home Featured, Green Development Are cities trying too hard to redevelop communities that already have a sustainable presence?

Are cities trying too hard to redevelop communities that already have a sustainable presence?

Preserving the environment, go green and sustainable developments are the frequently used words in this present world. Some of the top 10 green U.S. cities in 2011 listed on the mnn network are Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Oakland, Eugene, Cambridge, Berkeley, Seattle, Chicago and Austin. America’s eco friendly mayors have played a vital role and are dedicated to the green issues. Few of the notable mayors are Gavin Newson who passed the law to ban the plastic bags in San Francisco for the first time in 2007 and made recycling obligatory. Mayor Michael Bloomberg who is responsible for encouraging green roof construction and creating new bike lanes in New York city. Mayor Richard M.Daley is accountable for the  3 million square feet of green roof construction across the Chicago city.

Source: Photo: Mr. Littlehand/Flickr. www.mnn.com

There are many officials, laws signed by mayors, ordinances and policy makers devoted to green development and saving the planet. But  are all these endeavor focused only for the cities that already have a sustainable presence? USA today mentions Philly as “capital of toxicity”. The “Most Toxic Cities in America” released by Forbes in 2009 comprises Bakersfield and Fresno in California and Atlanta in Georgia. What are the environmental actions in these communities? Are they successful? Are cities trying too hard to redevelop communities that already have a sustainable presence?

One thought on “Are cities trying too hard to redevelop communities that already have a sustainable presence?

  1. I understand the question, but even the greenest of all these cities still have a long way to go. Ultimately, we should be pushing for net zero effect on the environment, and if these cities have already made it a priority, they should continue to push the envelop and provide demand for advancement of the future’s clean technologies that other cities will one day partake in. The question suggests a sort of crowding out effect of other would-be-more sustainable cities if they were perhaps given a more opportunity to “go green.” As you said yourself, there were many policy makers who made these things happen because their constituents made it a priority. It is the policy maker’s responsibility to inform their community of best practices and make a convincing argument for the economic/environmental viability of projects, and also the population’s responsibility to back legislation they agree with. Beyond this, too, private companies can lead the way in some communities, as Ray Anderson has done in the carpet manufacturing business – one of the dirtiest, petro-intensive industries out there. If these places aren’t convinced that the conversion to sustainable practice is beneficial, they will get the picture soon enough, if only too late, because the greener cities will be more competitive in the long run.

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