full report on Forum for the Future’s website here.

Alison Brown

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