3 Examples of Sustainable Cities

With sustainability as one of the main topics of conversation, either about carbon emissions, wastefulness, or water conservation, both cities and citizens are looking for ways to make their environment more sustainable. Below we’ll discuss what a sustainable city is, how to become one, and examples that other cities are taking.

Why Become A Sustainable City?

For the city, and the planet as a whole, to flourish, there must be better planning. Due to the higher concentration of people in cities, they’re more vulnerable to natural disasters and other dynamics, such as poverty, that lower the quality of life for all citizens.

What Is A Sustainable City

A sustainable city is a city that addresses economic, social, and environmental impacts through sustainable initiatives. These include increasing walkability and adding safe bike lanes to make biking a safe alternative to using cars.

Ways To Create A Sustainable City

There are many steps that go into creating a sustainable city, whether through switching to electric buses, creating ways for pedestrians and bicyclists to move around the city easier, or other initiatives. Below are some other ideas.

Green Architecture

Green architecture uses natural building materials and solar panels, but it doesn’t stop there. Green architecture seeks to plant more shade trees, install smart HVAC systems, as well as improve ventilation and insulation to improve air quality, energy savings, and create better health.

Improve Water Conservation and Waste Management

Programs to minimize waste through composting, recycling or repurposing create sustainable waste management. Water monitoring that detects leaks helps citizens and businesses combat water waste, which leads to fewer water shortages.

More Trees and Green Spaces

Access to parks, nature and other recreational areas not only improve mental health but also helps to support a diverse ecosystem with butterflies, bees, and birds.

Urban Farming

Urban farming reduces food insecurity and reduces the distance from farm to consumer, which boosts the local economy. Examples of urban farming include vertical gardens, rooftop farming, and community gardens.

Examples Of Sustainable Cities

Below are examples of three cities and how they are creating a greener urban ecosystem.

Portland, Oregon

The first on the list of sustainable cities examples is Portland, Oregon. Portland has fully embraced the mentality of repairing, recycling, reducing, and reusing. They’re also emphasizing tool libraries and thrift shops, but that’s not all.

Reykjavik, Iceland

If you wondered how well hydropower and geothermal power could produce electricity, Reykjavik relies on these two sources for 99% of its electricity production. Not only are they more reliable, but it’s cheaper and friendlier for the environment. According to GetSmarter, the main reason for this city’s success: a cohesive collaboration between municipalities, government, and the public; and innovations led by entrepreneurs.

Cape Town, South Africa

Solar panels on houses and more people growing fruits and vegetables are only the start of what citizens in Cape Town are doing to create a sustainable city. Other ideas include allowing bikes on buses so people can get around easier, as well as wind farms for renewable electricity production.

More and more cities and towns are taking steps to become more sustainable and are learning from each other as they go. Even if the city you live in doesn’t currently have a sustainability plan, you can take steps within your community to influence those around you to follow in your footsteps and change the community and city.

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