Neat Eco-Neighbourhoods!

There are several green initiatives going on around the world. These planned communities are doing their part to mitigate their impact, and we should definitely take some cues from them.

For example, Utrecht, Holland uses only public transit and bikes for travel around the city.

In the United Arab Emirades the world’s first zero carbon, zero waste city has been produced. It is powered by solar-powered umbrellas that provide shade during the day, collect heat and release it later in the night when the temperature cools. The city of Masdar will be complete by 2016 and includes a plaza, hotel, convention centre, entertainment complex and retail facilities.

The city of Giethoorn, Holland doesn’t have a single road! Rather it uses waterways, paths and biking trails as means of transportation. Known as “the Venice of Netherlands” there are 7.5km of canals, making it a popular tourist spot.

Groningen, Netherlands, is the largest car-free centre in Europe. The city of 16,500 is closed off to traffic. Only a quarter of the population owns a car and 40% off all journeys are made by bicycle.

Similarly the Vauban development in Germany was a green, grassroots initiative, again, to minimize vehicle emissions. Taking after Groningen, this city is one of the largest car-free neighbourhoods in Europe. Residents are required to confirm once a year that they don’t own a car, or if they do own one, they are required to buy a spot in a parking garage priced at a whopping $23,000 (US). Peter Heck, a professor at Germany’s University of Trier, says:

“Before you had pilot projects. Now it’s like a movement, the idea of saving energy for our landscape is getting into the basic planning procedure of German cities.”

Canada’s most eco-friendly city is Vancouver. The populous BC city sets a good example drawing 90% of its energy from renewable sources.

It seems that these eco-neighbourhoods are catching on! Whether it be metropolis’ converting to sustainable development or small villages reducing their carbon footprint – communities world-wide are changing their ways! These environmentally friendly spots are not only beneficial to the environment by utilizing public transit to reduce carbon emissions from cars, but they also promote a  sense of community.

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