A study identified “a clear divide between the urban city centres”, with the “greenest” in the south of Britain and lowest scoring ones in the north.
The city is followed by Islington, Bristol, Bournemouth and Cambridge, according to research by the University of Sheffield. Meanwhile, Glasgow was ranked the least “green” city centre according to the study’s criteria, with Middlesbrough, Sheffield, Liverpool, and Leeds, making up the bottom five.
Scientists looked at 68 places across England, Scotland and Wales – with populations of at least 100,000 – ranking them on tree cover, vegetation and parks in the city centres. While previous studies have looked at the “greenness” of whole cities, including suburban areas, this is the first to focus specifically on the heart of cities.
Dr Paul Brindley, from the university’s department of landscape architecture, said: “By 2050 nearly 70 per cent of the world’s population are projected to be living in towns and cities,” adding that green spaces “boost people’s wellbeing and are essential to biodiversity“.
All five of the “greenest” city centres are in the South of Britain, whilst the five city centres with the least green attributes are in the North. Dr Brindley said this “clearly highlights the need to urgently improve the greenness of city centres at the bottom of the list”.