The Smartest Cities are Going Green – Literally – Improving Image and Health, and Curing the Pollution Problem at its Source

greenwall_paris_00Most of us would agree that cities are a huge source of pollution. Generally, most of the junk in the air, waters, and land comes from urban areas, where the greatest concentrations of humans are gathered. This leads some to believe that the best way to “get sustainable” is to move to the country, where things aren’t so crowded and the potential and space exists to do projects that nurture the Earth and grow food. In reality, if there was a mass exodus of people from the cities currently, the countryside would be destroyed by urban sprawl in no time. This process of people leaving the gray city slate for the forested green of the country could explain how urban sprawl actually occurs. Rather than entertain potentially destructive notions in the hope of making a dent in the problem, turn the problem to its source for solutions. Cities are hubs of communication, the home to millions who want to see green where they live; they don’t want to have to leave to have their cake and eat it too. They want to green their cities, and why shouldn’t they? Introducing the movement to improve the ecology in the most ecologically destitute places on Earth, turning some of the world’s biggest cities into resplendent emerald attractions that bring even more residents, commerce, and tourists.

There is a new way of thinking and planning in which we can re-envision and re-create our population centers as mossy hubs of life that clean, rather than pollute, the air and water for miles around. This will improve health, vitality and well-being for people and all creatures. This has a lot to do with government, as it’s directly related to city planning and policy to decide to focus on a healthy metro environment rather than one that focuses on destructive industry.  There are many city re-greening initiatives making headlines across the country, from Paris to Mexico city. Mayors and city planning commissions are encouraging citizens to plant roofs, balconies, walls, greenways, and colonnades with vegetation, food-producing and otherwise, in order to clean the air and water – also greatly approving appearances and psychology for citizens. Mexico City’s mayor has announced “plan verde” and Paris just encouraged residents to garden as much as possible – provided they prefer methods that are pesticide-free and promote healthy habitat for birds and pollinators! Hats off to these brave policy-makers! We need more of this kind of thing all around the world! Get involved and ask your city planners what they are doing to green the spaces in your metropolis!