A popular tourist area on downtown Helsinki in 2018 (image: Lehtikuva)


THE GLOBAL DESTINATION SUSTAINABILITY INDEX, which ranks hundreds of cities around the world based on their environmental and social sustainability, has placed Helsinki in joint-fifth place with the Swedish city of Uppsala in their rankings for 2019.

The index was first launched last year with the aim of highlighting how urban areas can continue to attract business and tourists without compromising on environmental health and social stability. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top rankings are dominated by Nordic cities, although Glasgow in Scotland and Melbourne in Australia also broke into the top ten. 

The index is compiled by leading academics and policymakers in the field of sustainability. In their summary of the Finnish capital, the GDSI states that; “Helsinki is committed to promoting green values in all of its operations… it continues to enhance environmental protection and sustainable development without forgetting global challenges”.

The index goes on to rank Finland as “the world’s greenest country” and draws particular attention to the amount and accessibility of green spaces for all residents of Helsinki, as well as the fact that the city has some of the cleanest public transport in the world.

Topping the rankings this year was the Swedish city of Gothenburg, followed by Copenhagen, Reykjavik, and Oslo. The Finnish city of Espoo also ranked joint-tenth, alongside Brussels.


Adam Oliver Smith – HT

Image: Lehtikuva