In a system in which every aspect of life is considered vital and crucial, it is essential to have clean and green surroundings to portray an ideal ecosystem. But with the rapid growth in population results to an increase in demand in the use of energy, the effects of technological development to the environment should be considered as well. While maintaining the balance within the system is a difficult task to accomplish, let’s take a look at the cities who continue to preserve the environment while enjoying a sustainable life.
Barcelona is one of the most eco-friendly cities in the world but also one of the most elegant because of its rehabilitated buildings, solar power generation, and hydrogen bus pilot program. The city’s exceptional style of arts and aesthetics was depicted by the 113,000 square-foot solar panel situated in the Forum Esplanade. The solar panels were not only designed for decoration, instead it supplies sufficient electricity to the public utility system. The engineered solar panels help reduce carbon emissions by 440 tons per year, thus contributing to the preservation of the environment.
Sydney is known for becoming one of the green cities because of the city’s activities that involves food-waste management. Sydney’s city council was responsible to make the first nation that is neutral to carbon. While Sydney’s tourism has improved through time, its green initiatives still continues to be accomplished. The city is remarkable by using low-impact energy by reducing the usage of energy inefficient light bulbs. The plans for the future created by the council of the city entitled ‘Sustainable Sydney 2030’ engage the challenge to minimize the effect of global warming and rising oil prices.
8 San Francisco
Many people consider San Francisco to be the most elegant city in the world but in fact, it is also one of the most eco-friendly cities to visit. The city is known for being innovative and progressive by integrating green practices into their daily lives. San Francisco’s city council had their job well done in preserving the city’s marine ecosystems. In the year 2020, its plan is to become a waste-free city by recycling wastes and prevent the city from using plastic bags and plastic water bottles. San Francisco continues to be famous by having flawless transportation, organic stores, national parks, and recycled material crafts workshop.
London is not just about being a black and grey city, but also a green city as well. London is known for having world class eco-restaurants and hotels and also developing food-waste management. London’s remarkable tube makes it possible to reduce carbon emissions. What makes London unique compared to other cities is its mode of transportation. The hybrid bus is a conventional engine with an electric motor; the hybrid bus reduces noise pollution and has cleaner and higher fuel efficiency than conventional diesel buses. Energy would be normally wasted each time a vehicle brakes but a hybrid bus uses the wasted energies to charge batteries. Through continuous charging the hybrid bus can go further than a conventional bus.
There are plenty of ways to go green while in Copenhagen. Path breaking, responsible city planning combined with aesthetic architectures, sidewalk cafes and open green fields makes the city a pick for the top ten most eco-friendly cities in the world. Green and environmentally friendly hotels and restaurants, rickshaws, bikes, and battery-driven buses for transportation are some green characteristics of Copenhagen. It has also won awards for having clean waterways across the city. Copenhagen also has one of the highest concentrations of cyclists in an urban environment, reducing air pollution and heavy traffic.
Vancouver is a city that is not only economically advanced, but it also offers thrilling options because of its beautiful sights and is a perfect place for travelers to visit. Many in Vancouver believe the Canadian metropolitan area is moving closer on the way to its target of becoming the world's ‘greenest city’ by the year 2020. A mini green sanctuary for plants and wildlife was made in the 2.4-hectare rooftop garden in the Vancouver Convention Center located at the middle of the city. Varieties of insects, swarms of bees and sanctuary for birds are some of the cool spots on the rooftop garden. Also, 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses on the rooftop were added to complete the ecosystem. Vancouver is also known as the world’s largest user of hydroelectric power for harnessing 90% of its power from natural sources.
Sweden is a country that leads in green electricity solutions. Most of the country's electricity comes from nuclear and hydropower. A city such as Malmo is contributing to the green project of Sweden with plans to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent between 2008 and 2012. To achieve the city’s target, citizens across Malmo are transforming into sustainable, eco-friendly cooperatives particularly the areas of Western Harbour, Sege Park and Augustenborg. Western Harbour, a former shipyard that runs on 100-percent renewable energy from sun, wind and water, as well as bio-fuels generated from organic waste. Malmo is also known for its wide green fields and parks. New constructions and renovations utilize innovations and utilize green solutions for maximum positive eco-impact.
Curitiba is widely regarded as one of the nicest places to live in Brazil and is a popular tourist spot for travelers from around the country. A mixture of environmental responsiveness and progressive metropolitan planning has also transformed Curitiba one of South America’s greenest urban destinations. Curitiba has one of the simplest, yet the best bus systems in the world. It enables residents to save on energy by using public transportation. It consists entirely of long buses with three connected cars that circulate around the city, stopping at tube-shaped stations to pick up passengers. Another interesting thing about the city is that public parks are kept tidy by grass-eating sheep roaming entire the city.
Located in Oregon, Portland has become one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly cities in United States. Portland has been dedicated to becoming the most sustainable and greenest city by planning and supporting green programs such as urban bicycling, use of renewable energy, and the advertising of local food production and utilization. The city is not only green on the surface. Residents’ recycling and bike commuting rates are among the highest in the nation, while city planners are committed to preventing sprawl and preserving the working farms and natural wonders that ring the metropolitan area. Portland in particular has become the leader in their green policy that involves protection of the environment by reducing green house gas emissions.
Reykjavik is the smallest amazing green city on the list, with only about 115,000 people residing in the city and roughly 300,000 people in the entire country of Iceland. Its impact on the environment has been amazing. By the year 2050, Iceland plans to free itself from dependence on fossil fuels and become a hydrogen economy. Already, Reykjavik is harnessing energy and produces electricity entirely from hydropower and geothermal resources. The city is known for the use of renewable energy to power hydrogen-fueled buses for transportation and free of greenhouse gas emissions. Iceland has developed an environmental policy. The goal of their policy is to minimize Iceland’s total environmental impact and to establish sustainable practices by optimizing the use of the resources.
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