The environmentally conscious among us dread the thought of visiting cities choked up with dirt and pollution. Making cities greener is not easy, but here are five shining examples of how it can be achieved, making these cities worth putting on your bucket list.
Committed city counselors around the world understand that in order to attract tourists, they need to clean up their cities. Finally, plastics are being phased out, with authorities globally acknowledging their polluting effects on the environment, and are passing regulations to ban or minimize their use. The plastic industry started in 1907, but only grew rapidly in the 1950s. Over the next 65 years the annual production increased 200-fold to 381 million tons in 2015. Waste management presents the biggest challenge for most cities, but some seem to be winning this war with huge re-cycling and clean-up efforts.
Carbon emissions are being checked and greener technology introduced, making walking through some cities an absolute pleasure. Read on and find out which cities are currently the offering the best example of how we all can contribute to a greener culture.
Iceland depends on natural its resources and their sustainable management and has strongly advocated against the pollution of the oceans, given that their economy depends on fisheries and exports of seafood. Travelers to the city can enjoy an array of aquatic activities, but the ocean surrounding the island and its fresh water resources – glaciers, rivers and thermal springs – are pristine, and visitors to the island are encouraged to drink from them. Iceland is a pioneer of geothermal energy, making it one of the greenest environments globally.
The government of this island nation enforces a clean campaign and has had a fifty year obsession with hygiene and cleanliness. According to a BBC report, the country spends $ 87 million annually on keeping public spaces clean, and collect tens of thousands in fines from littering. In combination with the fines, clean-up days and public education ensure that it’s a city many desire to visit over again.
Creating a healthy and clean community is the aim of city counselors. Their efforts include environmental education about greener lifestyles and include waste elimination from the streets. The city has imposed fines for littering and private efforts encourage composting. Calgary’s goal, according to The Guardian, is to divert 80% of its waste from landfills by 2020. Visitors to the city are impressed by how clean it is.
Through an initiative known as “Umaganda”, a word with many meanings, relating to “community” and “payment”, the Rwandan government has succeeded in tiding up its capital, Kigali, without the threat of harsh fines. Their effort involves the whole community, and every last Saturday of every month, all locals are required to participate. This ensures that no matter how much rubbish is lying around it will be picked up. If you are entering the country, make sure that you are not bringing in any plastic bags with, because their use has been completely banned.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai has gone through a construction boom, but they have implemented national plans like Dubai Plan 2021 and Dubai Clean Energy Strategy2050 and are closely scrutinizing the environmental impact caused by human activities. The new development of a $354 million housing project, called Sustainable City, is scheduled for completion next year. The homes will be solar-powered and the cars used will be self driven. Dubai is meeting the challenges of the future head-on, and a city worth visiting to see its efforts.