Imagine living in a highly populated city with nothing but concrete structures all around, has poor air quality, heavily congested roads, and requires long commute between your home and place of work among many other inconveniences that make daily life more stressful than it should be. How a city is designed may not seem like a single individual’s concern. But it actually impacts every city dweller’s life. You only have to take a look at some of the greenest cities across the globe to see the positive effects of urban sustainability to communities and individuals. Here are some of the best things about living in green cities.
1. Plenty of parks and green spaces
Green cities have plenty of parks and green spaces. From small neighborhood green spaces to vast and sprawling city parks, sustainable cities take measure to protect their natural environment. These urban parks in turn provide spaces where people can enjoy the soothing benefits of nature.
2. Green transport initiatives
Green transport is another common feature that green cities share. They take measures to make public transportation more efficient and provide healthier options on how to travel from one place to another. The greenest cities in the world are also bicycling-friendly and walkable. They also work on making public transportation systems as seamless as possible to encourage more people to drive less. This in turn contributes to the improvement of the cities’ air quality by minimizing pollution from motorized vehicles.
3. Use of renewable energy
Green cities make use of renewable energy. They tap into wind, solar, and other natural resources instead of relying solely on non-renewable sources like coal and other fossil fuels. Cities like Malmö in Sweden, Reykjavik in Iceland, and Vancouver in Canada are some of the greenest cities in the world that make use of renewable energy.
4. Urban planning that promotes local hubs and mixed land use
Urban development traditionally results to the spreading out of growth farther to accommodate the increasing number of people, buildings, and needed infrastructure among many others. What many green cities do is to make the most of existing spaces. They also create local hubs and promote mixed land use where people live close to their places of work and have access to services within their immediate vicinity. This minimizes the need for travel thus encouraging a lifestyle that allows people to drive less.
5. Promotes and supports eco-friendly lifestyles
Green cities create an environment that promotes and supports eco-friendly lifestyles. Residents have access to farmers’ markets, green restaurants and cafes, top notch recycling, reusing, and composting initiatives and programs, and so much more.