Until very recently in human history, most of the world’s population lived in rural areas. Now most people live in cities. What do you think of when you think about cities and sustainability?
I suspect that most of us still have vestiges of the rural mindset and think of cities as crowed and dirty.
A lot of them are, but with most people living in cities, humanity will find sustainability completely out of reach until our cities become green. Cities account for 75% of the world’s energy use, for example.
The greenest cities have to be among the largest. The largest cities have some inherent advantages, such as the population density necessary for really good public transportation. Practices like using renewable energy or replacing traffic signals with LED lights have a greater environmental impact in a large city than in a small one.
So how are we doing? Which major cities in the world are most successfully becoming green? That’s not an easy question to answer. We have so many variables to measure and weigh. The following infographic looks especially at energy use. It highlights the activities of four cities in the US, one in Canada, and five in Northern Europe.
Infographic created by HalfPrice.co .au