Heidelberg Named Germany's Most Sustainable City: WirtschaftsWoche Ranking Highlights Top Position in Climate Neutrality and Education.
Heidelberg has achieved the title of Germany's most sustainable and future-oriented large city in the latest city ranking by WirtschaftsWoche. This ranking, based on 22 ecological, economic, and social indicators and published on November 16, 2023, recognizes Heidelberg for its commitment to climate-neutral urban development, excellent education, and low youth unemployment.
The city impresses with the Bahnstadt district, a model project for climate-neutral urban planning. With only 0.13 tons of CO₂ emissions per person per year in energy consumption, Bahnstadt's residents make a strong statement for environmentally friendly living. Also highlighted is the innovative energy storage facility in Pfaffengrund, Germany's first walk-in thermos flask, which efficiently contributes to district heating.
Mayor Eckart Würzner emphasizes the importance of investments in the business location and sustainable energy supply. He notes that the presence of international research institutions and the development of the Heidelberg Innovation Park are driving the city's future-oriented development.
Heidelberg also receives special recognition in the education sector. The city records the highest rate of school leavers with successful degrees and the lowest youth unemployment rate nationwide. Around 70 percent of Heidelberg's employees work in knowledge-intensive services, underscoring the high value of education and research in the city.
The city ranking by WirtschaftsWoche, ImmobilienScout24, and IW Consult, published annually, analyzed 71 German cities with over 100,000 residents. Heidelberg, already in third place the previous year, has risen to the top through consistent sustainability efforts and serves as a role model for future-oriented urban concepts.