Photo by Christopher Woo
For the first time, Mercer consulting published its annual Quality if Living city ranking with a new brand new chart included called Eco-City Ranking. While Toronto placed on solid 16th place in the world and on the third place in North America in terms of general quality of living, our position in the Eco-City chart is not so optimistic.
This chart identified the best cities in terms of water availability and drinkability, waste removal, quality of sewage systems, air pollution and traffic congestion. In other words, the top cities generate minimal pollution and use maximum of renewable resources. Toronto ranked 39st, overtaken not only by traditional green cities like Oslo or Helsinki, but also by industrial cities like Pittsburgh, Dusseldorf or Stuttgart. Toronto did not score well even among North American cities, ranking on 11th place. The city with world's highest ecology standards is Calgary, followed by Honolulu and both Ottawa and Helsinki sharing the bronze medal. Montreal and Vancouver ranked side by side on 13th place.
While in the light of our 16th place in overall ranking the Eco-City ranking may seem of minor importance, we have to be aware of the gap. As Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer, commented: "A city’s eco-status or attitude toward sustainability can have significant impact on the quality of living of its inhabitants."
Our lagging in environmental quality of life may have influence on our overall quality of life, sooner than many of us would expect. If you would like to participate in making our city greener, visit our Toronto Green Lifestyle section for inspiration.