Yorkshire city ranked sixth in UK in sustainability index

LEEDS is still one of the most sustainable cities in the UK, according to national ratings on quality of life.

The Sustainable Cities Index again places Leeds sixth in the country and leading environmental charity Forum for the Future, which publishes it, says it is the top Yorkshire city.

Cities are put under the microscope in 13 categories under the Sustainable Cities Index, covering everything from air quality, employment, climate change, waste and recycling, health and education.

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Leeds scored highly on life expectancy, protecting biodiversity and air quality.

Lower scores were recorded for how people travel around the city without a car and for the its overall ecological footprint – the impact of services, housing, transport and consumables on the environment.

Newcastle tops the league while Sheffield is 10th out of 20. Bradford fares rather less well at number 18 and Hull brings up the rear at 20.

Newcastle has started installing 580 electric vehicle charging points in the region, as part of efforts to become the UK's electric car capital, and is the centre of a budding clean technology "cluster" in the North East.

Leeds councillor Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services, said: "I am sure some people might be surprised that a city the size of Leeds is ranked so high in the index.

"But this goes to shows the great amount of work that is currently going on under the radar in our city. We are certainly not resting on our laurels. Clearly, we want to improve where we haven't scored so well. Our plans for new transport systems are well documented and we await decisions on their future.

"But regardless of our ranking in the index, it won't dampen our ambition to become a resilient city, one that can stand up to the effects of changing demographics, climate change and tough economic times."