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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA ranked among world's greenest cities.

Sep 12, 2017
Sydney and Melbourne have ranked third and fourth on the index, coming in just behind Vancouver and Toronto

What makes a city green? Factors such as recycling, renewable energy, transportation options, building construction, air quality and emissions make green cities great, and thankfully more and more are jumping on the green wagon. But at the end of the day, there’s a clear difference between the cities who are making an effort to go green, and those who aren’t.

Here are some cities to check out that are doing their part to lead us on the global path to a greener future:

Working towards the goal of being the first CO2 neutral capital before 2025 comes with a lot of necessary changes. Lots of bikes (electric and manual), organic eats (17% of total food available), clean water, sustainable buildings and hotels (over 70% of total), lots of green space and fewer cars are just a few of the ways Copenhagen is killing it at the top of the green cities list.


Parks, castles, markets – Ljubljana is like an Eastern European fairy-tale city, but amongst the old world charm there’s a lot of new and exciting developments afoot. For years it’s been ranked in the top spots for green initiatives, and currently has 12 areas of focus including transport, pedestrians, waste management and public transportation.

They’re very proud of their gorgeous parks, trees and bird species, and have made so many environmental improvements in such a short amount of time. Awesome features such as a free bicycle borrowing system and free electric cart transport in the city centre make getting around super-green and super cheap, too.

As the UK’s 8th biggest city, and with a steadily growing economy, Bristol is set on making its mark, not only in the UK, but in Europe as well. The next five years will see a huge focus on transportation and renewable energy in the city, as well as a goal of doubling the number of cyclists in that time as well. Bristol is becoming a hub for jobs in low carbon sectors, and their environmental commitment stretches past the next 5 years as well, with detailed plans set in place until 2030.

Vancouver is pleasant for so many reasons – it’s mild, it’s stunning and it leads the way for forward thinking and environmental awareness in North America. Residents are very pro walking and cycling, and government/ building bylaws have been designed with greenness in mind.

It’s often considered to be one of the most liveable cities in the world, and if that isn’t enough, it’s working towards being powered entirely by renewable energy by the year 2050. Maybe the West Coast really is the best coast…

California is a pretty green state, and San Francisco is definitely the cherry on the pie. All new city construction sites are subject to strict green building practices. San Fran is VERY pro-compost and recycling, and their baseball stadium was the first of its kind to feature solar panels. Being waste-free is high on their priority list for the future, and it’s not just a dream, they see it as completely attainable. San Francisco performs well in all green city categories, and leads the way nationwide in America.

It’s one of the smallest capital cities in Europe, but it’s arguably the best as far as greenness goes. Geothermal heating is responsible for almost all heating in Reykjavik, and what makes it so amazing is that it’s renewable, and the largest system of its kind in the world. Hydrogen energy is also huge in Reykjavik, and the city is a global hub for renewable energy research. Public green spaces are practically everywhere, and it is amongst the safest cities in the world as well.

Agro-tourism is huge in Colombia, and farming and wildlife are an integral part of the country’s economy. Bogota specifically has come a long way towards becoming a better city, and its green efforts are only part of the story. Crippling traffic and pollution have been a serious issue for years in the city, and one of the main areas of focus for greener solutions. Generally improved and more accessible buses, more bus and bike lanes, pedestrian friendly and car free areas are just some of the actions put in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Urban vegetation and animal trafficking are also focus points that Bogota is prioritizing for immediate improvement.

As the second biggest city in Australia and the cultural capital, Melbourne’s carbon neutral goal is also set at 2020. Most Melbournians live in high rise buildings and programs are in place to manage energy, recycling and waste in those residences. Cool roofs and green roofs and walls are a big initiative. Car free and pro-bicycle areas are becoming more prominent in the core as well, and the city’s canopy is set to double by 2040.


Melbourne is awesome, Melbourne is the best.


Apr 22, 2017

Church fights new law on confessions in Australia

Three states adopt law requiring Catholic priests to report admissions of child sex abuse

Jonathan PearlmanFor The Straits Times

For centuries, the sacrament of reconciliation - known as confession - has been a venerated practice of the Catholic Church, requiring people to reveal their sins to a priest, who must keep the confession secret.

