We all know that going green is vital for the wellbeing of future generations, but how do we go about making our cities green? Let’s take a look at ten cities that are showing the way towards a more enjoyable urban experience.
Leading the pack in Asia is Singapore, which started to deal with industrial pollution in 1992 when it introduced the Singapore Green Plan. This involves making the air and water cleaner and conserving nature.
In Canada, Vancouver has won praise for its use of renewable hydroelectric energy, which provides more than 90% of the city’s electrical needs. A Greenest City Action Team has been formed in an effort to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020.
Some may be surprised to see Bangkok in Thailand listed among the world’s greenest cities, but it warrants its place for its ‘green lung’ at Bang Krachao, which is tucked into a horseshoe-shaped bend in the Chao Phraya River. Elevated paths and cycle lanes offer a distinctly green urban experience, with lush, tropical growth all around.
In Brazil, Curitiba has become a model of sustainability through its urban planning, which includes a generous 12 acres of green space for every 1000 inhabitants. The city also has an efficient transportation system, well-marked cycling routes and restrictions on the use of private vehicles.
London in England is a massive city with plenty of challenges to going green. However, the city has always been blessed with public parks in every district, and the active promotion of renewable energy sources means that London hopes to be carbon neutral within a decade.
Three cities in Northern Europe, namely Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm, have all been applauded for their commitment to green living and cleanliness. Amsterdam is famed for its bikes (in fact it has more bikes than people!), and these days, electric cars are becoming popular too. Not to be left behind, Copenhagen also promotes the use of bicycles, as well as energy-efficient buildings and biogas plants. Stockholm is also well advanced in the use of biogas, and the city hopes to be free of fossil fuels by 2050.
Reykjavik in Iceland experiences a cold climate, but all the city’s electrical needs, such as heating and hot water, are met by hydro-geothermal energy sources. Finally, Cape Town in South Africa, is also waging a campaign to increase energy efficiency, especially in its big office buildings, just like New York.