Megacities can be sustainable

Megacities can embrace eight straightforward ideas to make themselves more sustainable and more livable.

Thirty-three so-called megacities – think Cairo, London and Tokyo – are home to 54 per cent of the world’s population.

By 2050, that proportion could be 66 per cent.

Densely packed and less dependent on automobiles, cities are already often more sustainable than suburban milieus. But engineers are still thinking hard about how to reduce the carbon emissions of the world’s biggest metropolises while making them more livable, according to the online magazine Interesting Engineering.

The magazine lists eight ideas for better big cities:

  1. Retrofitting existing infrastructure rather than building anew or consuming more open space
  2. Using smart sensors to maintain water consumption and cleanliness
  3. Leveraging crowdfunding networks to rally residents to plant a tree on their land or communal property
  4. Investing in mass transit systems
  5. Deploying co-generation systems that recycle the heat or cold air from electricity production and other infrastructure
  6. Promoting urban farming
  7. Car sharing
  8. Using LED rather than traditional street lights.

“These are the general innovative ways which, when implemented can prove to be a game changer for your city,” the magazine wrote.

The magazine gives examples of cities that implemented the suggestions. New York is converting an old post office into an extension of a train terminal. Melbourne, Australia has 22 per cent tree cover in large part due to its tree planning program. The number of trees in the city is expected to double in the next two decades. And Sydney, Australia used cogeneration to reduce carbon emissions in civic buildings by 70 per cent.

Image credit: Free-Photos via Pixabay

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