CITIES CAN IMPACT GLOBAL WARMING BY COOLING THEMSELVES WITH TREES
Cities get hotter than surrounding areas due to a range of factors, including how cement holds heat, and the impact of human activities including running heaters and air conditioners. Writing for The Conversation, Professor of Sustainable Design & Construction at Glasgow Caledonian University Rohinton Emmanuel argues that cities that take proactive steps to combat urban heat islands can help slow the pace of global warming significantly.
The city of Melbourne has already set itself the goal of lowering its temperature by seven degrees Fahrenheit by 2030 using the same methods that Emmanuel outlines.
TREES MAY BE REQUIRED TO HAVE A HEALTHY CITY
On top of reducing the temperature and making cities more comfortable, “trees in urban areas slow down traffic, foster civic pride and identity, and improve property values.” Cities across the world have begun to apply long streams of data to figure out how trees can best help them, and where they are needed, and the impact for Culver City in Los Angeles, California, has already been dramatic.
SEATTLE THINKS KIDS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR CITIES
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is putting a lot of effort into making his city more family-friendly. “Creating a monoculture, with just one or two slices of the population able to live in the city itself, does not make for a bright future,” he says. The tech jobs and the talented young people they attract have helped Seattle in many ways, but Mayor Murray worries about keeping the city’s fishing fleet and manufacturing sector viable too. “If cities like Seattle don’t get this right, then what you see today as great is not sustainable.” He may not identify it as such, but Mayor Murray’s cross-cutting planning and integrated approach is resilience thinking at work.
INNOVATING A LOCAL-FOOD FINANCING MODEL
A credit union venture called The Main Harvest Credit Project is building new financing models to support the local farming economy in Maine. The two founders combine finance backgrounds and the local food movement, pulling together a network of philanthropists, businesses, and nonprofits to support the local economy by creating financing structures that play to its specific strengths.
WHAT DO THE WORLD’S STREETS LOOK LIKE?
Guardian Cities asked readers to photograph their home cities’ main streets. The collection shows everything from dense greenery in Peebles, Scotland to bovine crowds in Mayapur, India to busy Hong Kong.
This feature is adopted from 100 Resilient Cities.