One of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations has been named the Greenest City in the World.
Not only is Durban the global winner of the first Husqvarna Urban Green Space Index (HUGSI), the African megacity with more than three million inhabitants also scored the highest percentage of green space in urban areas. In addition, the city was ranked with the highest percentage of urban areas covered by trees.
The survey titled ‘Quantifying the Greenness of Global Cities’ analyzed 6.7TB of data and compared the level of greenness in 98 cities from 51 countries across seven regions.
The ranking highlights the difference of greenness between cities as well as the yearly development of individual cities. HUGSI unveils insights about the size, proportion, distribution, and health of green space in urban areas.
Surpassing the likes of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, and Austin, in Texas, for the overall first place, Durban’s vision is to be Africa’s most caring and livable city by 2030.
eThekwini‘s Deputy Head of Parks, Sibusiso Mkhwanazi says the City was recognized because of its green strategy and policy of planting of 80% indigenous trees and 20% exotic plants.
The city is implementing several projects to make eThekwini a green-leading city as part of a five-year strategic plan to develop and sustain the spatial, natural and built environment.
According to the index, the city has specifically focused on urban forestry and engaging the community in greening their environment.
HUGSI measures and analyzes urban green space in select cities across the globe by applying computer vision and deep learning techniques on satellite images.
Husqvarna Urban Green Space Index (HUGSI) is a digital innovation initiative developed by Husqvarna in collaboration with 20tree.ai. The ambition is to help safeguard and improve the maintenance of green spaces in urban areas.