Today, megacities are increasingly appearing as a gray cluster of faceless boxes, between which a serpent winds the roads. Pieces of nature inside the cities remain less, because parks are an expensive pleasure in places where land is worth millions. Nevertheless, far from everywhere, ecology has been forgotten. There are several cities that can even be called “green”.
This does not mean that they are buried in nature and that they are completely ecological. But here they constantly make efforts to improve the quality of life of people, to save resources, including natural resources, for the protection of the environment. In such cities there are parks and ponds. Many cities have much to learn from their “green” brethren.
There is an old, unusual saying in English that allows you to memorize words based on their funny combination: Greenland is icy and Iceland is green (Greenland is ice, and Iceland is green). Hardly during this time in Greenland itself something has changed, but Iceland fully justifies this proverb. Today the city of Reykjavik is an example of an eco-friendly capital. Here the buses run on hydrogen fuel, the island uses geothermal energy for heating and electricity. The authorities of Iceland plan to completely switch to renewable energy sources by 2050. Thus, Reykjavik will become the cleanest city in Europe. “Land of ice”, Iceland, will probably have to change its name with “Green Earth”, Greenland.
Portland, Oregon, United States.
In America it is commonplace when a city is given a name. So, New York is called Big Apple, Chicago – City by the wind. But Portland was called the City of Roses. I must say that it is no accident. In Portland, city authorities are very thoughtful about the layout and the microclimate. As a result, the city is considered one of the most environmentally friendly in the country. Portland was the first place in the US where they introduced the most severe control over carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. A green building program is also being implemented here. In Portland, a system of light metro, high-speed buses and bicycle paths was created. This allowed people to pay attention to public transport, reducing the number of cars. The area of greenery in Portland is 350 km.kv, the total length of park avenues, paths and paths is 120 kilometers. The special pride of the city is the Japanese Garden. Here, in an area of 2 hectares, one of the most authentic Japanese gardens on the planet was created.
This city is considered one of the most comfortable in the country. The pride of Curitiba is the ideal system of urban public transport. In the city, 75% of residents prefer to use it, rather than personal machines. The high-speed bus lines in Curitiba serve as a reference for other cities. For each resident there are 54 square meters of green space. The order on the lawns is maintained in an unusual way – there are no gasoline lawn mowers, instead of them, flocks of live sheep are in order. This solution is both eco-friendly and pleasant for children. The authorities’ love of the environment gives the result – 99% of the inhabitants of Curitiba are happy to live here.
This city is literally buried in gardens and parks. Malmö is the benchmark for the management of a reasonable and environmentally friendly urban economy. Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden. They try to make their city even greener and therefore carry out a number of environmental reforms.
Also the third largest in its country is the Canadian Vancouver. The city has a unique location – between the mountains and the sea. This largely determined its appearance and microclimate. As a result, Vancouver is considered one of the most beautiful and prosperous cities on the planet. The English edition of The Economist recognized Vancouver as the best city on Earth for four times.Here they are serious about ecology – a plan for improving the climate for the whole 100 years has been developed, and it is carried out impeccably. Today, 90% of all urban electricity is generated from renewable sources. The city is fed by hydroelectric, wind, solar and tidal power. In Vancouver, more than 200 parks and squares are equipped, as well as about 30 kilometers of the ocean coast.
In Denmark, for the benefit of the city, they learned to use wind energy. In 2000, not far from Copenhagen, an unusual industrial facility was erected right in the Straits of Eresund. The wind farm Middelgrunden provides energy by 5% to the capital of Denmark. The use of this kind of natural resource in Denmark is generally considered to be the best in the world, more than 90% of wind power generated is exported. In Copenhagen itself, a new eco-friendly underground has been operating for 10 years, while the city itself has repeatedly received European awards for the best environmental management system. The capital of Denmark is considered one of the most bicycle cities on the continent. Not only is it fashionable and environmentally friendly, it is also useful for health.
London, United Kingdom.
