Oxford among the 'greenest' cities in the UK according to new study

Oxford among the 'greenest' cities in the UK according to new study
Oxford among the 'greenest' cities in the UK according to new study

OXFORD is among the greenest cities in the country, according to a new study.

Scientists from the University of Sheffield analysed the green attributes of urban city centres across England, Scotland and Wales and ranked them on greenness.

Oxford ranked tenth on the list, while Exeter was named the 'greenest' urban city centre based on tree cover, vegetation and the presence of parks.

The researchers said their findings, published in Plos One, a scientific journal, “reveal a clear divide between the urban city centres” with the greenest ones located in the South of England, while the lowest scoring ones are ex-industrial cities in the North of Great Britain.

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Dr Paul Brindley, senior author of the study from the University of Sheffield’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.

“Green spaces have been proven time and again to boost people’s wellbeing and are essential to biodiversity, but nobody has ever looked at how green our city centres are, despite the amount of time individuals spend in them on a daily basis.

“The study clearly highlights the need to urgently improve the greenness of city centres at the bottom of the list, and to ensure that action is taken by local authorities to close the gap.”

To determine the presence of vegetation, the researchers used a measure known as the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), using satellite observations of light absorption and reflection to measure vegetation cover in a given area.

Full list below. 


Top 10 'greenest' urban city centres in Great Britain:

1. Exeter

2. Islington

3. Bristol

4. Bournemouth

5. Cambridge

6. Chelsea

7. Ealing

8. Sutton Coldfield

9. Richmond

10. Oxford


10 of the least 'green' urban city centres in Great Britain:

1. Glasgow

2. Leeds

3. Liverpool

4. Sheffield

5. Middlesborough

6. Basildon

7. Manchester

8. Cardiff

9. Huddersfield

10. Worthing

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This story was written by Anna Colivicchi, she joined the team this year and covers health stories for the Oxfordshire papers.

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