Monday, September 08, 2008


SA city makes top ten list

    September 08 2008 at 01:54PM

By Lindsay Dentlinger

Cape Town has been named as among the top 10 cities in the world on track to become a global sustainable centre by 2020.

The Ethisphere Institute on Monday ranked Cape Town among the cities which appear to be environmentally and economically sustainable and provides its citizens with a healthy quality of life. It is the only city in South Africa and the continent to make the list from an final shortlist of 20.  The other cities are Toronto, Hyderabad, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, New York, London, Frankfurt, Curtiba and Melbourne.

The Ethisphere Institute says the cities were chosen because they are large, cosmopolitan and economically significant centres which are preparing for the future, today. 

"In a world of increasing population pressures and depleting natural resources, some cities are proactively adjusting their practices today, as well as implementing sustainable long-term practices," said Alex Brigham, executive director of The Ethisphere Institute.   "We are recognising these 'cities of tomorrow' today." 

The Ethisphere Institute is a think tank dedicated to the research and promotion of profitable best practices in governance, business ethics, compliance and corporate social responsibility.   To determine which cities qualified, Ethispace weighted several factors including economies and populations - qualifying cities had to have a population over 600 000.

Cultural activities, universities and international acclaim were also taken into account to make sure the global sustainable centres were relevant and significant around the world.  They also needed a plan in place to shift to an environmentally sustainable path so that by 2020 they will be sustainability role models.

Cape Town has received acclaim for its energy plan developed in 2004 to help meet the growing energy needs of the city. This includes aiming to have 10 percent of homes using solar power by 2020, as well as to have 10 percent of the city's energy consumption coming from renewable sources in the same timeframe. Among Cape Town's strengths is being a top tourist destination in the world.

"Cape Town is enjoying economic growth that will likely continue through 2020 and beyond," says the report.  The Fifa World Cup in 2010 has been credited with jumpstarting Cape Town's sustainability goals. 

But researchers also highlighted challenges for Cape Town, with poverty cited as the most notable.  "While much of the city is developing nicely, a good chunk of it remains in squalor conditions. This is a major obstacle," says the report.

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