Monday, 18 October 2010

Leeds still one of the UK’s most sustainable cities

EMBARGO: October 18 2010, 0005 hours

Leeds is still one of the most sustainable cities in the UK, according to national ratings on cities’ quality of life, how environmentally-friendly they are and how well prepared they are for the future.

The Sustainable Cities Index again places Leeds sixth in the country and leading environmental charity Forum for the Future, which publishes it, says Leeds is the top Yorkshire city.

Cities are put under the microscope in 13 categories under the Sustainable Cities Index, covering everything from air quality, employment, climate change, waste and recycling, health and education.

Leeds scored highly on life expectancy, protecting biodiversity and air quality.

Lower scores were recorded for how people travel around Leeds without a car and for the city’s overall ecological footprint - the impact of services, housing, transport and consumables on the environment.

Cllr Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services said:

“I am sure that some people might be surprised that a city the size of Leeds is ranked so high in the index. But this goes to shows the great amount of work that is currently going on under the radar in our city. We are certainly not resting on our laurels.

“The index is a great way to help us take stock. It’s also a great way of demonstrating how so many different things are connected and the impact they have on the services we provide and support. Clearly, we want to improve where we haven’t scored so well. Our plans for new transport systems are well documented and we await decisions on their future.

“But regardless of our ranking in the index, it won’t dampen our ambition to become a resilient city, one that can stand up to the effects of changing demographics, climate change and tough economic times.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

2010 overall rankings are as follows: 1 Newcastle; 2 Leicester; 3 Brighton; 4 Bristol; 5 London; 6 Leeds; 7 Coventry; 8 Plymouth; 9 Edinburgh; 10 Sheffield; 11 Cardiff; 12 Nottingham; 13 Manchester;14 Liverpool;15 Birmingham;16 Sunderland;17 Derby;18 Bradford;19 Glasgow; 20 Hull.
The Sustainable Cities Index is based on 13 indicators in three areas: the environment, quality of life, and future-proofing. Examples of environmental indicators include air quality and ecological footprint, measuring the environmental impact of the city and its people; quality of life indicators include education and unemployment; and future-proofing indicators include local authority commitments on climate change and recycling.
For further details visit Forum for the Future at www.forumforthefuture.org/projects/sustainable-cities10

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS