Effective 29 January 2021, Alstom completed the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation. Click here for more information

The world’s ten most sustainable cities



Rail Stories

The world's 10 most sustainable cities

Each year, Dutch design and consultancy agency Arcadis releases its Sustainable Cities Index. According to Arcadis, this data-driven review seeks to ‘explore city sustainability from the perspective of the citizen’, and tries to understand and quantify just how well the world’s cities are meeting their citizens’ needs. We couldn't
be happier to see that in their most-recent Citizen-Centric Cities report, each of the world’s top-ten most sustainable cities have all chosen to integrate Bombardier’s eco-friendly mobility solutions into their public transport. Let's take a closer look at the results and see where our sustainable products and services are making city life more sustainable around the world.

The world's most sustainable city: Stockholm, Sweden

The MOVIA C30 metro

Award-winning sustainabilty by design

Any new train for a city already known for its magnificent art-inspired metro system needs to be impressive to get noticed. But our MOVIA C30 metro for Stockholm’s Red Line has achieved just that. The striking design of this efficient metro earned it the GOOD DESIGN® award in 2017, thanks to its clear expression of Scandinavian style that will become an unmistakable city icon.  

We began delivering Stockholm's new MOVIA C30 metros in 2020.  




As well as attractive aesthetics, our high capacity MOVIA metro solutions meet the highest environmental standards for energy consumption and are constructed from materials which are 98 per cent recyclable.

Operated by the Fraport company, the Frankfurt Airport automated people mover system makes around 10 million journeys each year and has an availability rating of over 99 per cent. Photo: Fraport

#2 - Frankfurt, Germany

The INNOVIA APM system

Twenty-five years of efficiency

Frankfurt Airport was not only home to the world's first international airline, it was also Germany’s first application of an airport-based driverless rail transport system. Over 25 years later, this INNOVIA APM 100 automated people mover system shuttles over 1,300 passengers per hour with an impressive average availability rating of 99.83 per cent, thanks in large part to our local Services Team. 
The system’s ability to consistently move so many people efficiently, is just one part of the modern public transport network that helps keep Frankfurt green and livable.  

#3 - Zurich, Switzerland

The Cobra tram

Sustainability never goes out of style

Between 2001 and 2010, we delivered 88 Cobra trams for the city of Zurich and in 2016, the city’s high-
quality public transport helped it be recognized as the world’s most 
sustainable city. One year later, Zurich sought to keep its public
transport on the sustainability track by ordering 70 of the Cobra’s
successor trams – the FLEXITY 
Zurich tram

The new FLEXITY Zurich tram’s energy efficient HVAC heat pump makes it environmentally friendly while stylish and hygienic wooden seats increase capacity and help passengers identify
with the benefits of eco-friendly rail transport options. Once again, Zurich’s high-quality public transport has  helped it keep its place as one of the world's best cities. 

Zurich’s high-quality public transport has consistently earned top marks for livability and sustainability and helped Zurich be named the world’s most sustainable city in 2016.

#4 - Vienna, Austria

The FLEXITY Vienna tram

Vienna’s excellent public transport options helped the city earn the Economist Magazine’s (2019) most-livable city title.

Another era of transport for the world’s most livable city

In addition to urban mobility, the FLEXITY tram’s reliability and efficiency have helped Vienna earn it the top-spot on the Economist magazine’s 2019 list of the world's most livable cities. The tram reduces lifecycle costs with efficient LED lighting, an occupation-dependent, energy-optimized air condition and a recyclable design that ensures the trams can be disposed of ecologically at the end of their long service life. The FLEXITY Vienna is just the latest in a long line of vehicles we’ve built for Vienna starting in 1990. Manufactured locally at our Vienna site like its predecessors, the first of the new FLEXITY Vienna trams appeared in 2018 and by 2025, 119 of these low-floor trams will be keeping the Austrian capital in motion. 

#5 - Copenhagen, Denm.

