Five Cities Going Green: How Are They Doing It?

April 2013
Shahid Yusuf

The greening of urban development is finally receiving increased attention. This is long overdue, as the globe’s burgeoning urban population is using ever more resources and energy, which intensifies environmental pressures. If the demands on the biosphere’s resources are not to exceed the limits of sustainability, major changes are needed in the design and growth of cities. Urban industrialisation, transport, energy use, and urban lifestyles more broadly, will need to change markedly and rapidly. The sustainable city of the future must be green.

What such greening entails is becoming clearer from the initiatives of a few pioneers that have successfully begun to deal with green growth challenges. This publication captures the stories of five such cities. The five cities are Helsinki in Finand, Yokohama in Japan, Curitiba in Brazil, Ulsan in the Republic of Korea, and Penang in Malaysia. The authors examine how much greening cities can achieve within current technological and urban parameters, and what new strategies will be necessary. They also study the radical transformation required of cities that have not yet grasped the nettle of greening. Green urban development is imperative in order to respond to both the global carbon challenge and the need for economic growth.


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