Living in California, I see many different kinds of cities. There are huge urban centers like LA and San Francisco but also small farming and mining towns. To create a sustainable city, I think one must think of what makes both of those places enjoyable but also sustainable. For something to be both liveable and “green” you must take many ideas and put them all together. My city would be one with plenty of parks for the public to get away from urban life, and a priority on public transit. If the people have access to mass transportation and the city builds bike lanes throughout the streets, they will be less encouraged to drive cars and release more emissions. My city would promote solar energy on all buildings, and have all construction projects be LEED certified as low energy and low waste. Some buildings could even have gardens or “living roofs” on their roof such as the City Hall of Chicago. The grocery stores would cooperate directly with local farms instead of large corporations for meat and produce and host farmers markets on the weekends. Finally, the city will actively participate in activities to get the public interested in new ideas. The city can host marathons (for if the people exercise, chances are they’ll want to start eating healthy) and festivals that promote eco-friendliness and carbon cutting practices.
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The idea of an “ideal” city can have many meanings to different people. Some like the quiet, “homey” city where there is no need ot do anything in a rush. To others, an “ideal” city would be a “hustling-bustling” city, always moving, with no down time. And to others, the “ideal” city would be “green”, recycling, and environmental friendly. Since I live near Houston, there are few breaks, and the city is always moving and doing something. In the area where I live, my community is trying to keep the area clean, by putting dog waste pick up stations in various areas. Although this is a great addition, my “ideal” city would be green-friendly, but not too calm. The city would have many bike-friendly areas, and biking would be the main mode of transpotation. People could also walk from place to place if they do not want to ride a bike. The city would aslo have many home-grown fruits and vegetables, so they would be organic, instead of inorganic which can have various chemicals, and in my opinion, do not taste as good as organic fruits and vegetabels. Also, the meats and chicken would be organic, instead of “mass-produced” and filled with various chemicals so the meats would grow faster to meet the needs of the population. The ideal city would also be very Earth-friendly, with many recycling areas, because almost everything can be recycled. Grocery stores would bag up the groceries in paper bags, or people would bring their own reusable bags. My ideal city would be biker friendly, with little to no use for cars; organic, all the produce would be grown in the city and would be Earth friendly, with paper bags instead of plastic, or even better reusable bags.
When one thinks of an ideal city, people may think of the adjectives “pretty”, “beautiful,” or “busy”. Cities like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco might come to mind, if you live in the United States. But what would be an “ideal” city? Must this ideal city be “beautiful”? Imagine a city in which everything is recycled and nothing fulfills its purpose only once, a city where used Coke cans were compressed and used as walls for buildings. Or a city where instead of building up, we built down, making all the things we live in underground. A city where there were recycle bins everywhere there was a trashcan so there would be no cause for “lazy trashing.” A city where everything was powered by either solar energy or water turbines. A city where everything was grown in and underground the city naturally and organically. A city where everyone wore their clothes more than once and continued to wear them until they stopped fitting, not until they went ‘out of style.” A city where people could walk anywhere and everywhere. This ideal city would not be very beautiful, but if every city looked like this one, it would be beautiful compared to those around it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and beauty doesn’t have one definition. Something that is beautiful today might not be beautiful tomorrow, and something that would not be beautiful today might be beautiful tomorrow. This idea of “ideal city” is ever-changing, and maybe one day this city full of environmentally-wary ideas and people could exist and be considered truly beautiful.
An ideal city may sound nice, but it would be almost impossible to make it perfectly ‘green’. When we think of a city that it ideal- for us and the environment, a more techy landscape is what we have in mind. Machines in our homes that automatically seperate your trash from recycling, transport systems in every house to eliminate cars and solar panels for power. At first glance all these machines appear to be helping us help the environment, but are they really? With all the electricty need, solar panels won’t be enough and we will have to resort to nuclear powerplants or other harmful energy plants to compensate. So, even with all the ideal environment friendly technology you may envision, there are consequences. That is why in my ideal city I would not change how it looks or how it is but rather I would target the people. The only way that a city can be eco friendly is if the people inhabiting it can agree to work towards greener solutions. If we place recycling bins everywhere (much like some european countries) it wouldn’t effect the city if the people don’t utilize them. If we build a solar pannel plant, would the people invest money in the building project? If a greener form of public transportation was built, would people give up there cars and only use the better transport system? It all comes down to how motivated people are as a community. Some ways I could motivate people could start off as just an ad campaign. I could institute recycling bins first, host public events with games and food to raise awareness (public events with many people also helps reduce the electricity used to cook food- plus its great fun to hang with the people in your community) and I would even push to build bike lanes on the streets for those that are willing to really go the extra mile. Even though some additions are needed, many of those things have already begun in some communities. But it truly is your job to do your part in helping out the environment, your community, and the whole world.
