Its official! Durban is the greenest city in the world as reported by the first Husqvarna Urban Green Space Index.
HUGSI Index is a digital innovation initiative which utilizes computer vision and deep learning techniques on satellite images to generate insights about the size, proportion, distribution and health of green space in urban areas.
Durban came out on top against 98 cities in the world followed by Rio De Janero in the second place and Austin took the third place.
The Index recognised Durban for sustainability and greening initiatives that are aimed at safeguarding green spaces by ensuring there are not jeopardised by urbanization.
Such initiatives are implemented and managed by the City’s Parks Leisure and Cemeteries Department which makes Durban more caring and liveable by rolling out climate-resilience strategies and curating open green space.
Deputy Head of Parks, Leisure and Cemeteries, Sibusiso Mkhwanazi said the recognition was as a result of the City’s greening strategy and policy which directs planting of 80% indigenous trees and 20 % exotic plants.
“The strategy is setting aside huge natural and green areas known as Dmoss as part of spatial planning. It informs us on what to plant, how to plant and where to plant more trees. Furthermore, as part of creating an urban forest, the city has a programme where we plant trees to rehabilitate areas that have been eroded. This effort has then contributed to us being the greenest city,” said Mkhwanazi.
Durban is a recipient of two Arbor City Awards from the National Department of Agriculture.