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2010: Stockholm, Sweden

The "Venice of the North," Stockholm was the first city to be named European Green Capital. The city boasts an abundance of green space – there are roughly 1,000 parks, with 95 percent of inhabitants living fewer than 300 metres from a park or water.

And authorities have set ambitious goals, aiming to become independent of fossil fuels by 2050. In the near future, the city is hoping to have cut CO2 emissions by 45 percent by 2020.

In the field of transport, Stockholm has introduced a congestion charge to reduce traffic in the city, while according to the City of Stockholm, "one third of all new cars sold in Stockholm are clean vehicles."

All buses serving the city center are powered by renewable fuels, with the city home to the world's largest bus fleet fueled by ethanol.

Frank Chmura | Photodisc | Getty Images