City Wins Praise for; North East Tops Table of Britain's Greenestcities for the Second Time

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Byline: Amy Hunt

NEWCASTLE has topped a table of Britain's greenest cities for the second year running.

The city's investment in green industry and its role in developing infrastructure for electric cars have been singled out as key reasons behind its place at the top of the Sustainable Cities Index.

Described as "visionary" by the organisation behind the list, Forum for the Future, Newcastle has been praised for innovation in science and growing its economy while benefiting the environment.

After coming first last year in the list, which tracks the progress of the UK's 20 largest cities across three areas of environment, quality of life and future proofing, Newcastle City Council increased its lead in 2010.

It scored highly for number of allotments, recycling, public transport, conservation and green spaces.

Barry Rowland, chief executive of Newcastle City Council, said: "Our commitment to a sustainable future is underpinned by our innovative work with partners.

"For example, we are working closely with Newcastle University to develop their centre for research and sustainability, Shepherd Offshore to help transform the banks of the Tyne into a central hub of the UK renewable energy technology sector and seeking to make the city a home for the UK's leading scientists through our Newcastle Science City Partnership." The Sustainable Cities Index rates Britain's 20 biggest cities based on factors such as air quality, household rubbish and the impact that services, housing and transport have on the environment.

It is based around actions which councils can take to make their city more sustainable, from green-themed initiatives like cutting climate change and increasing the variety of wildlife, to economic boosts like improving education, cutting unemployment.

While scoring highly on environment-al categories, Newcastle does less well on economy, as well as health and education, which fall into the bracket of quality of life.

Anita Lower, deputy leader of Newcastle City Council, said: "We are delighted to receive this recognition once again underlining how hard the council is working to put the environment at the heart of its agenda as we seek to make the city greener and work towards a zero carbon future. …