Three Large Cities with Clean Air

The air in large metropolitan areas is often not very good because of the car exhaust and industrial plants in the suburbs polluting the atmosphere. Big cities are attractive for their advanced infrastructure but you have to have fresh air to breathe! Are there large comfortable cities with clean air in the world? Luckily, there are. Below we provide three examples to illustrate this statement. You can find a lot of greenery in Zurich, Lisbon, and Singapore, among some other large cities.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich is located at the shore of a lake and surrounded by mountains. It is best known for its medieval architecture in the city center and headquarters of many huge banks. Walking in the downtown area you can also see Chanel, Cartier, Gucci, Tiffany & Co, and many other world famous shops. The air is clean in Zurich because of a large number of parks and gardens in the city.  

Zurich parks and gardens

The area of Zurich is about 90 km² and the city has 72 green areas: parks, squares, lawns, etc.  The Botanical Garden is highly popular with tourists. There you can find 15,000 different trees and plants including plants from West Africa and New Zealand. Besides, there is an ethnographic museum, an arboretum, and a medicinal garden from the 17th century on the premises. The garden offers many lawns on the shore of the streams, fountains, benches, and restaurants.

The Chinese Garden is also ideal for a long walk. There is an artificial lake in the center of the Garden surrounded by pagodas and gazebos where you can rest. Pine, bamboo, and plum trees grow in the Chinese garden.

Lake Zurich is splendid for recreation too. You will see many people swimming in the lake in summer. The Seebad Enge Beach is well-equipped and it is easily accessible from the promenade. Please note that there are no sunbeds or umbrellas there and people come with their own towels to sunbathe. No fee is charged to attend the beach. 

Trucks and buses with gasoline and diesel engines have been kept out of Zurich since 1996. If your vehicle pollutes the air, you will have to pay a toll to enter the downtown area. Besides, large displacement vehicles are taxed heavily in Zurich. This makes the number of electric cars grow rapidly. Almost all parking zones now have electric car chargers. Zurich is certainly one of the best cities for living and working.

Price of property in Zurich

A one-bedroom apartment costs 660,000 Swiss francs in Zurich on average. Around 80% of all property sells at 299,000 francs and 1,650,000 francs in the city. Suburban property is also popular and a modest house in a nearby village will cost you between 2.8 and 3.6 million francs.  

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the westernmost European capital and living on the Atlantic shore is very comfortable.

Lisbon has halved its carbon emissions over the past decade and is on track to cut them by another 10% by 2030. By 2050, the city plans to start absorbing as much greenhouse gas as it emits.

Lisbon parks and gardens

Green areas take up 20% of the Lisbon area and you can find around 40 parks in the city. Besides, ‘green corridors’ connect all parks with Monsanto Park (the largest park in Lisbon), the Tejo River banks, and regional gardens.

Edward VII Park is one of the first locations that you should visit in Lisbon. It’s in the central part of the city and if you walk uphill long enough, you will find a beautiful view of the Tejo River. Besides, there is a large greenhouse with hundreds of exotic plants from all over the world in the Park.

The Botanical Garden is the only place in Europe where you can see butterflies being born. Various insects are grown in the greenhouses found in the Garden. The alleys are decorated with palm trees and plants brought from Africa, Brazil, and Asia in the 18th century. You have to pay a small fee to enter the Botanical Garden in Lisbon.

Monsanto is the largest park in the city and one of the largest parks in Europe. There you will find eco trails, cycle- and runways, and multiple lawns for picnics. Monsanto also offers a lot of water, plants, birds, and panoramic views of Lisbon. The entrance is free.  

Lisbon is known as a ‘green European capital’. All streets and buildings are illuminated with LED-lights and the number of solar panels is constantly growing. Lisbon has also learned how to consume less electricity: its consumption has been decreasing for several years.

Since 2020, electric buses have replaced gasoline and diesel uses in Lisbon. However, gasoline trucks and cars still run through the Portuguese capital.  

Property prices in Lisbon

Prices for spacious apartments range from 95,000 € to 13,500,000 € in Lisbon. An apartment in the outskirts can cost as little as 65,000 €.


Singapore is a city state in Southeast Asia. It is one of the safest places in the whole world. It is also a city of strict rules that locals and tourists have to follow. For instance, you are not allowed to spit on the ground, chew gum, and eat in the street or on a bus. The fine can be as high as 1,000 Singaporean dollars.

Green areas in Singapore

There are around 300 parks, squares, and other green areas in Singapore.

You should certainly visit the local Botanical Garden that is a UNESCO world heritage site. It was founded in 1822 for agricultural research purposes and eventually the agrarians learned how to grow many exotic plants. There is an orchid selection lab, a swan lake, a mini-garden with 48 bonsai specimens, and a solar garden with dryland plants such as cacti, yucca, and agave. Besides, you can find a ginger garden and visit a restaurant to try food cooked with ginger. A fee is due to enter the Botanical Garden in Singapore.  

Gardens by the Bay is a futuristic greenhouse complex whose task is to improve the ecology in the city. Bushes, trees, flowers, and other plants are grown in the greenhouses to produce more fresh air for Singaporeans. There you will find 220,000 plant species from different parts of the world, recreation areas, entertainment facilities, and children’s playgrounds.

The complex is open for 21 hours a day (closed only between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.). Solar panels are used to produce electricity for the garden complex.

In 2012, the Singaporean authorities formulated the national sustainable development strategy whose purpose was to create a stable economy with the least possible impact on the environment.

In particular, Singapore is highly efficient in processing wastes: more than 60% of wastes is processed and used for energy production. Cars cost a lot in Singapore and their owners are heavily taxed.

Property prices in Singapore

The price for a one-bedroom apartment starts at US$ 360,000 in Singapore and a larger apartment naturally costs more.

As you can see, the air can be fresh even in a large city if it has many green areas.

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