Realistic and sustainable urbanism

Many cities are following the path to a green horizon.

Many cities are following the path to a green horizon.

That the Earth has more land occupied by virgin ecosystem garbage can feel that the only way out is to leave the skyscrapers and return to living in caves. But the application of certain controls could reduce the damage and start again in another direction. But to take measures for the quality of life of people and the environment is often oppose the convenience of businesses and organizations, which makes the process slower. In China, the State laws tried to cover the environmental problems caused by the growth of their industry. Professor of Peking University Jin Wang said in an article in the China Dialogue environmentalist most of the measures were unnecessary because the government does not deal with or stop the top consumers of renewable energy or pollution , which grew 25 percent in 14 years.

According to Forbes business magazine, Mexico City is the fifth among the dirtiest in the world, so much so that the air does not pass the quality test of the World Health Organization. Yet, in country level, only five percent of the 2449 municipalities is responsible for generating environmental protection projects such as solar water heating, biogas or the protection of biodiversity.

Even in cases such as California, where efforts to improve the ecosystem are welcome, are present corporate pressures with Koch Industries to the head. The second company-largest oil refining attempts to curb global warming law AB32, which calls for reducing carbon emissions in the jurisdiction to return to 1990 levels in 10 years.

Law ?

“The legislation should not generate consciousness, but setting limits, clear criteria and guidelines for sustainable citizenship. The problem is that many laws or rules that aim to change can be resisted, so many governments postpone its regulations and legislate only on matters that already have broad consensus. No risk”, said Matthew Rosenberg, a graduate in Political Science and Director of the Butterfly sustainability consultant.

In some countries the laws are favorable to the environment high on the agenda, and little by little cities that make up its side developed more Amish, changing habits of its inhabitants and landscape.

If one speaks of a city, probably the first problem that arises is that of transportation and the bicycle is the best solution being the most clean to move everywhere. In the United States, the League of American Bicyclists awarded to New Mexico to legislate in favor of transit requiring the two wheels of the cars away, and Portland for their exclusive network of more than 418 kilometers.

Other U.S. cities are also pioneers, such as San Francisco and New York. In the first, a 2007 law banned plastic bags from supermarkets and pharmacies, which were replaced by the gender of recyclable paper or reusable, and the second took effect this year a legislation controlling waste technology displaced, called e-waste. The need to recycle and reuse electronic equipment manufacturer requires a system to collect the products your buyers replaced by new ones. So you’re buying a notebook can leave the old in the business, though not of the same brand.

Further north, in Canada, Vancouver has positioned itself as a mecca of renewable energy by feeding 90 percent of its territory as hydropower. At the same time, the coastal city has a plan for 100 years to reduce their emissions, researching alternatives that offer both natural resources and the capacity of wind, waves and tides to generate renewable energy.

The old continent

In Europe, a practice such as green roofs or sprouts, became law in Copenhagen, which plans to cut its carbon emissions by 2025. In the capital of Denmark, all new buildings under 30 floors are required to plant vegetation on their roofs. The main benefits of the gardens in the highest, in addition to color that give the landscape, is absorbing 80 percent of rainwater, preventing flooding, and reduce urban temperatures acting as an insulator.

Spain was also responsible for sanctioning a new building code in 2006 that requires all homes to be built have solar energy to supply hot water system. This law increased the amount of solar panels of 1650 square meters to 14,028, according to the Energy Agency of Barcelona.

Germany’s rescue mainly ecological Vauban district in Freiburg, home to 5000 people and no cars coming. It is the largest consumer of solar power in the world, followed by Italy, Japan and the United States. In addition, their energy policies aim to close all nuclear plants in ten years, as explained by the Environment Minister, Norbert Röttgen, The New York Times. The process began shortly before the disaster of Fukushima in Japan, and since there are only nine of the 16 had.

In South America

More here, the collective system of Curitiba, Brazil, the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), is probably the best example to follow that brings South America. Its efficacy makes it use more than one million passengers per day, of which one third was traveling by car. Result: reduced by 30 percent fuel use per capita.

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