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  • Updated: May 24, 2023

Climate Crisis: What Ten Amazing Cities Around The World Are Doing

Urban forests, wooden skyscrapers and 3D-printed homes are the pioneering city initiatives that could help save the planet. 

We don't want to blame cities for climate change, yet they have a lot to answer for. 

The global expansion of megacities has delivered incalculable advantages to billions of people. 

Without cities, we would not have the employment, lifestyle, or world that we have.

There were the trees and fauna that we have lost and continue to lose.

If we are to heal the harm that humans have caused on the earth, meaningful transformation must occur in major cities such as London, Tokyo, and New York, among others. 

Fortunately, there is already a lot of inventive, environmentally friendly stuff going on in cities big and small.

Here are ten bright ideas from around the world that could help us preserve our lush metropolitan lives for centuries to come.

1. Basel Is Planting Wildflowers On Every Flat Roof

Every flat roof in Basel, new and old, will soon have a flourishing wildflower garden. 

The inner city has made it a mandate for the past decade or two that all residences, workplaces, and other structures cover empty roof space with biodiverse flora. 

All of that natural insulation equals cheaper energy costs, and the initiative has also increased the visibility of uncommon birds around the city.

2. Tallinn Has Made All Public Transport Free

Tallinn's major worry when it launched free public transportation in 2013 was not the climate issue. 

The government's primary goal was to boost the mobility of low-income individuals, but as the disaster deteriorated, the city began to notice environmental advantages as well. 

Tallinn has provided the framework for cities to develop a functional, financially feasible system that prioritizes mass transportation over private automobiles - a transformation that is required to drastically decrease global emissions.

3. Paris Is Going Car-free (In The Centre, At Least)

Last year, Paris installed tens of kilometres of new bike lanes, making it simpler than ever to avoid driving in the City of Light. 

It now hopes to go even further, prohibiting most automobiles entirely in the first four arrondissements beginning in 2022. 

Cars would be unable to drive through a large portion of the city, ranging from the Place de la Bastille to the Place de la Concorde.


4. Tokyo Is Showing Other Cities How To Cool The Eff Down

Tokyo tested several sorts of cooling technologies in the run-up to the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic games to combat the city's searing summer heat. 

Many pieces of technology, from solar-blocking paint and misting towers to cleaner types of air conditioning and structures built of wood rather than steel and concrete (such as the brand-new Japan National Stadium, shown), have proven beneficial in decreasing the 'heat island' impact. 

As the world keeps getting warmer, the measures introduced in Tokyo are relevant to cities across the globe. 

5. Austin Is 3d-printing An Entire Neighbourhood

Why is a 3D-printed house environmentally friendly, you ask? Simply put, the world's population is rising, and we're going to need a lot more housing, soon. 

Because software and machine-based construction consume less energy, waste fewer resources, and create properties to better standards than conventional building methods, the environment suffers significantly less in principle. 

Austin, Texas, is constructing a whole neighbourhood of 3D-printed homes, aiming to create a precedent for a more efficient and ecological solution to the worldwide housing issue.


6. Bogotá Is Going On A Bike-lane-building Spree

During the epidemic, Bogotá increased its attempts to make biking the norm. 

The city built down 84 kilometres of emergency cycling lanes in March 2020 to enable vital personnel to go to work, and another 280 kilometres will be added soon. 

Because of this strategy, Colombia's capital already has the greatest bicycle usage in Latin America, and it is set to become even more of a cyclist's paradise in the coming years.

7. Amsterdam Is Embracing A Funny-named Economic Model

In Amsterdam, the government and grassroots campaigners have banded together to accept the so-called 'doughnut' economic model, which now influences all city decisions and policy-making. 

The major goal is to establish a sustainable future for the earth while simultaneously serving the requirements of the human population: the doughnut is the sweet spot that all governments should strive towards. 

The result? The city has set several lofty goals, ranging from renewable energy and green areas to developing sustainable food systems and lowering consumption.

8. Durban Is Changing Lives With Free Cooking Bags

The Global South is already facing the brunt of the consequences of the climate catastrophe. And women suffer disproportionately. 

However, officials in the South African city of Durban have discovered a method to benefit the environment while also combating gender inequity. 

It distributed 60,000 Wonderbags last year alone: large fabric holdalls into which pots and pans may be placed to continue slow-cooking meals for hours after you remove them from the burner. 

Lowering carbon emissions, conserving water, and reducing indoor air pollution: a win-win-win situation.


9. Milan Is Being Transformed Into An Urban Forest

Three million. That is the magic amount of trees Milan plans to plant by 2030. 

This equates to one new tree for every person, and the city is planting trees on roadways, in parks, and even on skyscraper balconies. 

Unlike many other'regreening' initiatives, the city is thinking locally, identifying the regions with the greatest temperatures and the optimum locations for creating 'green corridors' to connect existing woods. 

It now hopes to urge other cities to follow suit.


10. Barcelona Is Banning Cars From Entire ‘Superblocks’

Barcelona is famed for its grid-like structure, and the city is using it to restrict traffic from massive, newly created superblocks: groups of dozens of neighbouring streets. 

Cars are only permitted to drive around the perimeter of each block, thereby pedestrianizing a large portion of the centre (and considerably improving air quality). 

The goal is to eventually build 503 superblocks that span the whole Catalan city.

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Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi
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