Top 10 Ways to Make Cities Greener

Top 10 Ways to Make Cities Greener

So geeks, apart from what’s listed in the infographic, what other technologies can you think of that should improve our cities in the near future? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: Best Sociology Programs

4 Responses to Top 10 Ways to Make Cities Greener

  1. If not dirt beds on the roof, why not solar panels to offset energy costs? If energy is generated on the rooftop, then less needs to be transported through grid, thus reducing footprint of grid infrastructure. Also, distributed generation technologies exist that would allow for local generation of power – some of these even run on methane produced by landfills and water reclamation ("sour" methane gas) and can generate power as a by-product of burning the flare. Reduces methane output into the atmosphere and generates more power.

    Telecommuting whenever possible would eliminate emissions associated with that day's driving. Switching to a more fuel-efficient vehicle or hybrid where electric is impractical is also a way of reducing emissions. I commute further than most EV's range permits, but drive a car with good fuel economy and watch vehicles with better economy and hybrid technologies with interest.

  2. Personally, I was quite disappointed that we didn't take the opportunity to engage a lot of these initiatives as part of rebuilding New Orleans post-Katrina. We could have bull-dozed 80% of the city out into the Gulf (to form the base of a new set of wetlands). Rebuilt entire neighborhoods with 100% fiber, new water and sewage pipes, and 100% buried power lines. Employed dozens of green efforts in every office park. Rebuilt the entire transportation infrastructure to strongly support mass transit. It would have been very expensive, and would have left New Orleans populated by few people other than construction workers for at least five years, but what dividends we could have reaped!

    One note about the urban farming and farmers markets initiative: While it is true that foodprint makes up a large portion of the carbon footprint, food transport constitutes only around 8% of the foodprint. Cutting beef and pork from your diet will have roughly ten times the impact on carbon as eating locally will. Urban farming does have a wide range of awesome benefits (controlling water runoff, cleaning the air, psychological benefits), but the locavore angle is a fairly small one.

  3. Ease or change regulations to allow more mixed-use buildings and live/work settings, so less energy needed for commuting. Especially where high rents are common in rent-control situations, should abolish or at least ease off such rent-controls to make it worth the time and effort for people to create new affordable units onsite where people work, so costs don't force people to commute so much from further affordable residences.

  4. Save energy by using fully-shielded smart street lights – they can be turned off or dimmed after hours when they are not needed and instantly brought back up when they are. This will not only save energy, it will cut down on light pollution.

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