In a surprising turn of events, Durban has been named the greenest city in the world according to the Husqvarna Urban Green Space Index (HUGSI), an index that records green spaces in urban areas.
As urban areas are slowly but surely taking over natural spaces around cities across the world, small patches of green spaces are becoming more and more valuable. The HUGSI is an index that records these spaces to safeguard them and ensure that they receive the proper management they need to continue thriving.
These green spaces act as the lungs of their cities, cleaning the air and naturally assisting with rainwater management. It is because of these important functions that they are in need of protection and proper care.
In total, the HUGSI index compares the level of greenness for 98 cities spread across 51 countries and 7 regions. Through the identification and recognition of these green areas, the index hopes to inspire other cities, to strive for more green spaces, with the track record of other high ranking ones.
According to the index, Durban beat out international cities such as Rio de Janeiro in second place and Austin, USA in third place for the greenest city in the world
The calculations that contribute to the index rankings are based on the percentage of vegetation weighed against the average health and distribution of urban vegetation. Data from the greenest day of each individual city is used. Satellite images are used to check how many green spaces a city has, and how extensive they are.
When it comes to the African continent, Cape Town has only made an appearance in 5th place with a score of 61.1% and is outranked by both Johannesburg and Tshwane.
It seems the Mother City may need to improve its urban green game in years to come to get to the top spot it rightfully deserves as a city of high sustainable consciousness and love for nature.