Liverpool and Manchester amongst country's least green cities, study finds

Liverpool prides itself on the important roles its parks play in city life Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

Liverpool and Manchester are ranked amongst the least green urban city centres in Britain, according to new research.

Scientists from the University of Sheffield analysed the green attributes of urban city centres across England, Scotland and Wales and ranked them on greenness.

Liverpool was the third least green urban city centre in the country, with Manchester seventh.

The researchers said their findings, published in Plos One, "reveal a clear divide between the urban city centres" with the greenest ones located in the South of England, while the lowest scoring ones are ex-industrial cities in the North of Great Britain.

Manchester's Heaton Park is popular during the summer months. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Archive/PA Images

Dr Paul Brindley, senior author of the study from the University of Sheffield's department of landscape architecture, said: "By 2050 nearly 70% of the world's population are projected to be living in towns and cities.

"Green spaces have been proven time and again to boost people's wellbeing and are essential to biodiversity, but nobody has ever looked at how green our city centres are, despite the amount of time individuals spend in them on a daily basis.

"The fact that all five of the greenest city centres are in the South of England, whilst the five city centres with the least green attributes are in the North of Great Britain, clearly highlights the need to urgently improve the greenness of city centres at the bottom of the list, and to ensure that action is taken by local authorities to close the gap."

For the study, the researchers ranked 68 municipalities in Great Britain with populations of at least 100,000 based on tree cover, vegetation and the presence of parks.