These cities, such as Mumbai, often have little trees due to large population and no land to support the population. Though urban planners and locals alike have become more aware of the environmental issues affecting global warming, there has been a steady rise in different approaches to make cities beautiful, healthy and better places to live in. The term “Greenway” comes to mind, as it is one of the first steps to making a city more environmentally friendly. Greenways are pedestrian streets like sidewalks, but instead of it being only concrete there is a high emphasis on vegetation.
This creates both a visually attractive and comfortable setting for people to enjoy taking walks in contrast to taking the car. As the article suggests, low-density suburban sprawl may directly influence obesity rates in cities. Encouraging citizens to walk to school or use their bike by creating an attractive and pleasant environment may be one of the many solutions to lower obesity rates. As we see more development in our life, we can argue that the environment becomes more contaminated.
There are around 20 billion tons of CO2 and other poisonous gases, like methane gas, that are absorbed by the atmosphere every year. This poisonous environment kills around 14 thousand people all over the world, for example if exposed to methane gas, it causes dizziness, headache and nausea. This confirms that to achieve a healthy lifestyle at which people are not only wealthy but also healthy and safe, we need to find ways to protect our environment. Building a green city is thus a very sustainable strategy. I was born in India (Pune) and lived in Thailand (Bangkok) for all my life.
These are developing equatorial countries where a lot of people live in the cities. So living in the cities of India and Thailand, I have always felt like there is not much greenery and the pollution in these cities is high. And every year whenever I go back to Pune, I always see there are more and more buildings; the land that is in the processes of being cleared. These cities are not growing sustainably or in a “green” way because India for example, has to put money in education, health care, and other thing in order to decrease the increasing population.
America, on other hand prioritizes green way because they have already put a lot of effort and money on building schools and hospitals for its citizens. The issue in Phoenix and in Bangkok is that both places are hot. There are less outdoor events because of the heat. For example, people prefer playing tennis indoors than outdoors during summers, because they need to take extra precautions like putting sunscreen on their body to protect themselves from sun burns or carry extra water to keep themselves from getting dehydrated.
In Bangkok, it is so humid that when you go outside for five minutes, people always take a shower. It is very time consuming to live in a place as hot as Bangkok or Phoenix because as it is really hot, people waste their time taking a shower twice or even three times a day, and this in turn wastes a lot of water. I went to Beijing, China in 2010, and I was shocked to see how well planned the city was despite the fact that it was still a developing city, with high population and very bad pollution. Approximately, Beijing city has around 40,000 trees.
The trees are planted along the road and there is a pedestrian road, beside which goes into small green parks. The trees that are planted are all the same size, and during winter, the polythene sheets are wrapped around and thick ropes around the sheet protect the bark of the trees. I thought that it was a great way of making a city green, given the thought that it is not technically green because of the pollution. After reading the article, I thought that the ideas and examples given by Arendt in the article are solely based on America.
Most American cities, compared to cities in developing countries, have a lower population per mile. People here like to settle in the suburbs of the city because they have bigger houses, more space where they can have their own gardens, which is a good idea considering the downtown of the city is noisier, polluted and has little vegetation. The article gave out a lot of examples of American cities where the planners are making areas of green parks, so people can spend quality time outdoors.
They are also making public transports better, so people walk to the nearest train station or bus station. They have a lot of parks with walkways, where people can spend some time walking or jogging. This will make them fit and healthy. There are ideas like car-pooling, which is when two or more people share the same car to arrive at the same destination, so more than one person can travel in a car. It is seen as a sustainable way to travel, reducing carbon emissions and hence reducing people’s carbon footprint.
In conclusion, I realized that the whole concept of greenways might be able to work in some cities, which are in Colorado or Florida, because of the climatic conditions, space to build parks and less population. But it would not work in developing countries because there is a lot of population ratio to little space. But measures can still be taken to create a more environmentally friendly atmosphere, for example – some companies in London are making their building’s roof top green by planting trees in order to have a green and sustainable environment, in order to decrease the carbon footprint.
In some countries, the government does not think of environment as their number one priority, mainly because they do not have enough money to reinforce ideas such as greenways. On the other hand, in cities like Phoenix, we are able to plant more trees and build parks which can provide a lot of shade and have a little sprinkling water which can make people come out of their houses more often. Greenways give sustainable solutions to various cities with climatic traits.