To recover from Katrina in an environmentally sensitive way, New Orleans put a number of green initiatives in place. Ranging from the Green Building Ordinance to an in-school education campaign, the city takes going green seriously.
That said, there’s still room for creativity in New Orleans and in cities across the United States. To discover how to build a sustainable city where you are, here are some promising policy options to push for.
Make Some Green
A central urban problem is the concrete jungle effect. There is so much infrastructure in place that there is nowhere for organic life to live. Sometimes, even when you remove a building, it’s a challenge to cultivate greenery.
While finding space for parks and other green spaces is important, we need to make other spaces green, too. An increasingly popular option is to cultivate flat surfaces along buildings and other structures. On a micro level, you can start on your own balcony with plants. The biggest way you can make a difference here is by growing your own food to decrease your reliance on food shipped in from other places.
Functioning in tandem with creating green spaces is the goal of densification. While humans don’t want to live too close to one another, bringing people together in a larger, compact building decreases the city’s carbon footprint.
As a city densifies, it opens space up for green areas. In the end, if there are innovative and natural recreation spaces, that may combat any risks of densifying.
Combat Car Traffic
Another way to build a more sustainable city is to reassess the automobile’s place within it. Among the many reasons car-free streets are the future of cities is the reality that, even as emissions lower, cars contribute to urban smog and general pollution.
By restricting cars from some roads, cities can start to experiment. Many find that prioritizing pedestrians has a slew of benefits, including increasing their safety. In addition, self-driving cars will start to eliminate the immense burden of allocating parking spaces. This is yet another surface that a city can turn green.