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Monday, May 18, 2009

Portland, Oregon - Example of a Green Dream

One can say a lot about the USA, but the city of Portland, Oregon is currently the second greenest city in the world according to Grist. In the first place is Reykjavik, Iceland.

Looking at the skyline of this exemplary American City one firstly notices the absence of smog. The reason being local legislation limiting the amount of permittable greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere. Another reason is a well-established public transportation system, which includes the availability of hybrid cars for hire on the streets for the travelling of small distances, almost like self-drive taxis (cabs). Thus very few gas-driven vehicles are to be found on the streets with a lot more bicycles.

Any construction plans have to include a green plan if they want public money for the construction of said building. Then one also finds people like the pizza shop owner who uses the excess heat from his pizza ovens to warm the water he uses in his establishment, thus cutting down on gas or electrical bills and limiting the amount of CO2 gas leaked into the atmosphere. He even uses light electrical cars to make deliveries. Guess who is the most widely used pizza place in Portland. It seems this type of individual dedication to sustainable living is something one finds all over Portland.

Without having any proof of this I am willing to bet that Portland is probably also one of the major world cities with the lowest accounts of respiratory sickness, stress, crime and other diseases among large cities in the world. I would love to live in a city like this and raise children in this type of environment. Not just because it is healthier, but also to teach them about the benefits of green and sustainable living.

One wonders when South African cities are going to get with the programme. The smog over beautiful cities like Cape Town is shameful. Let's hope Helen Zille does something about this to make the most beautiful city in the world also one of the cleanest.

1 comment:

Aaron Stewart said...

It's true! There's no place in the United States I would rather live. :)