What makes a city green?
Cities and sustainability… A little bit of a juxtaposing topic. However, with the proposed Paris Agreement on Climate Change, it is a responsibility which needs to be taken on by cities to improve the wellbeing of their residents; and the world.
A green city is focused on access to public resources; urban renewal actions; reduction of CO2 emissions; favouring ethical consumption and reduce, reuse, recycle. A lot of cities will use the doughnut economics model as a way of making their city more sustainable.
Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth.
“The idea behind the doughnut model is simple. if you only look at the shape of a doughnut, you see two circles. A small circle in the middle and a large circle on the outside. The smallest circle represents the minimal social objectives (basic-needs) that apply to each country. The large circle represents the self-sustaining capacity of the planet. All societies must develop policies that stay between the two lines. Where economic behavior nowadays has far-reaching consequences that go beyond both lines, future economic policy must aim to make societies thrive between the lines.” Written by Smart City Hub.com
After listening to Kate Raworths interview on The Kindness Economy with Mary Portas, I was eager to learn more. Mary opens up a strong discussion on what the world would need to do to implement doughnut economics and what is is.
Kate has also published the book doughnut economics (which is currently on my wish list!) the model was devised in 2012 and since then cities (like Amsterdam) has been implementing the circular model to create a more holistic space. The video below really helps us to understand the model further.
Our Top 3 Sustainable Cities in Europe
Here are three of my top 3 sustainable cities in Europe. Before the global pandemic I used to adore travelling through different cities, learning about their culture and sustainability tactics. So, Here are my top 3.
1. Reykjavik, Iceland
Watching Zac Efron on down to Earth really rekindled my love for Iceland and their green energy. Also, Zac travels globally with wellness expert Darin Olien to explore different communities and their holistic approaches.
100% of Iceland energy comes from a renewable resource, produced from the heat below the surface, and its waterfalls above. It shows to us the power of nature around us.
“Geologists say that Iceland has barely scratched the surface of its geothermal energy potential. The country’s National Energy Authority estimates that only 20-25% of the technically and environmentally feasible hydropower, and only 20% of the conventional geothermal potential available for electricity production in Iceland, have been harnessed.”From The Guardian
2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Dutch are the first to implement the Circular Doughnut Model into their city. However, it obviously is also the most bicycle friendly city in the world. It started the movement for cities to take on their own green policies.
All of their public transport is run by renewable resources. Hence, they take a lot of pride in being a green city.
There is a lot of diversity and inclusivity thriving in the Amsterdam community. Living there (I interned in Amsterdam while at University) I met so many incredible individuals with different stories to tell.
3. Berlin, Germany
Berlin has the most green spaces out of all the european cities ( according to culture trip.) it has the most parks, gardens and forest areas. However Berlin does have a lot of poverty and fuel consumption it needs to work on.
As a result, Whenever I think of Berlin, I think of their recycling systems. I remember visiting Germany in my teens and loving the amount of recycling bins they had to offer. This is something that they’re still outstanding for.
Finally, Berlin are also beginning to implement doughnut economics into their own city- this was announced end of last year.
Are they any other cities you would recommend for being green?
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