Looking for a great place to move (or at least take a trip to) to see what the future will look like? Check out these five great, green cities— they are just the first to take the steps necessary to help our planet support us into the future. They’ve all done it, and done it well— so there is really no excuse for the rest of the world. If you can’t make it out to any of these places, just take some ideas from what they have done and bring them to your town hall, governor, or neighbor. If we clamor for change, we will bring it around!
1. Reykjavik, Iceland
This is one place that will certainly suffer if global warming has its way! They’ve done their part to ensure that energy alternatives to fossil fuels are put into practice through a fleet of hydrogen buses. The entire country’s heat and electricity comes exclusively from renewable geothermal and hydropower sources, as well—a feat unmatched anywhere else in the world. They plan to become fossil-fuel-free by 2050, and it seems that they are well on their way to reaching their goal.
2. Portland, Oregon, U.S.
This is the first U.S. city to enact a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, something that will be completely mandatory everywhere eventually. They have mastered green building, as the city boasts 92,000 acres of green space and more than 74 miles of hiking, running and biking trails. Additionally, their transportation system is ruled by light rail, buses and bike lines to limit the number of cars on the road.
3. Curitiba, Brazil
The lucky citizens of Curitiba have a bus system that is recognized as one of the best in the world, a flock of 30 sheep employed with trimming the grass in municipal parks, and over 580 square feet of green space per inhabitant. No wonder 99 percent of the locals are happy with their hometown.
4. Malmö, Sweden
This town is known already for its huge parks and large amount of green space, but the urban planners behind Sweden’s third-largest city are not resting on their laurels. Many neighborhoods have undergone massive, green transformations on the city’s way to becoming an “eco-city”.
5. Vancouver, Canada
The largest city is British Columbia draws 90 percent of its power from renewable resources, as it is a worldwide leader in hydroelectric power. They plan to replace the remaining ten percent with wind, solar, wave and tidal energy. What they can’t accomplish immediately is surely included in their 100-year plan for sustainability.