“Hong Kong has a favorable economic environment, yet we still have a long way to becoming a highly sustainable city” says John Batten, Global Director of Cities & Water from Arcadis (see John’s blog here) when he spoke at the The HKIE Environmental Division Annual Forum today.

In his presentation John revealed how Asian cities rank globally in terms of sustainability, according to the 2016 Sustainability Cities Index. From the latest release, Singapore ranks the 2nd globally and is the most sustainable city in Asia, followed by Seoul (7th), Hong Kong (16th), Macau (41th), Tokyo (45th) and Tapei (48th)

The Sustainability Cities Index is released by Arcadis and it ranks a city’s sustainability globally based on the 3 pillars, People, Planet and Profit. Most Asian cities excel in the profit pillar, yet wealth disparity, the lack of access to open space, sanitation and Green House Gas emissions, income inequality are the top sustainability challenges summarized by John in his speech. “Asian cities still have a lot of room to improve their sustainability, and they are facing the challenge to strike a balance between wealth creation and the impact on people’s living quality”

John also mentioned despite having a well-developed economic system, a lot of Hong Kong people are having difficulties in maintaining a work-life balance (read more about Arcadis’ findings on Hong Kong here). Compact living compromises sustainable green living spaces, and the disparity between wealth and housing are also big challenges to be addressed by the government.

Arcadis is the leading global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets. Applying our deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets. We have more than 5000 professionals distributed in 50 offices in Asia and enjoy a successful history dating back more than 80 years. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world.

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John Batten

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