Freiburg has very good sustainable development strategies, the city promotes the idea of eco housing, car-free streets and socially conscious neighbor. They have great bike routes and funded car-sharing programs in order to carry out the idea of car-free streets. Since the people in Freiburg refused the idea of developing nuclear power, they think of ways to save energy in order to conserve existing resources. They extended the tramline, so people can rely on public transit instead of their own vehicles. It allows the minorities to enjoy equal accessibility of transportation for their daily commute. They also limited the height of their buildings, to enhance security and reduce crime rates. The city also highly supported the development of solar energy, by setting solar photo voltaic systems on public buildings.
One of the biggest electronic wasteland (e-waste) in the world, countries like America, China, India dump old electronic to Ghana because treating these e-waste inside their own country is much more expensive, usually because of the strict restrictions. The e-waste releases a lot of toxic chemical pollutant into the air, water and land; harming all the living things around. Particularly to the workers of the e-waste industry, who have no idea that their working process damages their health conditions, the cooking of circuit boards is a harmful process since lead is released and breathed by workers. However, this is the only way for them to earn for living.
Sustainable energy is the sustainable provision of energy that is clean and lasts for a long period of time. Unlike the fossil fuel that most of the countries are using, renewable energy only produces little or even no pollution. The most common types of renewable energy in US are solar and wind energy, solar energy are commonly used on public parking meter, street lights and the roof of buildings. On the other hand, wind energy is expanding quickly in recent years, which generated 12,000 MW in 2013. The largest wind power station is in Texas and followed up by California. Household energy consumption can also be improved in a sustainable way, like using electronic with energy star logo, conserving water and energy.
Most of California’s fossil fuel infrastructures are sited in or near low-income communities, and have traditionally suffered the most from California’s fossil fuel energy system. These communities are historically left out during the decision- making process, and often end up with dirty power plants and other dirty energy projects that poison the air and harm the area. These toxins are major contributors to significant health problems in the communities. While renewable energy becomes more common, the government begins to shut down some of the fossil fuel infrastructures in order to consume renewable energy and provide a better social equity to the specific community.
Some western countries and United States are making transportation more sustainable in both long-term and short-term implementations. Since these countries are mostly highly automobile-orientated area, the main transit that people use is personal vehicles. Therefore, California is one of the highest greenhouse gases emission in the country. The federal government has to come up with some plans to reduce the total number of vehicle trips in order to lower greenhouse gases emission. Such as:
Improve public transit
- Larger coverage area in order to provide more mobility and accessibility, use new technology to provide a more reliable and responsive public transportation network, company providing ECO pass to employees.
Encourage walking and biking
-Wider pedestrian pathway, bike share station in commercial downtown, locate parking lot far from the shopping center, limit on street parking, slower traffic lane in downtown area.
Increase the cost of car ownership and gas taxes
-Increase parking fees/ toll fees, encourage people to drive more fuel efficient vehicles. -Social equity problem, poor people usually drive old cars that have low fuel efficiency. However, government can use the extra revenue collected from taxes and tolls to improve the public transportation and benefit the poor community.
- Purvis, Andrew. "Is This the Greenest City in the World?" The Observer. Guardian News and Media, 23 Mar. 2008. Web.
- Puckett, Jim. "Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground." Pbs.org. Web.
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- Barbour, Elissa and Elizabeth A. Deakin. 2012. “Smart Growth Planning for Climate Protection”
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- Levine, Jonathan. 2013. “Urban Transportation and Social Equity: Transportation Planning Paradigms that Impede Policy Reform,” in Naomi Carmon and Susan S. Fainstein, eds. Policy, Planning and people: promoting Justice in Urban Development (Penn)