Reykjavik is the smallest amazing green city on our list, with only about 115,000 people living in the city and roughly 300,000 people in the entire country of Iceland. But its impact on the world has been impressive.
Iceland plans to unplug itself from all dependence on fossil fuels by 2050 to become a hydrogen economy. Already, Reykjavik (and all of Iceland) gets energy for heat, hot water and electricity entirely from hydropower and geothermal resources -- both of which are renewable and free of greenhouse gas emissions. Some vehicles even run on hydrogen, including three city buses.
These five amazing cities are only a snapshot of the greenification of urban areas around the world. Many others are also working to reduce their energy consumption, adopt environmentally friendly urban development practices and embrace green living lifestyles -- each greening the world one city at a time.
More Great Links
- "15 Green Cities." Grist Magazine. 2007. http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2007/07/19/cities/
- Arabe, Katrina C. "The World's Greenest Cities." Industrial Market Trends. ThomasNet Industrial Newsroom. 2004. http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/archives/2004/06/the_worlds_gree.html
- "Best Places to Retire: Portland, Oregon." U.S. News & World Report. 2007. http://www.usnews.com/listings/retirement/oregon/portland
- Brand, Peter Charles and Thomas, Michael J. "Urban environmentalism: global change and the mediation of local conflict." London: Routledge, 2005.
- "Cities Around the World Are 'Going Green'." Voice of America. 2008. http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2008-03/2008-03-18-voa1.cfm?CFID=28639882&CFTOKEN=47612768
- "Copenhagen Receives European Environmental Award." DHI Group. 2006. http://www.dhigroup.com/News/NewsArchive/2006/CopenhagenReceivesEuropeanEnvironmentalAward.aspx
- "Driving Down Carbon Dioxide." Progressive Policy Institute. 2003. http://www.ppionline.org/ppi_ci.cfm?knlgAreaID=116&subsecID=900039&contentID=252224
- Ekostaden.com. http://www.ekostaden.com/
- Frankel, John. "Iceland harnesses green energy for heat, power." MSNBC. 2006. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12601052/
- Gnatek, Tim. "Curitiba's Urban Experiment". Frontline/World, December 2003. (Dec. 19, 2011) http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/fellows/brazil1203/
- "High tech to low, world's green methods are many." CNN. 2008. http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/07/02/ecocities/
- Jones, Lisa. "A Tale Of Two Mayors: The improbable story of how Bogota, Colombia, became somewhere you might actually want to live". Grist, April 2002. (Dec. 19, 2011) http://www.grist.org/article/of5
- Kipen, Nicki. "New York, Portland and Chicago are among the greenest US cities." City Mayors. 2006. http://www.citymayors.com/environment/us_greencities.html
- "Kyoto Protocol." BBC Weather Centre. http://www.bbc.co.uk/climate/policies/kyoto.shtml
- Laylin, Tafline. "Planning the Sustainable City: Lessons from Bogota, Colombia". Green Prophet.com, June 2010 (Dec. 19, 2011) http://www.greenprophet.com/2010/06/oscar-edmundo-diaz/
- Levesque, Dawn R. "Ecotourism in Spain". USA Today. 2011. (Dec.19, 2011) http://traveltips.usatoday.com/ecotourism-spain-18528.html
- "Methodology of Study: US City Sustainability Ranking." SustainLane. 2006. http://www.sustainlane.com/us-city-rankings/methodology.jsp
- Montgomery, Charles. "Bogota's Urban Happiness Movement". Globe & Mail, April 2009. (Dec. 19, 2011) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article766908.ece
- O'Hare, Michael. "Frieburg: Green City - Success Factors". Cities For People.net, June 2009. (Dec. 19, 2011) http://www.citiesforpeople.net/freiburg-green-city-%E2%80%93-success-factors
- Peter, Laurence. "Green Living takes root in Sweden." BBC News. 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5413960.stm
- "Portland: A Role Model for the Nation." SustainLane. 2006. http://www.sustainlane.com/us-city-rankings/portland.jsp
- Potter, Ned. "Climate Concerns Shape the Cities of Tomorrow." ABC News. 2008. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/GadgetGuide/Story?id=4954102&page=1
- Purvis, Andrew. "Is this the greenest city in the world?" The Observer, March 2008. (Dec. 19, 2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/mar/23/freiburg.germany.greenest.city
- "Royal, Copenhagen." Grist Magazine. 2001. http://www.grist.org/news/daily/2001/05/07/copenhagen/
- Svoboda, Elizabeth. "America's 50 Greenest Cities." Popular Science. 2008. http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2008-02/americas-50-greenest-cities?page=1#
- "The City of Malmö, Sweden." PV Upscale. 2008. http://www.pvupscale.org/IMG/pdf/Malmo_case-study_bg.pdf
- United Nations Environment Programme. Division of Technology, Industry and Economics. Integrative Management Series, No.1. (Dec. 20, 2011) http://www.thunderbay.ca/Assets/Earthwise+Assets/docs/4189.pdf
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. http://unfccc.int/
- "Vancouver tops list of world's most livable cities." British Columbia-Canada Place. http://www.bccanadaplace.gov.bc.ca/Content/Live%20in%20BC/Live%20Stories.asp?ItemID=16851
- "Vancouver's Revival of the Solar Trash Compactor." ICLEI: International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. 2008. http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=1505&no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=3049&tx_ttnews=983&cHash=f19da38c9e
- Vella, Matt. "Rise of the Carbon-Neutral City." Business Week. 2008. http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/feb2008/id20080211_503795.htm
Many people think mushrooms have the potential to be environmental game-changers by replacing some plastics, meats and even eating through landfill waste.