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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Five Green Cities Around the World

Source: Bobzworldcity

We asked our friendly sustainable architect Noémie Benoit and this was her selection, the hot picks for new sustainable cities.  Noémie says:

Top-down or bottom-up approaches are propelling cities to be front-runners in sustainability.  Every month, new initiatives begin and new cities get engaged.  It always makes me very happy to see how much will and determination the sustainability path engages.  These five top cities are my current source of inspiration.  Although we do not hear so much about them, they are actually doing it.

Todmorden, UK - The vegetable garden
In this small town in the North of England, vegetables have replaced flowerbeds and green areas, schools' gardens, car parks and even roofs.  All inhabitants have direct access to local food and the ‘Incredible Edible’ project has stimulated citizens’ initiatives as well as private-public partnerships.

Rotterdam, The Netherlands - The energy cascading city
As part of its climate adaptation plan for 2025, the Rotterdam municipality is leading a whole research program of which the REAP, (Rotterdam energy approach & planning) is one of its great findings.  The principle of energy-cascading is one of the fundamental aspects of energy smart grids by sharing needs in energy of different qualities at every scale of urban development.

Barjac, France - Organic farming goes through societal structure transition
Departing from the municipal canteens to the agriculture of the local economy, conventional farming is being discussed in this small town of the Gard in France.  Initiated by a responsible mayor, the actions and debates bring to the table the challenges of our current system and propose other solutions based on local circuits and education.
To know more: Jean-Paul Jaud, Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution, 2008 French documentary film, J+B sequences

Mumbai, India - A cradle-to-cradle city (not yet certified)
In 2010, guided by the president of a NGO in Dharavi, I discovered the amazing recycling entrepreneurs gathering, sorting and transforming all the garbage of the Mumbai metropolis.  Across workshops, factories and streets, it was plastic, aluminum or even metal.  However, they plan to redevelop the whole area for a 'modern' city destroying the slums’ urban fabric and facilitating micro-economies and the culture of recycling.  Where will the garbage of Mumbai go…?

Melbourne, Australia - Integrating water cycle management into urban planning
Also known as WSUD, Water Sensitive Urban Design.  The key principles of this strategy are the protection of natural water systems in urban development, as well as the integration of stormwater treatment into the landscape, the reduction of runoff and peak flows and the minimisation of the drainage infrastructure cost by ecologically managing stormwater in the city through design solutions and planning.

Blog by Noémie Benoit

Noémie is passionate about technology for sustainable development and received first prize in the Green Architecture Competition 2012.  You can find out more about her project here.

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