-full wp-image-1353″ title=”phuket” src=”http://climate.america.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/phuket.jpg” alt=”Apartment complex in Phuket, Thailand that is part of the city’s greening project.” width=”562″ height=”402″ />
According to the World Bank, 60% of all people are projected to live in cities by 2030. As more people move into cities, those cities must absorb the impact: in terms of infrastructure, housing, roads, social services, food, and myriad others.
One idea that many governments, communities and cities are exploring is the idea of sustainability and sustainable growth. This includes revamping existing infrastructure and services to be more efficient and less resource intensive (and often better for the environment), while also planning for growth with a similar mindset. Cities exploring sustainable growth are often looking for ways to reduce environmental impact and waste of energy, water and food. Included in these plans are different environmental criteria, and can include air quality, recycling, transportation, agriculture and many others.
An incredible example of this is the 100% energy independent Danish island of Samsø. Samsø is admittedly a small island, with only 4,000 inhabitants, and it is true that many cities have significantly larger populations that will require changes on a much larger (and more expensive) scale. But Samsø serves as a stunning example of what innovation and community can accomplish when the focus is on energy efficiency, energy independence, and sustainability. Learn more about the island from these short interviews with Søren Hermansen, one of the founders of the project.
Has your city or town taken any sustainability measures, such as instituting a recycling program or offering incentives for biking, taking public transportation, walking or carpooling instead of driving a car to work?