Cape Town has scored highly in an African Green City Index released by Siemens. Earlier in 2014, the Mother City was named Global Earth Hour Capital 2014, following the WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge.
The Siemens report looks at 15 African cities that have committed to improving their environmental footprint and scores each city on factors such as land use, transport, waste, water, sanitation and air quality.
Cape Town was ‘well above average’ in the category of land use and was the top-performing African city in this regard. The report states: ‘Home to multiple nature reserves containing some of the world’s rarest plant species, Cape Town has the most green space in the index. The city boasts an estimated 289 square metres of green space per person, about four times the index average of 74 square metres.’
Much effort has gone into improving Cape Town’s public transport in recent years and this, too, has been recognised. ‘Cape Town has invested US$5.8-billion over the last six years in developing a new bus-rapid transit (BRT) network. As a result, it is among the top cities in the index for the length of superior forms of transport, such as metro, tram or BRT lines. The city’s superior public transport system measures 0.11km per square kilometre, compared with the Index average of 0.07km.’
Other South African cities to feature in the report were Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria, which all scored ‘above average’ for transport, air quality and environmental governance.
Recall in March 2014, Cape Town was named Global Earth Hour Capital 2014 as part of a challenge run by the WWF. ‘Cape Town stood out as a role model for the global South with a showcase of green programmes and actions other cities can replicate,’ says the Earth Hour website. ‘Cape Town also demonstrates how city strategies to reduce carbon development and battle climate change can also help tackle other development priorities such as food, energy and water security.’