Building a Green City

The population of a city is vaguely 100,000 to one million. Some have over ten million people. Some characteristics of a city are the communities people form, the traffic, housing, accessibility to services, transportation throughout the city, etc. Around 75% of Co2 emissions are caused by cities. With such a compact area creating large amounts of pollution it is intimidating to think of all the damage that will be caused to the earth. Luckily cities across the globe are limiting and compromising their lifestyles in order to stop climate change. Places like Berlin, Portland, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Amsterdam, and even Raleigh are part of the new “going green” movement. 

The world’s most authoritative mayors have come together to discuss the issue of climate change and looked for ways finding they could change their communities for the better. This network of 94 large cities is called CO4 and has made a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions to half and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius. They announce the global Green New Deal. By agreeing to reach this goal, each city has set out their own restrictions and improvements in order to create a healthier planet.

There are community gardens placed throughout many cities. Community gardening is a great way for citizens to come together and work for a good cause. Not only do people get fresh food, but having gardens will have many positive effects on the environment. They improve the quality of air and soil, there will be less waste due to composting, and it will improve water filtration. Insects and animals as well will benefit from the increase in biodiversity and a healthy habitat. Winston Salem, North Carolina has the oldest community garden in the United States. The Forsyth Community Garden started in 1759 and has been active to this day. Detroit, Michigan has been mentioned in Forbes Magazine for producing over 400,000 pounds of fresh produce each year. 

Cities are filled with busy people that need to go places. Transportation is a huge component in anyone’s lifestyle. A car’s exhaust admit is one of the top pollutants causing greenhouse gases to escape from the atmosphere. This will have a long-term effect on the world that will be irreversible. There are many solutions to this issue with some being; electric run vehicles, trains/subways, and bikes. Amsterdam, Netherlands main form of transportation is cycling.There are 70,000 more bikes than residents.  About 68% of all traffic during rush hour is caused by bikes, and 38% of overall traffic is from bikes. In Raleigh, North Carolina, there are many plug-in stations throughout the city for electric cars. The university also partnered with Lime bike and Bird for easy access to battery powered bikes. These allow anyone to rent a bike by every thirty minutes for quick and attainable transportation.

Planting more trees and shrubs is another way cities have found to prevent climate change. Many buildings have rooftop gardens, but some places took it to another level and created “vertical gardening”. Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong have created walls with built in vegetation. Japan has been known for building these green walls since 1970. The goal of vertical gardening is to help with air pollution and build micro-climates. They can also help prevent sun rays from going into people’s homes. “A real vertical forest that will help to regenerate local biodiversity, will provide a 25 tons of CO2 absorption each year and will produce about 60 kilograms of oxygen per day.” Stated Boeri, an architect in Nanjing China. 

 Although they are the main producers of climate change, cities are also the leaders in trying to find ways to end it. Some methods range from urban gardens to efficient transportation and incorporating vegetation in buildings. Many cities around the world are finding new efficient ways to create a green lifestyle.

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