The Flexliner intercity train

The Flexliner IR43

A strong sustainability foundation

We have been delivering trains and rail control signalling systems to Denmark for many years, and the Flexliner train fleet has remained a foundation of Denmark’s sustainable mobility since the 1990s. Danish State Railways (DSB) has 464 Flexliner cars forming 44 IR4 electric trains and 96 IC3 diesel trains. Later, the fleet was enhanced by equipping shorter, high-comfort, low-floor IC2 trains to help entice more travellers to leave their cars at home. 

With passenger growth expected to remain steady for the next ten years or more, Danish State Railways is developing a plan to expand the capacity of their intercity and regional lines by replacing portions of its existing fleet with new energy efficient trains. 


#6 - Oslo, Norway

The Flytoget Airport Express

Also known as the Gardermoen Airport Express, we retrofitted Oslo's airport connection to increase passenger capacity by more than 45 per cent.

Retrofitting to expand sustainable transport capacity

We cover how places like Norway are leading the fight against climate change by shifting to rail as their preferred mode of transport in our story, the Nordic approach to saving the planet (soon to be published). 

For travellers who still can't get to their destinations by train, there is the Airport Express link that connects Oslo Airport to central Oslo and surrounding areas. In 2008, we refit Flytoget, Europe's 2019 Green Capital's airport connection's multiple unit fleet, to increase capacity by 45 per cent. Today the service offers a rapid, eco-friendly low-CO2 airport connection for over 6 million passengers a year.

#7 - Hamburg, Germany

The DT5 metro 

The DT5 metro’s regenerative traction motor improves sustainability by recovering the kinetic energy lost while braking and feeding it back into the vehicle’s power system.

Sustainable urban mobility that attracts

Hamburg is another city that has seen benefits from prioritizing sustainable urban mobility. There, our fleet of DT5 metros is empowering local transport operator HOCHBAHN’s ambitious plan to entice its citizens to leave their cars behind by offering more attractive sustainable mobility solutions. Take a look at our Mobility Story, Hamburg - Driving a sustainability shift with the laws of attraction to see how the efficient DT5, built in consortium with Alstom, is a cornerstone of Hamburg’s remarkable strategy.

#8 - Berlin, Germany

The FLEXITY Berlin tram

The yellow FLEXITY Berlin tram is an essential part of the city's growth and popularity.

More than 200 trams for a green city

Green-minded, climate-conscious and forward-looking, Berlin has one of Europe’s lowest car-per-capita ratios and has even set a 2030 target for eliminating fossil fuels from its public transportation energy mix. Efficient and sustainable vehicles are key to meeting that challenge and local operator Berliner Verkerhsbetriebe and Deutsche Bahn have invested wisely over the years. In 2020, we handed over the 200th FLEXITY Berlin tram to the city.

But we've also provided 1,000 S-Bahn trains for Berlin’s vast regional network (S-Bahn Berlin GmbH). Check out our world-class mobility, Berlin-style story to see how we help keep this unique city in motion night and day.

#9 - Munich, Germany

The INNOVIA APM system

The CITYFLO 650 automatic train control technology is the brain behind the Munich Airport automated people mover system’s driverless operation.

Over 10,000 passengers, per-hour, per-direction

As a partner to over 200 cities worldwide, Bombardier’s sustainable mobility solutions and exceptional urban areas go hand-in-hand, and as Germany’s second most-populated city, Munich is no different. In 2016, Munich Airport increased their internal passenger transport capacity by launching their INNOVIA APM 300 automated people mover system. Equipped with our CITYFLO 650 automatic train control for driverless operation, this control solution ensures that the underground system at Germany's second-busiest airport reliably transports its 10 million yearly passengers safely and efficiently. 

#10 - Most sustainable city: Montreal, Canada

The Azur metro car

The rubber-wheeled Azur metro cars are designed with large windows to capture natural light and have exceeded world-class performance and reliability standards.

An early entry into the global Local Governments for Sustainability network, Montreal’s green credentials are impressive. Statistics vary, but its estimated that a full quarter of locals opt for bikes or public transport for their daily commute. But to be fair, it's not a tough choice when you have Montreal Metro and its fleet of around 500 Azur metro cars.

Visit our Sustainability page to learn more about how our products and services are helping deliver a more sustainable future.