The countries of this world are developing at a swift pace in terms of technology and innovation and while it has all been good on the economic front, the planet has definitely suffered. According to a report by UN habitat, around 3 million people move to cities every week which makes them overcrowded and a home to multiple problems. Now, while we do not have anything against people moving to cities, the fact that there are only so many resources that a city can offer- well, that is definitely a big concern.
Urbanisation has dire consequences as well as it leads to encroachment of land, pressure on natural resources, impact on infrastructure, medical services and education. All these factors lead to immense pressure on the environment. However, it isn’t that people are not becoming aware. Rather, if we look at the trends, then the awareness of an average individual towards what and what doesn’t affect the nation has been at an all time high. People these days think before they act and needless to say, the governments have had an important role to play in all of this too.
The city plans are now being devised to ensure that adequate representation is given to the environmental concerns. Planting x-number of trees for every stretch of housing is now being implemented at multiple levels. In this blog, we will talk about some such sustainability trends and also the cities or countries that have been working towards an effective implementation of the same.
The Major Sustainability Trends
Let’s discuss some of the sustainable city trends that have gained quite a traction across the globe and inspired the other countries to make a move towards a cleaner and sustainable environment.
- Recycling has been one of the techniques for effectively reducing waste. Recycling helps in utilising the trash to make different things and use them for various purposes. The entire smart city idea in India also rests largely on the concept of reduce-reuse and recycle when it comes to waste management.
- Another trend that has caught major attention is cutting the use of plastics and moving towards eco-friendly paper or jute bags. The plastic is dumped in, even the landfills, does not decompose and thus creates problems for the earth. It also lands in the water bodies further polluting them and endangering the aquatic ecosystem. Lately, efforts are being made to reduce the plastic usage and replace it with more commercially viable eco-friendly alternatives
- The emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased rapidly, the primary contributor being carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is depleting the ozone layer and leading to Global warming. It is therefore essential to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Alternatives like vertical gardening, energy-saving options, transport like bicycles which do not require fuel or petrol have also brought into use. All these can positively help in sustaining the health of the environment.
- Another sustainable trend to be looked into is the focus on automobile manufacturing and applying such techniques to promote fuel-free cars. The leading example in this regard is Tesla, the firm that is making cars and vehicles that run on electricity. The concept of self-driven cars is also popular and is practised in many cities, and following the footsteps, the automobile industry can be reshaped, and sustainability can be ensured.
- Different technologies and ideas have helped in facing many environmental challenges. The technological innovation has helped in finding alternative solutions to water utilisation, reduced consumption of energy, farming, transport, etc. Renewable sources of energy, carbon removal techniques have already been in use which has helped in creating a safe and sustainable environment.
- In the area of building and construction, different concepts and techniques have been worked upon successfully. The idea of green building and dealing with the waste generated during the construction of buildings effectively is also being implemented. With the effective implementation of technology, companies can now reduce and smartly manage the waste generated from buildings. Cities like Singapore have built vertical gardens on the top of the buildings to support a green and clean environment for instance.
The Cities Implementing These Trends
These are some sustainable city trends which have been implemented and achieved by some cities across the globe. These cities have set an example for the other cities to make the environment a healthy, clean and sustainable place to live in. Let’s have a look at some of the eco- friendly cities which have achieved these goals and contributed towards a sustainable environment.
- Vancouver, Canada- It is a beautiful travel destination which is surrounded by mountains, forest and oceans. The city in Canada is focused on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and aims at achieving a cleaner, greener and safer environment through mostly focussing on urban ecology restoration.
- Cape Town, South Africa- this City has developed alternative ways for reducing energy to create an eco- friendly environment. They are very focused on creating green places in the urban areas for the public to enjoy freely.
- San Francisco, California- this city has worked on many environmental issues like transportation, carbon dioxide emissions, water consumption, and alternative energy use. It is amongst the top 10 eco-friendly cities.
- Zurich, Switzerland- It is one of the most travelled places and popular among tourists. The city aims at using renewable energy projects and invests significantly in the sustainable energy plans. It aims at using 2000 watts per person by the year 2050.
- Bristol, England- The government in bristol aims at reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 40% by 2020. As per a report, the city has managed to save energy by 16%. It is the second-best city in the world in terms of environmental performance.
- Helsinki, Finland- Helsinki is the most famous tourist attraction and is visited by people throughout the year. This has led them to enforce an eco-friendly staying system for tourists. They have certified eco/friendly tag in almost all of their hotels and accommodations.
We have mentioned the trends and appreciated the cities across the globe, however, as we end this, we also need to mention about the superlative steps that the Indian Government has been taking in the field of sustainability. Starting from solar farms, to ensuring availability of gas to the poor, from planting trees to helping sustainable startups with incentives, a lot of effort is being put in.
At BuzzOnEarth, we feel that it is about time that we as citizens come together in this regard too to make sure that the pace at which the work is being done fastens and the results can be yielded earlier than expected.