See here the recycling habits of countries: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4620041.stm
See how riding bikes may help: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2007/nov/04/global-warming-riding-bikes-would-help-many-ways/
Hi, I am James from Taipei Taiwan. I am also a 9th grade student at Dominican International School. I had heard that there is a plan that the government is doing right now. It is a system that you can borrow bicycles from one place and return it at another place. Of course, you need to pay some money but the amount of money you pay will defiantly be less then the amount you need to pay for other transportations, except bus, for a shot distance. By using this new system you can reduce the amount of carbon used by you, exercise at the same time and save time as well. I personally wanted to try it some time but the problem is that there is no stations near my house. If there is a bicycle station in front of my school and another in front of the entrance of the MRT station, then I can save time for going to school.
An ideal green house would be built of adobe. Straw bales can be affordable, good structural material, but are one of the best insulators available. The adobe materials can be placed over them, to provide significant insulation and beauty. The water heater could be an energy efficient instant water heater, so no hot water must be stored or maintained. The roof would be either clay tiles or metal. Clay tiles are made from the earth and can last for many years. They are also a great insulator. However, metal roofs can now be made to look like clay tiles, and will last the lifetime of the home. The roof will also have sky lights with insulated glass that can be opened to exhaust air, and allow breezes to flow throughout the house. Solar panels on the roof can help aid in electrical costs for items like the water heater and appliances. Some eco-friendly floors would be bamboo, polished concrete, or tile. Windows should be put on the north and south sides of the house only, which will receive light all day in both the winter and summer, but will not have the extreme heating. You also need to pick a double-panned, argon-filled window for good insulation. (For more information see source at bottom.) Countertops can be made of either concrete or concrete materials that have glass within them, to make a beautiful finish, that recycles used glass. These things make an adobe house that doesn’t have to be heated or cooled because it is so well insulated. To capture energy for these homes, you could put solar panels on the roof or have geothermal heat pumps.
“World’s Greenest Homes.” Planet Green. Discovery Communicaions, LLC, n.d. Web.
11 Nov. 2012. <http: planetgreen.discovery.com=”” videos=”“ worlds-green-homes=”“/>.
Hi, my name is Tiffany Tsou and I study at Dominican International School in Taipei, Taiwan. I go by MRT (Mass Rapid Transmit) to school every day, and I have realized that it is one of the most used public transportation in our city. It is really convenient to travel around the city by the MRT, and it helps to reduce much of the pollution in our environment. On the other hand, local buses are not being used that widely these days. On my way to school, I can see fleets of buses travelling on the streets, but most of them are barely filled with passengers. Honestly, the government has tried to provide bus stations to most of the places in the city. But why aren’t people encouraged to use them? The most reasonable answer is because most of them prefer driving in their own cars. Then, where is the sense of reducing air pollution? Rather than travelling by cars daily, I think people should intensify the use of public transportations in order to save our environment.
Hi everyone, my name is Jonathan Chen. I am now studying in Dominican International School. I am living in Taiwan, Taipei. In taiwan their is a public thing called U-BIKE. It is rented cheaply. You pay 10 NT per 30 minutes using a card called Easy Card. I have used it for 2 times! it is a great bike having a brand called GIANTS! This new thing in our city is a good public transportation, it helps you exercise and makes you healthy! it may help people know that how life can be easy by not using other polluting automobiles to go from places to places. But the negative parts of the U-BIKE is that the size is not really good for all the people. one time i saw an american riding on it, he kept falling down because he is too tall so he cant balance the bike. I think the government did a great job of making this for our public transportation. This makes me proud for taiwan
Hi, my name is Jasper, I live in Taiwan. In Taipei there is a program called U-Bike, which prevent us polluting the Earth from driving cars. The program let us borrow bikes for free in half an hour, it is located almost everywhere in the city, and it also helps us to be healthier. It is a great program but it still needs an improvement, such as the height of the bike.
The bike’s height is a-bit tall for some kids which make them not useable when a mother tries to ride one, because they don’t have the right height for children or a child seat at the back.
The system works very well and it is very easy to borrow and return one it helps us save money and be healthy.
Now, people start to use these resources and put it in good use and mainly to stop polluting the air.
Hi I’m a 13 year old, also from Taiwan. I have a different point of view on the role of government in protecting the environment. The government does havesome steps to reduce carbon emissions, such as running public transportation. However, it is also very inefficient in doing so. The government spends a lot of money trying to reduce carbon emissions, but corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency result in the government not being able to do as much for the money, as compared to private corporations. Our government is not doing a good job of running the electric and oil companies, which are government-run, and the construction of the subway is also incredibly slow, compared to other countries. A private company, if competing with them, will definitely win. I also think with the increased scarcity of oil and gas, the use of fossil fuels and many carbon-producing resources will decrease with time. The role of the government in this is to tax externalities, for example charging money for polluting, perhaps per kilograms of carbon released, and subsidize potentially beneficial industries, that provide a social benefit, such as solar and wind power. However, they should not run these companies as they do now, with the electric and oil companies, but instead allow competition and privatization of these companies to provide a fair price and be environmentally sustainable.
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