5 Key features of sustainable cities

How green cities can actually change lives

What does it take for cities to finally become a little more sustainable? And is it even that difficult? Here’s how we can transform a metropolis to make a difference for the planet and its people!

Environmentalism and sustainability are two causes that have been spreading across the globe in recent years amidst the growing risks of climate change, global warming, inequality, and exploitation, as well as the rapidly-depleting natural resources. While it is commendable that you are doing your best to aid the preservation of the environment and to support conservation wherever you can, and while it is amazing that you are choosing to support sustainable brands, the only way we can truly make a difference is if we implemented environmentalism and sustainability on a much larger scale.

Hence, some countries have started supporting and funding the concepts of green and sustainable cities in an attempt to reverse the effects humans are having on the environment, improve the quality of life for their citizens, and inspire the community to go green. Today, we’ll be looking at the key features every sustainable city should have, and how it can change lives for the better.

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1. Providing access to public resources

Every person should have equal and unequivocal rights to certain resources provided by the government in the city they live in, which will help them preserve their well-being, pursue their goals and aspirations, and move towards true self-actualization. In other words, one of the foundational pillars of a sustainable city is the right to public resources such as education, access to medical centers, transportation, telecommunication, good air and water quality, safety, sanitation, garbage disposal services, and other living necessities. 

As you might have gathered, providing every citizen with access to these and many other resources is a challenging task that requires planning and long-term strategizing, infrastructure optimization and adaptation and huge monetary investments. Nevertheless, this is a pillar of sustainability that every modern city should have, especially in these times of overpopulation and rapid urbanization.

2. Building thriving green spaces

The modern urban environment is disturbingly bereft of green spaces and natural elements that citizens need in order to lead healthy lives unencumbered by stress accumulated by noise and pollution, heat radiating from concrete surfaces, and other elements that reduce their overall quality of life. This is why one of the top priorities for local governments should be to build thriving green spaces throughout the urban environment that will produce natural shade, cleanse the air, and eliminate noise pollution.  

This is a challenge that governments can overcome with the help of their citizens, as attested to by the fact that in India more than 1.5 million people gathered to plant 66 million trees in just 12 hours. These kinds of campaigns, sanctioned by the government and supported financially by private companies, can help cities become thriving green metropolises.

5 Key features of sustainable cities
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3. Emphasizing public safety with lighting

One of the most important elements of a truly sustainable city is, of course, public safety and general well-being. A sustainable city not only emphasizes public safety, but it does so by combining green solutions with technology and innovation in order to achieve efficiency in numerous ways. 

For example, by implementing sustainable LED street light solutions across the urban map, governments can easily elevate the safety of their citizens while building energy-efficient lighting grids that will minimize costs and long-term monetary investments, all the while aiding energy conservation. This is why street lighting is so important in urban development, and why it should lead the way towards a greener and safer future for all. 

4. Integrating smart technologies

Technology is quickly revolutionizing every industry in the world in the commercial and residential sectors, as it aims to elevate our quality of life while helping up safeguard the environment and create a more sustainable living model for future generations. With the integration of IoT technologies in public spaces across the city, every citizen can stay connected at all times to various public and private services. This includes immediate access to emergency services as well, which will greatly help improve public safety and health. 

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5. Focusing on conservation and preservation

Finally, cities need to move towards the implementation of green energy and water conservation. A big part of this challenge is getting people to adopt more sustainable ways of living, but it’s also about leveraging solar, wind, and nuclear power to ensure that everyone has access to electricity in an affordable way while minimizing the city’s CO2 production. 

Likewise, water conservation should be paramount in the face of increasingly-frequent water shortages around the world, which can be achieved by changing the public mindset, but also by maintaining and upgrading the existing infrastructure, protecting natural water sources, and incentivizing the public and private sectors to integrate water-saving systems and technologies.

The green revolution is underway around the world, but unfortunately, governments are not implementing sustainable solutions fast enough to make a noticeable difference. Now that you know what constitutes a truly sustainable urban environment, you can help support the cause and nudge your local authorities to start investing in environmentalism and sustainability.

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5 Key features of sustainable cities
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Lana Hawkins

Lana Hawkins is a stay-at-home mom, writer, and interior design enthusiast. She loves writing about interiors, but her specialty is landscape design. She enjoys playing in the kitchen and cooking for her friends and family, spending time in nature and learning about other cultures by traveling. She is a regular contributor to smoothdecorator.com

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