How are cities built sustainably? 

Sustainability; we can’t ignore it anymore. And that’s not bad news. We see sustainability everywhere. Not only do we see politicians talking about it more and more on TV and on the news. We also see companies becoming more environmentally responsible and municipalities wanting to build more sustainably. In addition to more sustainable construction, citizens are also encouraged to live more sustainably. But how does this work and what is being done in the big cities to live more sustainably and combat climate change? 

Separating waste and creating cleaner streets 

We all know it; you want to throw away the garbage but the containers are full. Next to the containers are all kinds of garbage bags from which seagulls take food. The street is polluted and you can hardly do anything about it. The biggest irritation is also the fact that you can’t throw away your garbage. Waiting for the next day. So what is being done now to counteract this:

  • Nowadays you can use the QR code on the containers to pass on a notification to your municipality. Here you let them know that the container is full and that this has often been the case. 
  • Fines are handed out to people who place their garbage next to containers. It is of course annoying that the garbage cannot be disposed of in containers, but we do not keep our streets clean by leaving garbage on the street. 
  • New, efficient ways of disposing of garbage are being found such as a smart container with a smart bin sensor. This gives the municipality more frequent notifications so the containers don’t get full. 

Climate proof cities

The world is urbanizing rapidly: by 2050, more than 6 billion people will live in cities. And city dwellers will increasingly feel the effects of climate change – floods, droughts and heatwaves will be more extreme and frequent. Nature-based solutions such as green roofs, green facades, green space and urban forest are innovative and promising ways to increase climate resilience and make cities more pleasant and healthier.

Build cities on data based decisions

High-quality data is indispensable for the development of sustainable cities. Satellites, sensors, cameras, smartphones and social media provide incredible amounts of data. With this data, we can observe patterns in real time that provide insight into the behavior of cities and their inhabitants. City planners, decision-makers and companies that invest in sustainable cities can use social, economic, technical and environmental data for smart solutions.

Ensuring more greenery 

It is common knowledge that there is little nature in the big cities. If people want to relax in nature, they have to drive a long way. Fortunately, we are seeing more and more changes in this area. Most cities have some parks where you can walk your dog or enjoy an afternoon in nature. In the city center itself we also see that more greenery is being built. For example, flats are being built so that greenery goes with them ‘into the air’, more greenery is being placed in squares and more trees are being planted in places where there is hardly any greenery now. 

Do you have your own ideas to ensure a more sustainable city? Then you can always share your ideas with the municipality where you live! 

What do you think?

Written by David Thacker

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