Despite the fact that London is one of the largest and most active megalopolises in the world, the city mayor’s office is working to bring this place among the most “green” in the world. There have recently been initiatives to control climate change, which proves the development of the city. According to the plans of the mayor, Livingstone, a quarter of the needs of London should be provided by renewable sources. Over the next quarter century, carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere of a megacity must be reduced by 60%. Those residents who decided to transfer their homes to alternative sources of energy, the authorities provide benefits. To drive a gasoline car to the center of London is possible only for money – this is the step of the mayor’s office in the fight against exhaust emissions. For SUVs you have to pay the most, but electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles pass absolutely unhindered.
San Francisco, California, United States.
In San Francisco, every second resident uses public transport every day, makes a walk or bike trip. Over 17% of the city area is reserved for parks and green spaces. In 2001, residents approved a program for the introduction of energy-saving and generating plants based on wind and solar energy. “Green” innovation will cost the city $ 100 million. In San Francisco, it is also forbidden to use plastic bags that are unfit for processing, children’s plastic toys containing hazardous substances.
Baia de Caraquez, Ecuador.
A small South American town has a population of only 20 thousand people. In the mid-1990s a series of natural disasters hit him. However, the residents together with the authorities not only restored it, but made it even more convenient for life. In 1999, Baja de Caraquez was given the title of eco-city. This is the most “green” city of Ecuador, here ecology students come to study, ecotourists rest. In the city, programs for the conservation of biological species have been developed, instead of old plantations, new ones are immediately created, the person struggles with the destruction of soils. In Baia de Caraquez, the world’s first certified shrimp farm was opened.
It was Australia that became the first country in the world to ban the old incandescent lamps at the state level. Residents of Sydney in their struggle for the environment went even further – in the city for an hour all voluntarily turned off the electricity. So the Australians tried to draw the attention of humanity to the problem of global warming. In Sydney, they strictly follow the emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the food waste is thoroughly utilized here. This is what allows the metropolis to be considered the most “green” modern city in the Southern Hemisphere.
In Barcelona, a fashion walk.More than 37% of all movements in the capital of Catalonia are committed by residents on their own feet. For those who still drive cars, convenient and eco-friendly parking facilities are created. Thanks to the sunny climate, in Barcelona most of the electricity is produced naturally by the luminary. The city authorities carefully monitor the development of the metropolis, all areas are growing evenly. As a result, slums and neighborhoods of the poor simply can not be undertaken.
For most of us, Colombia is a country of drug traffickers, coffee and slums. But these stereotypes must be fought. At the beginning of the century, the mayor of Bogota introduced a system of high-speed bus lines. It turned out to be so profitable and convenient that half the population of the capital moved to public transport. The load on roads has decreased by 40%. Thanks to high taxes on gasoline, the population is gradually moving to electric and hybrid cars. For pedestrians, all conditions are created – safe and beautiful sidewalks, green parks and bicycle paths.
If large cities are increasingly dipping into clouds of dust and emissions, Bangkok is deliberately moving towards its bright, literally future. The mayor of the city even put cooking at the service of ecology. Henceforth, residents of Bangkok may waste vegetable oil for processing. Of these, biological fuel for transport will be created. Gradually in Bangkok, the volume of harmful emissions into the atmosphere from industry and transport is reduced. And although the air here still can not be called ideal, progress is evident. Bangkok is gradually turning into a “green” city.
In developing countries, large cities have similar environmental problems, but Kampala has managed to overcome these problems. Like many other capitals, this city is located on seven hills, the neighborhood here is really beautiful. However, the authorities are pressured by the problems of poverty and air pollution. Hybrid cars are too expensive for Africa. Many residents of Kampala are from the countryside, they are used to excavations. Local authorities managed to find a compromise, making agriculture next to Kampala not only effective, but also aesthetically pleasing. The city soon has to replace inefficient minibus taxis with high-speed buses, it is planned to begin to monitor emissions of carbon dioxide. So the capital of Uganda is developing in the right, “green” direction.
Austin, Texas, United States.
The sun in Texas is very bright. It is no coincidence that Austin became the largest place in the country for producing solar energy. It allows you to meet 20% of the needs of urban economy. The local energy company, Austin Energy, sets the tone for the state’s energy policy. Thanks to it, green initiatives are being introduced in other states. In the same Austin, 15% of the city’s territory is given to parks and green spaces. Cyclists have where to travel – a network of bike paths stretched for 50 kilometers. And all this green splendor was created in a desert state!