A few months ago, Resonance Consultancy, a group that’s an expert in tourism real estate, and economic development, released their annual list of greenest cities in the world. At the top of their list is Vienna, Austria. It has landed the 36th spot on the overall list of best cities in the world. But it’s the best at being eco-friendly.
So this stands to question, what makes a city sustainable? First, the people of Vienna enjoy a lot of open and green spaces. This abundance of nature helps them get their daily dose of fresh air and sunlight. And it reduces the city’s carbon emissions.
But an eco-friendly city is more than just the abundance of green public spaces. Sustainability must also be rooted in people’s individual acts and their everyday activities. It’s also rooted in how businesses run in a city. These are three things that a city can do to become greener.
Doing Individual Acts for the Environment
It’s always been said that in order to change communities, we must start by changing ourselves. And that’s true. To create a city that’s run by sustainability, we, as individuals, must practice sustainability first. We can start with excess buying, which is the root of other acts that hurt the environment.
We don’t always notice this but when we visit a shopping district, more often than not, we end up leaving with more than just want we need. That would lead to more plastic and more waste. There are many ways to help control our buying urges. One way of doing so is by relying on cash transactions. The tangibility of money helps us monitor our spending much easier. Another good way is relying on a checking account. Just the mere act of writing on a check and using that to pay will help us be more aware of how much we’re spending.
Improving Public Transportation, Bike-friendliness, and Walkability
In the United States, especially in urban areas, transportation is the greatest contributor to carbon emissions. It’s rated at 28.2 percent. It beat electricity production and industry, which includes the factories. Truth be told, this information doesn’t really surprise people. This is because of the congestion of cars in cities all over the world every single day.
But there’s a clear way to solve this issue. And that is urging people to reduce their use of private vehicles. Local governments must invest in improving the transit systems of their cities. Make trains and buses more people-friendly so more people would be inclined to use public transportation.
They should also work on improving bike lanes and sidewalks. Thus, people would be more open to riding bikes and walking–which don’t have carbon emissions at all.
Upholding Sustainability Practices in Business and Trading
Trading of goods and globalization helps create stable jobs for people. They help in developing economies. But they also account for high rates of carbon emissions. Trading puts more trucks filled with goods on the road. It puts more cargo ships out in the sea.
In a city, we might think that there’s not much that we can do to help the trading industry be more eco-friendly. But that’s not necessarily true.
Just the mere act of lessening trucks on the road can make a difference for the environment. Local governments can enforce a particular schedule for trucks to be allowed on the road to lessen carbon emissions going into the atmosphere.
Cities can always do more to become more eco-friendly. It’s not easy. After all, a green city similar to Vienna wasn’t created in a day. But with strategic impacts from individuals and businesses, we can help the environment by reducing our carbon emissions in any way that we can.