City planning is tricky, but the planning that makes a city really eco-friendly is in the planning of its transportation. This is not just the transportation systems but in the placement of different aspects of the city so they are easily accessible. Planning a city with smaller communities that have everything some needs (work, school, food, etc) within a short distance promotes less travel. And then the infrastructure of public travel between different area of a city is an essential element.
Right now, in Copenhagen, a huge eco-friendly development is being designed and built called Nordhavnen (“Northern Harbor”). It is called a “five minute city”, meaning that wherever you are in the area, you will be no more than five minutes away from public transportation. Bikeways and walkways are being built to encourage walking and biking over other forms of transportation, and cars are at the bottom of Nordhavnen’s priority list in the hopes of encouraging people to use alternative transportation even more.
I agree with the above two in that you should have smaller city centers and encourage the use of alternative transportation. Good bike paths and public transportation help. Cities can have solar powered light poles or use wind power for generating electricity. They can also pass certain laws that mandate recycling and composting, such as in San Francisco, or reward businesses for making green improvements.
Or, maybe the best way to design an eco friendly city is to start a new city with only like minded individuals. It is a lot easier to make change when you have everyone educated and workign on the same cause.
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