How Can Your City Become More Eco-friendly?

By the year 2050, 75% of the population of the world is expected to be living in urban areas; there’s an urgent need to focus on building sustainable cities. This article looks at how you can start at an individual level to make your city eco-friendly. Being mindful of your consumption patterns and engaging other citizens through set-ups like a community based garbage processing unit and some other ideas are discussed. Written in an American context, this piece is still relevant and Innovative strategies for waste management, local generation of power, greener mass transit solutions, etc. are explored as key practices towards a greener city. 

As individuals, we need to do our part to conserve energy and be eco-friendly. We can do that in our own homes in quite a few different ways. We can start with our energy providers. For example, it is easy to get Direct Energy rates, especially for Texas residents. Once you have access to those plans and rates, it is a simple thing to decide which one will be best for you and your family.

What about entire cities, though? What can cities do to become greener? Let’s take a closer look.

It Doesn’t Need to be National

Greener living doesn’t always need to be done on a national level. Sometimes, the leaders of cities have more power in this arena than they might think. City leaders can institute the use of such things as local hydrogen fuel cells and local generation of power, and even smart meters just to name a few things. 

It Doesn’t Have to be Pretty

Currently, there are at least 4 cities that are attempting sustainable garbage processing. While this isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing that can be done, it is something that can play a critical part in helping cities to improve their levels of energy efficiency and to become greener in the long term.

Most of the time, people probably don’t think of trash as being a major component of greener living. However, using more innovative strategies for waste management can be a very effective method of addressing being more eco-friendly.

Parks, Parks, and More Parks

By the year 2050, 75% of the population of the world is expected to be living in urban areas. This means that cities will be massive contributors to CO2 levels and overall pollution, but it also gives them an opportunity to make changes that can have a deep impact. One way to do this is by creating parks. These can be considered the lungs of cities. The trees in them clean the air and the parks themselves give the citizens a place where they can relax, take a deep breath and reconnect with nature. They also act as a cooling counterbalance to the heat created by all the concrete and asphalt.

Getting Around

Commuters in places like Dubai, Beijing and Switzerland have brand new metro systems that they can take to work. People in Istanbul, Mexico City, and Los Angeles have been riding buses that have their own lanes. But, whether they are humble or high tech, solutions for mass transit that let people get around easily and quickly without needing their own vehicle are one of the key elements to a city going green.

Best Practices for Green Cities

Turning your city into one that is green is more difficult that just having a good urban plan and stricter codes. Here are a few of the best practices from some of the most sustainable cities in the world.

1.  Goals that are ambitious and well – defined with regular progress reports

2.  Generating electricity using sustainable resources

3.  Strict building codes that favor green technology

4.  Investment in greener public transportation

5.  Policies and efforts to drastically cut water consumption and waste

6.  An increase in density

7.  Encouraging creative, knowledge – based economies

8.  Access to healthy and affordable food

9.  A city government that leads by example

10.  Encouraging of grassroots efforts that will engage the citizens

While we still have quite a long way to go when it comes to making our cities green, creating competitions between cities for first place can be a good thing.

This article is written by ryank @ryankhgb for Smart Cities Dive

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