Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is a Car-free Community Possible?

Green Cities Around the World

Maria Colenso at How Stuff Works highlights what she calls “5 Amazing Green Cities” around the world, including Malmo, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, Canada; and Reykjavik, Iceland.

What makes these cities so amazingly green?

Good urban planning – Portland has been celebrated for its combination of urban and outdoor space, today offering 92,000 acres of green space in its city and miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails.

Green living – Copenhagen is renowned for its commitment to clean water, while Vancouver’s residents use solar-powered trash compactors.

Renewable energy – Malmo uses nuclear energy, hydropower, biofuels, wind and solar energy. More than 10% of Denmark’s electricity comes from wind mills, and 90% of Vancouver’s power comes from hydroelectric energy. The small city of Reykjavik relies entirely on hydro and geothermal energy for electricity, hot water and heat.

Transportation – 1.7 million in Copenhagen favor bikes and the metro system over cars, while Portland is hailed as the bicycle capital of the US.

What makes your city green? What would you like to do to be more green?

Bicycling for Social Change and Community Building