#10YearsLater and these cities should be making others ‘green’ with envy (or with hope to becoming as green as them). By Gayatri Moodliar
There are a lot of factors that go into what makes a city ‘green.’ It’s how waste is managed, how emissions are regulated, how varied the transportation options are, and what policies are in place that ensure the prioritisation of the environment. To join in the #10YearsLater trend, we thought we’d trace how these 10 cities have transformed over the last decade to reach a place that is more sustainable, and that can serve as a template to others.
Already known for its reliance on geothermal energy, more than 90% of its buildings use this form of energy for heating purposes, the city plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emission to zero by 2040. Its way of making sure this happens is by encouraging citizens and tourists to walk or use cycles in order to get around—adequate infrastructure has been constructed to support this.
Promoting organic farming is a strong way of fostering sustainability, and Vancouver does that through its efforts to support local farmers and their produce. The city was ranked third in the category of sustainability across North America. It also aims to reduce its waste to zero by 2040.
Ideal for travellers who wish to be a part of the green journey, 75% of Helsinki’s hotels have become certified as environment friendly. It’s even home to EcoCompass, an award-winning programme that helps small to medium businesses become more sustainable.
Cape Town is taking the lead in Africa with dedicated routes in the city for cyclists to use, along with pushing industries to opt for more renewable sources of energy.
The city’s Sustainable City initiative has its teammates moving around spreading vital information regarding how to reduce waste and manage it, while the public transport is mostly powered by renewable sources.
A report states that Portland has managed to recycle 63% of its waste through sincere efforts that have been put in. This is also supported by a bustling cycling community.
The city has set a global example through its intense public transport expansion, which more than 60% of the population relies on.
Goal-setting to say the least, Stockholm plans to be fossil-fuel free by 2050. It also has plans of harnessing sewage waste to produce bio-fuel.
Netherlands’ largest city has progressed over the last 10 years to address the fact that its CO2 emissions aren’t anything to write home about, and so the city has set a target to reduce 34% of its emissions by 2020, and this has been worked towards through advancing public transport and forming joint ventures to target the problem. There are also easily accessible charging points for electric vehicles.
Consistently ranked as one of the eco-friendly cities, its roads are cycle- and cyclist-friendly, and there are mechanisms in place to regulate CO2 emissions. Citizens are encouraged to use public transport, and residences are planned so as to make sure one lives close to them.