Individual effort towards environment preservation contributes, but little to the Ecology and the need of the century is to have entire cities running on sustainable measures. The world’s top green cities have reduced their impact on the environment the most and have progressive strategy to further incorporate sustainable resources into the mainstream city-plan.
The capital of Iceland is the world’s popular green city. It is the largest city in the country and has a population of only 120,000 people. It has aptly utilized its geysers, volcanoes and waterfalls to generate energy. The heating mechanism and electricity for the entire city is produced from natural resources. The transportation in the city is swiftly switching to Hydrogen. Iceland has a thorough plan to become a zero-emission, zero-impact country by 2050.
Portland in Oregon is the first city in the US that actually drafted a sustainable development plan, the success of which is evident from power generation from renewable resources for half the city’s requirement. But, the city intends to rely totally on only renewable energy resources. Around 50 buildings in Portland have the USGBC certification; the most in any city in the US. Moreover, around 25% of its population travels by bicycles or other means of mass transportation. About ¼ of Portland is covered by canopy of trees. More than 100km of biking and hiking paths, 92,000-acre green expanse and 288 parks have laid foundation of this city.
About 30 km of waterfront and 200 parks make Vancouver a naturally green city in the world. The inspiration comes from the Green building strategy that was adopted in 2005 to ensure that every new building construction is environmentally optimized. The city may soon introduce solar-powered trash compactors that can hold 5-times the waste a regular bin can contain and will eventually reduce the number of dumpers plying on the streets. Vancouver generates about 90% of energy from renewable resources and is a leader in hydroelectricity. Research is going on for a 100-year sustainable development plan.
Hydro and nuclear power are primary resource for electricity generation in Malmo, the Swedish city that recycles 70% of the waste generated by its population. It is commendable feat considering that a single city has more than a dozen recycling plants. Mixture of bio and natural gas is used as fuel for the buses in Malmo. Incredibly, large numbers its residents use bicycles or walk to and from locations. Botanic roof gardens, electric street trains and buildings with dedicated green spaces are characteristics of this amazing green city.
Copenhagen has made green roof compulsory for every new building in the city, which will have 5,000 square-meters of additional greenery as a result of it. Besides, its offshore windmill site is the largest in the World and supplies power to 32,000 homes within Copenhagen apart from bearing 10% of the entire country’s electricity requirement. The Danish city has also won the European Environmental Management Award for public waterways cleaning and long-term environmental sustainability plans.