TOP 10 Best Eco-Smart Cities
According to National Geographic’s book World’s Best Cities: Celebrating 220 Great Destinations, this is a list (in no particular order) of the best eco-friendly cities around the world.
Songdo, South Korea
This uber-wired suburb of Seoul has no need for garbage trucks: All household waste is sucked from individual kitchens through a huge underground network of tunnels to processing centers, where it is automatically sorted, treated, and deodorized.
This bright city has resolved around the sun since 1986, when the local government voted to focus on solar power as its main energy source. Today it boasts more than 1,700 solar installations on public buildings, and at least 100 solar businesses, making it a darling of renewable energy fans.
Highly developed recycling services absorb more than three-quarters of the city’s waste (2020 target: 100 percent). As the city council say, if something cannot be recycled, it should be restricted, redesigned, or removed from production.
Masdar City, UAE
Driverless electric “pods” whiz residents underneath this low-carbon, enviro utopia on the desert fringe of Abu Dhabi. Wafer-thin solar panels create both energy and shade, and it’s never too hot: A wind tower standing 148 feet (45m) channels a perpetual breeze through the streets.
In this high-tech coastal city with 12,000 hidden sesnsors, smartphone apps not only let you call up store specials, surfing conditions, and dumpster levels, but also upload the latest pothole locations. When no one’s around street lamps dim on their own.
Home to the world’s first “green” sky-scraper (the 57-floor Commerzbanz tower), this banking hub holds the European record for the number of ultra-low-energy, super insulated “passive” buildings: 1,000!
In this southern Swedish city, the so-called “City of Tomorrow” is Europe’s first carbon-neutral neighborhood. The 600-home development collects warm summer rainwater in a thermal aquifier and pumps it up with wind energy to heat homes in winter. The city has also established minimum standards for green space in new projects.
The Danish capital not only has an offshore wind farm but also more bikes than you can shake a spoke at. Space-age complex 8Tallet—a figure eight of nearly 500 sustainable apartments—boasts a grassy insulating roof, precise layouts to maximize sunlight and ventilation, and a ramp to walk (or cycle0 from ground floor to penthouse.
In Canada’s third largest city, wastewater and raw sewage are converted to energy for apartments in the onetime industrial district. To heat their high-rises, occupants just need to pull the plug in their bathtub or kitchen sink, sending wastewater spiraling into their eco-utility plant.
Iceland is famous for its breathtaking scenery, geysters, and blue Lagoon—and its sophisitcated use of renewable energy. Hydrogen buses roam the streets of the capital, which generates all its power by tapping hydro and geothermal resources at the island’s volcanic roots.
Entry filed under: Sustainability & Lifestyle. Tags: ecofriendly cities, ecofriendly places to live, ecosmart cities, environmental cities, environmentally conscious sities, national geographic, sustainable cities, sustainable living, worlds best ecosmart cities.