A green future depends on sustainable cities. It might sound contradictory, but it’s actually greener for people to reside in urban environments. In order to preserve what’s left of the natural environment, human settlements must not encroach on these areas. As the global population continues to grow at an exponential rate, cities and urban planners face the challenge of sustainability. Fortunately, many cities are succeeding. Here are the ten characteristics of a sustainable city as a result of environmentally-conscious urban planning.
City-Wide Access To Public Transportation
An efficient public transportation system is one of the most effective strategies employed by a sustainable city to combat issues such as congestion and rising carbon emissions. The American public transportation system saves approximately 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide yearly.
Transportation planners in sustainable cities are continuously improving and expanding public transportation. The cheaper, faster, and more accessible public transit is to city-dwellers, the less likely they are to choose a car over a bus or a subway.
Pedestrian- and Bike-Friendly Sidewalks
In addition to encouraging urbanites to take public transit, sustainable cities promote emission-free modes of transportation such as walking and cycling. To improve the walkability of urban spaces, urban planners in eco-friendly cities incorporate pedestrian- and bike-friendly infrastructure.
These infrastructures include bike lanes, wider sidewalks, and a greater number of crossing lights. “It can be dangerous for cyclists to share the road with motorists,” warns Javier Roche, a business writer at Paper Fellows and State of writing. “Bike pathways throughout the city provide cyclists with a designated lane to make them feel safer.”
Electric Car Charging Stations
To incentivize people to purchase electric cars over their less eco-friendly counterparts, sustainable cities offer electric car charging stations that are conveniently located throughout the city. Since the ultimate goal of many urban planners is to eliminate car emission entirely, many sustainable cities offer various incentives for electric car owners.
One of the biggest indicators of a sustainable city is their efforts to switch to clean energy. Many sustainable cities have invested in solar farms and wind farms. Since the infrastructure for renewable energy is a costly, albeit smart investment, the transition to clean energy is occurring gradually for many green cities.
Many newer skyscrapers in sustainable cities are green buildings. These buildings incorporate various aspects of sustainability into their design, construction, and operation. Green buildings boast features such as energy-efficient cooling, heating, and water systems as well as solar energy panels.
“Since they offer an eco-conscious path towards urban sustainable living and reduce maintenance costs, the green building market is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide,” explains Thomas Jackson, a tech blogger at Essay Roo and Boom Essays.
Urban Agriculture And Food Production
With Earth’s population increasing so rapidly, food security is a key concern for many cities. As a solution, sustainable cities are dabbling in urban farming. In addition to urban agriculture, sustainable cities often encourage growing food for personal consumption through community gardening.
Strong Social Planning Efforts
In addition to investing in environmental policies, sustainable cities also strive to provide their citizens with ample social support. Urban planning in these cities invest in community centers, public health measures, and cultural amenities. By providing access to these resources, sustainable cities give residents their best chance to thrive.
Green Water Management
Many green cities recognize that fresh water is a precious resource. As a result, their planners make efforts to conserve urban water usage whenever possible. Sustainable urban water management will becoming increasingly essential in upcoming years.
Urban Green Spaces Urban planning in sustainable cities understand the importance of public green spaces to the mental wellness of urban dwellers. While not every city has the budget or land to create their own Central Park, many have found creative ways to weave green spaces into the urban fabric.
Green Waste Solutions
Both green and not-so-green cities have some form of a recycling program in place. However, sustainable cities tend to go above and beyond with enforcing these programs. Some sustainable cities actively regulate recycling and composting policies. This helps keep their citizens accountable.
Humanity appears to be facing a losing battle to reverse the effects of global warming. If more cities strive to be sustainable sooner rather than later, humans might still be able to turn the tide. Either way, sustainable cities are the future of this planet.
Christina Lee is a lifestyle content specialist and editor at Coursework help and Academized. She writes about sustainability tips for such services, as PhD Thesis writing, and others.