As more people move into urban areas and environmental issues become more pressing, cities will have to rethink their systems and their environmental impacts. Many cities around the world have already begun to adopt more eco-friendly practices, and some trends are starting to emerge. The sustainable cities of the future will build on these, taking today’s environmental practices a step further.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of green urban areas. According to the UN, 68 percent of the population could live in cities by 2050, adding another 2.5 billion people to these areas. In the face of this rising urbanization, cities that do not emphasize sustainability could present a substantial threat to the environment.
Sustainable cities in the future could turn out to look nothing like today’s. Given current trends and developments, though, here is what they could likely involve.
Transportation contributes more to carbon emissions than any other sector, generating almost two metric tons of greenhouse gasses in 2018. In response, green cities will make emissions-free transport a priority. Lowering emissions is already a focus today, but in the future, this could extend towards eliminating them entirely.
Copenhagen, Denmark, reorganized its road system to prioritize and encourage bicycle traffic. Now, 62 percent of their residents ride their bikes every day, and only 9 percent drive daily. This shift has helped them transition into favoring zero-emissions traffic before electric vehicles have become standard.