When you think about how clean your own city is you might be thinking of several factors like the amount of traffic, the number of green spaces and maybe even how happy people are that live in those said cities. But this list is based on air quality, meaning everyday life is cleaner, the skies are clearer and in theory, people who live here should be happier and healthier. It is worth noting that this list uses data based on US AQI formula and not all cities around the world submit data to it, so there could well be cleaner cities out there only we don’t have data on them. But even if only the biggest and most modern cities submit data there are still some cites on this list that will surprise you…
Sydney, Australia – Air quality index: 1
It might be one of the largest cities on this list, but yet it still manages to be one of the cleanest in the world according to US AQI data. With an index of just 1 you can breathe safely in most parts of this city and its cyclists enjoy the healthiest of lifestyles.
Berlin, Germany – Air quality index: 1
In a recent city-wide survey 71% of Berliner’s said they didn’t care one bit about how clean their city is, but yet US AQI data shows it is as clean as they come. Germany’s capital tops lists of European cities for best clean air practice each and every year, but yet no-one really seems to care if that is the case at all! Weird, but very true.
Canberra, Australia – Air quality index: 3
Once again we go back to Australia, only this time we go back to the tiny capital city with fewer than 400,000 residents. But it is not its smaller size that helps keep the air clean, it is Canberra’s geography and topography that makes its air so clean.
Portland, USA – Air quality index: 4
There aren’t many big cities in the US on this list, but Portland is the cleanest of them all. One reason for this is because locals prefer to take the bus or ride a bike to work which helps keep the cities air as clean as possible.
Vancouver BC, Canada – Air quality index: 5
If you look around online you will see many lists putting this city as the number one cleanest in the world. But because it is so densely packed it only makes it to number 5 on this list which is ironically the same as its air index. But it is worth noting that an AQI of 5 is still super clean when you compare it to the worst city on the list Krasnoyarsk, Russia with an AQI of 195, basically toxic AF!
Yangon, Myanmar – Air quality index: 9
This one will be a surprise to many, especially given the busy city streets, but this city is spread out over a large area meaning many parts of it have no air quality issues at alll, even if the main pulse of the city can be much higher on the index.
Seattle, USA – Air quality index: 11
Several years ago Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said she wanted her city to be one of the cleanest in the US and it seems she has done wonders for it. Thanks to millions of dollars in investment this city is the 2nd cleanest in the US and given the number of cities there are that is a great achievement.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Air quality index: 12
Phnom Penh, Cambodia was once called the city of garbage, but that doesn’t seem to affect its air quality. Once again you can put a lot of these results down to the city being spread out over a much larger area with many people even being too poor to own a car anyway, that and a much simpler way of life.
Oslo, Norway – Air quality index: 13
Once again this is a city that tops many others lists, but when it comes to overall air quality the capital of Norway only makes it to number 9 on this list. Once upon a time, it was awarded the prestigious title European Green Capital but has recently slipped down the air quality charts.
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan – Air quality index: 13
It’s not just us outside of this country that is shocked by this city making the top 10 list because residents of Kostanai also thought it was a joke. But no, the truth is this large spread out city has some very impressive parks and green spaces that really helps when it comes to air quality. Meanwhile, other cities in the exact same country are near the bottom when it comes to air quality.