But the seal, or secrecy, of the confessional is under threat in Australia, following an inquiry which recommended that priests be forced to tell police about admissions of sexual abuse of children.

So far, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory have adopted the proposal into law. Other states are expected to follow.

But the move has prompted a fierce backlash from the Catholic Church, with some priests warning that they would rather go to jail than break the confessional seal.

The recommendation was made by a five-year Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, which heard horrific cases of abuse in the Catholic Church and other institutions across Australia dating back decades. The commission concluded that the practice of confession had "contributed to both the occurrence of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and to inadequate institutional responses to abuse".

"(Confession) enabled perpetrators to resolve their sense of guilt without fear of being reported," it said in its final report last December.

Responding to the report earlier this month, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared that the safety of children should take priority over the secrecy of confession. But he said the Federal Government will need to work with the states to develop a national response because the issue is subject to state and territory criminal law.

"The safety of children should always be put first," he said.

"We know, thanks to the Royal Commissioners' work, that in far, far too many cases, it wasn't."

On Wednesday, Tasmania became the third Australian jurisdiction to "lift the veil on the confessional" and announce laws to prosecute priests who fail to report child sexual abuse.

"I realise that that has implications for centuries-old canon law," said Tasmania's Attorney-General, Ms Elise Archer. "But we must remember that the recommendations are… to ensure that not only the survivors of child sexual abuse receive the care and attention that they deserve, but (they) also will prevent this abuse from happening."

Other states are planning to introduce similar laws.

But the Church in Australia has strongly resisted the change, saying there is no evidence it will reduce crime and that many priests would in any case advise criminals to confess to police.

Catholicism is one of the world's biggest religions, with about 1.2 billion followers. In Australia, 23 per cent of people are Catholic, making it the country's largest religion.

"Removing priest-penitent privilege from the law and requiring mandatory reporting of confessions will either have no effect on child safety or will actually make children less safe," Australia's Catholic Bishops said in a letter to Mr Turnbull.

Church officials said criminals will not confess if they know they will be reported to the police and so priests will not be able to urge them to turn themselves in.

A priest in Sydney, Father Michael Whelan, said he was willing to go to jail rather than break the confessional seal. "The state will be requiring us as Catholic priests to commit what we regard as the most serious crime," he told ABC News.

"I'm not willing to do that… When state tries to intervene on our religious freedom… we will resist."

But victim groups and survivors of child sex abuse urged the states to make the change.

"Children are the most sacred thing we should be putting first, and well above any rule about the confessional," Ms Helen Last, who runs an organisation that supports survivors, told The Sunday Herald Sun.

An expert on religion in Australia, Deakin University associate professor Andrew Singleton, said most of Australia's Catholics were not highly observant and would support the broader community view in favour of removing the seal in child sex assault cases. Most would "not go to confession often, if at all", he said.

"Attending confession has been greatly diminished in recent years," Dr Singleton told The Sunday Times.

He said he believed Catholic leaders should consider the commission's recommendation and consult the Vatican on the possibility of changing the Catholic practice.

Asked about priests willing to go to jail rather than breaking the seal, he said: "If a priest might regard himself as a martyr, he has lost touch of the bigger moral picture. The community sentiment is that (retaining the seal for child sex assault) is misguided."


Apr 23, 2009
United Kingdom
The best city in the world, jealous?
I've got a few friends living out there, they love to tell me how awesome Melbourne is. ooo Garden Capital of Australia or oooo Restaurant Capital of Australia... Come live here, best city in the world! FACK OFFF! :-)
Sep 12, 2017
I've got a few friends living out there, they love to tell me how awesome Melbourne is. ooo Garden Capital of Australia or oooo Restaurant Capital of Australia... Come live here, best city in the world! FACK OFFF! :-)
LOL it is the garden capital of Australia, shopping capital, cultural capital, sports capital, food capital and more, so don't be jealous. :lol:

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