Green urban development initiatives might save our world 

 May 9, 2019

Over the last couple of decades, there has been
observed a massive migration to the urban areas causing the significant growth
of cities worldwide. Yet, urbanization is occurring at the cost of our
environment as urban sprawl, unplanned development, infrastructure development
all lead to the degradation of our environment. 
Thus, the demand for
greener and cooler cities increases rapidly all over
the world for a sustainable urban future that will allow our future generations
to have a healthy and green habitat.

Urban development specialists had to discover creative
ways to create sustainable infrastructures and clean energy for metropolises to
encourage the citizens to embrace a lifestyle that is in harmony with nature
and their societies.  They aim to create
a future in which blue sky, fresh air, and clean water won’t be a luxury but
rather a normal thing for all humans that live on our planet to have equal access
to.

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Why we need green urban development policies and
initiatives?

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It goes without saying that the need for sustainable
urban development initiatives has arisen as a result of the main environmental
concerns and changes that the whole world has started to experience. From heavy
air pollution, heavy waste pollution, to rising temperatures, and extreme
weather changes and phenomena, we have all been able to observe how our
reckless actions have damaged our planet.  

The increasing urban migration from rural areas is one
of the most powerful and hard to control factor that led to the struggle of
city governments to accommodate the rising population in these areas. Thus,
urban areas started to expand more and more, making concrete buildings and
asphalt to conquer and cover our natural environment. As forests and green
areas are cut down to build new cities or expand large metropolises, the high
air temperatures have become a significant public health threat. Thus, cities
are increasingly focused on finding strategies to minimize the impact of urban
development on both their citizens’ health and on our planet.

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The vicious cycle of waste

As cities from all around the world continue to grow,
so does the pollution humanity produces annually leading to enormous
amounts of waste that becomes more and more
difficult to manage. According to recent studies, cities from all around the
world generate about 1.3 billion tons of solid waste per year and specialists
are expecting this volume to reach 2.2 billion tons by 2025. Yet, the main
issue of the vicious cycle of waste management is the fact that most of the
cities lack the disposal abilities. Huge waste generation and the inability of
disposal are the causal relationship that led to the increasing negative
effects on our environment.  Urban
development initiatives and policies implemented in cities that produce more
waste that they can dispose of have become a necessity and aim to improve the
metropolitan framework for municipal solid waste. Many cities from all around
the world have started implementing recycling programs, policies, and even
laws, to encourage their citizens to dispose the waste of they produce in a
sustainable way. Another policy of urban development is supporting greener building
design and construction processes. All businesses have understood the need to
become more environmentally-friendly and change their business processes to
contribute to a healthier world. Thus, they have also started partnering with
eco-friendly suppliers that provide recycled materials and products. 

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Green rooftops

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Also
known as living roofs, green roofs can turn a concrete jungle into a more
sustainable place for its residents and less damaging for our environment. Green rooftops have a multitude of
benefits including lasting longer than conventional roofs, reducing energy costs,
and lowering urban temperatures. They have become a rising trend in
metropolises as they can absorb rainwater and improve drainage which is an
efficient tactic for boosting cities’ flood resiliency. Recycled aggregate and
soil products such as topsoil produced in a sustainable
manner are used to create a natural environment on the rooftops of the
buildings of urban areas all over the world.

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Sustainable sources of energy

Urbanization led to people living compact in the same
are which can have its benefits in protecting our planet, yet at the same time,
air pollution continues to rise due to the growing demand for energy,
transportation, and various industries. Cities from all around the world have
started to implement alternative renewable energy resources to lessen their
carbon footprint. Technological innovations and advancements have allowed
humans to explore alternative resources and create green ways to obtain energy
including ocean energy, geothermal energy, biomass energy, solar and wind
energy. Those alternative
energy sources are being installed on a large
scale in urban areas to decrease the negative impact on our planet and to meet
the rising demand for energy as the urban population continues to grow. 

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World’s 3 most eco-friendly cities

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We all have a long way to go before reaching ultimate
sustainability all over the world. But there are many cities all over the world
which have already succeeded in implementing environmentally-friendly
urban development policies which have improved the quality
of life of their citizens and reduced their carbon footprint
significantly.  Here are the world’s 3most
eco-friendly cities that have set a great example for other city governments to
follow:

Copenhagen, Denmark

For several years, Copenhagen has been voted the eco-friendliest
city in the world and is hailed as Europe’s Green Capital. The city has
developed a multitude of green ways of living and sustainability reaching a
point where the total number of bikes outcomes the total number of cars.

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Amsterdam, Netherlands

Also known as “The city of bikes”, Amsterdam is
another sustainable city that contains more bikes than people. The city is also
famous for supporting local farmers to provide their citizens with homegrown
organic food and most of its population use clothes made from green materials.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm was the first European city to be awarded the
name of the European Green Capital in 2010. The city is also known as one of
the cleanest cities in the EU, providing its citizens with green quality of
living conditions.

The more we continue to pollute the natural resources
of our planet, the more it becomes hazardous for our wellbeing in this world.

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