Category Archives: urban planning

coal plant

Stabilize greenhouse gasses

There are numerous ways that we can stabilize greenhouse gasses, thereby “stopping” climate change. Governments of 1st world and even developing nations must implement some of the following policies (and most might, at least implement some of the following, especially after the upcoming COP meeting of the UNFCCC in Paris). Clearly, the path to stabilize GHG emissions includes making it a priority for governments to financially invest in at least some of these solutions:

 

1. A carbon tax, or carbon cap-and-trade system, or both

2. Further investment in, and development of all forms of renewable energy including: wind, solar, geothermal and biomass/biofuel etc…

3. Carbon capture and storage

4. Widespread adoption of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, as well as sustainable mass transportation using biofuel or electricity (bus systems, light rail etc…)

5. More use of, and development of smart grid infrastructure – smart meters, home energy management systems etc…

6. Energy, especially renewable energy, storage

 

 

This is certainly an incomplete list, so please feel free to add points.

Green City Times

Top 5 greenest cities in the world

Visit http://www.greencitytimes.com for more on:

A Canadian city that is striving to be the greenest city on earth, consistently ranking as one of the most livable cities on the planet…

A European city that averages between 2-5 inches of rainfall each month, has rain year-round and temperatures between 30-50° F for at least half of the year, however is still considered Europe’s “solar city”….

An American city that leads the nation in recycling, and is planning on having a 75% recycling rate for all of the city’s reusable waste by 2015…

The city whose metropolitan population is among the largest in the world, yet still maintains almost 40% of its area as either green space or water (a sustainable metropolis)

A couple of European cities that make use of their tremendous natural resources to provide a supply of renewable energy for most of their heating and electricity demands. This energy is sourced from the natural environments of: volcanoesgeysers and forest

A South American city that serves as one of the world’s premier examples of urban planning and boasts the finest bus system in the world….

Vancouver - Greenest City 2020

Vancouver – Greenest City 2020

Vancouver is attempting to become the world’s greenest city by 2020. In order to achieve this, the city formed GCAT (Greenest City Action Team) from their city staff. The goals for GCAT are:

 

·       by 2020, create 20,000 new green jobs and become a center for green business

·       by 2020, reduce carbon emissions by 33% compared to 2007, and become a leading city in fighting climate change

·        by 2020, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce the demand for energy (over 90% of the city’s energy already is r.e., mostly hydroelectricity)

·        by 2020, all new industrial/ municipal construction to be carbon-neutral, improve efficiency of existing buildings by 20%

·        by 2020, over 50% of commutes by walking, biking or public transport

·        by 2020, reduce waste heading to landfills or incinerator by 40%

·       by 2020, plant an additional 150,000 trees so every resident lives within 5 minutes of a beach, park, greenbelt or other open space

·        by 2020, reduce per-capita ecological footprint by 33%

·        by 2020, beat WHO’s (World Health Organization) drinking water standards

·        by 2020, beat WHO’s clean air standards

·        by 2020, reduce carbon footprint of food production by 33% – focus on organic, local food production

·        Wind and solar farms also are energy sources to be used in the plan – through clean energy, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 1/3 by 2020

The priorities for implementing what are termed as “quick start actions” (initial actions to ensure Vancouver reaches the “greenest city” goal) are to reduce fossil fuel dependency and to create green jobs. Vancouver’s greenhouse gas emission targets are to get to 33% below 2007 by 2020 and 80% below 1990 by 2050. GCAT has begun to create their Green Economic Development Strategy (GEDS), implement a green jobs pilot project and begun to seek funding from the federal government and provincial governments for the new green economy…

 

 

Please see http://www.greencitytimes.com/Sustainability-News/vancouver-greenest-city-2020.html for the whole article.

Vauban's solar ship

Europe’s greenest city district

Vauban, Germany is a sustainable town for every other city in the world to emulate. Vauban is a “zero-emission” district in Freiburg, Germany.

The town is not completely carbon neutral, as cars are actually allowed, if you pay at least $23,000 USD for a parking spot on the outskirts of town. Thus, the majority of residents don’t own a car, choosing instead to use the tram, cycle or simply walk. Most streets don’t even have parking spaces.

The radical culture of Vauban has roots in its dramatic history. Ironically, Vauban was a military town through WWII and into the early 90’s. When the military left, the vacant buildings were inhabited by squatters. These vagabonds eventually organized Forum Vauban, organizing a revolutionary eco-community. Today, Vauban is modern, beautiful and represents the very cutting edge of sustainable living.

Careful urban planning helped to create a city layout which lends itself to cycling as the primary mode of transit. The terms “filtered permeability” and ”fused grid” refer to a plan that ultimately means connected streets throughout the town, as well as plenty of pedestrian and bike paths. Residents primarily live in co-op buildings, such as the “solar ship”, a large area of co-op buildings that run strictly on renewable energy…