ARCADIS is a leading global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm that built its reputation primarily on environmental engineering. On a recent venture, the firm exercised its singularly cultivated expertise concerning eco-friendly urban cityscapes to produce the 2015 Sustainability City Index. Essentially, by calculating a combination of variables shared between the three key brackets of social, environmental, and economic factors, ARCADIS generated a landmark list highlighting the 50 most exemplarily sustainable cities in the world. Here’s a peek at number one, as well as gb&d’s home base of Chicago, which slid in at number 19.



1. Frankfurt
2. London
3. Copenhagen
4. Amsterdam
5. Rotterdam
6. Berlin
7. Seoul
8. Hong Kong
9. Madrid
10. Singapore

This historic metropolis has long displayed a variety of eco-conscious practices that many western cities are just finally warming to. Foremost among Frankfurt’s sustainable merits is its ultra-dense transit system; though it’s widely known that the population of Frankfurt is in a perpetual state of boom, it combats this surplus by boasting 3 kilometers of transport infrastructure per square kilometer. To boot, Frankfurt also ranks among the greenest cities in the sense that it is among the most rich in trees.


The Windy City has been on the environmental upswing in recent years with credit due to ambitious policy goals and diplomatic cooperation between the city, the business sector, and citizens alike. Chicagoans can attest to the fact that the city is overwhelmingly bicycle-friendly, but a fact lesser known is that it is also home to the highest number of LEED-certified buildings of any metropolis in the world. Additionally noteworthy is the Retrofit Chicago initiative, a program designed to retrofit both public and commercial buildings with energy efficient upgrades.