Cities can become more energy efficient, protect wildlife habitat, build public transportation etc., etc. To reduce waste and resource use, they can build new development in areas accessible to existing infrastructure to reduce the amount of land and resources they use. They can also encourage recycling, reusing, and composting.
One way cities can become greener is by converting rooftops into green space. Rooftop gardens reduce the urban heat island effect by exchanging a highly heat absorbent black rooftop with green space that utilizes sunlight to promote plant growth. This makes otherwise unused rooftops useful, provides a natural area for residence of the building, and improves air quality in urban areas. The following link shows how Chicago retrofitted their city hall with a rooftop garden.
One way to make cities around the world a greener place is streetscaping. Streetscaping is a type of landscaping, but for streets. It makes streets look nicer, and it also increases the porperty value of homes and buildings around it. I know that in Europe, streetscaping is taken to a whole new level, where the emphasis for streets is walking rather than driving. This way, it encourages people to take alternative means of transportation, and it also makes walking on the street a safer alternative to driving. You won’t have to worry about being hit by a car on a busy road, for example. Here’s some more information on streetscaping.
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