Green driven by not only environmental problems,Green driven by not only environmental problems,

Green and sustainable cities are built all around the world, but more are still needed. The benefits of these cities are endless and are valuable to the earth and all of the ecosystems thriving on its surface. The need for green cities is driven by not only environmental problems, but also socio-economic problems that are made by the growing population and fast urbanization. If the Earth is able to produce its own food, create its own clean water, consume its own waste, and use the sun for renewable energy, then it is the duty of the it’s residents to do the same. Sustainable cities will decrease unnecessary water use, reduce the amount of fossil fuels being burned by finding and utilizing other, more sustainable forms of energy, and create a healthier environment for citizens residing in such cities.  Creating more sustainable cities and promoting sustainable development is crucial to the future of mankind because of the potential to avoid creating health risks in developing countries, stimulating the economy through green economic growth, and significantly reducing the amount of damage done to the environment each day.Creating sustainable cities benefits citizens by incorporating healthy activities into everyday life and reducing health risks that developing countries face caused by America’s greenhouse gas emissions (“A Green Economy” 5). Farmers markets that grow organic produce in cities are a great way to improve the health of citizens. Local markets teach the public that eating healthy is affordable, tasty, and easy to do (Johnson 1). By keeping the production of fruits and vegetables inside the city, the price of the produce will be reduced. This is due to the decreased amounts of transportation needed to get produce into grocery stores. This lowers the amount of carbon dioxide emissions and helps decrease air pollution (Johnson 1). Farmers markets offer a great way to integrate nutritional foods into households in the lower and middle class (Johnson 1). The cost of transporting the produce from farms in other regions causes the price of produce at grocery stores to go up. When produce is coming from different states with better conditions for growth, it increases the price of fruits or vegetables, making them less of an affordable and practical choice. To become an eco-friendly country, America needs to increase the amount of produce grown in cities and begin to teach the public about proper nutrition.Many cities have already begun promoting new ways of green transportation. By adding walking paths and bike lanes onto streets, the earth and the people living on it are benefited (“Green Cities” 3). These systems help lower carbon dioxide emissions by getting citizens out of their cars and on a more sound type of transportation. By biking or walking, citizens will also enjoy the added exercise everyday. Regular exercise improves mood, reduces the risk of heart disease, and increases metabolism for faster weight loss (Cohn 2). The public should be informed on not only the environmental benefits of green cities, but also the health benefits. This will increase the support given by citizens to make the change toward sustainable development (Pierce 6). While walking and biking are the most efficient types of transportation, there are other eco-friendly forms. Many car companies nowadays are focusing more on hybrid and electric cars. Brands such as Ford, Toyota, Dodge, and Honda have made more environmentally friendly versions of cars (“Auto” 2). These vehicles still produce low amounts of pollutants but are much more efficient than regular cars. Hybrid vehicles are fuel efficient and low emission to prevent further harm to the environment. Compared to cars made in the 50’s, these vehicles “… gets around twice the gas mileage of its counterpart … and they emit between a twentieth and a hundredth of the pollutants common in that era” (“Auto” 1). By making the small change to a hybrid vehicle, citizens can work to better cities everywhere.America needs to become a sustainable nation, for itself and other developing countries that it affects. Other countries are facing consequences to the negative actions of the United States (Wolfensohn 2). The regulations and laws against pollution in developing nations are a lot less strict than those in America. This gives industrialized countries the ability to dump their hazardous waste into these places (“Third” 2). Now, developing countries are dealing with pollution from these waste dumps along with added poverty and war. This creates a bigger problem as many countries have no way to counteract due to deforestation and soil erosion. Large amounts of pollution in Third World countries can be devastating and often lead to polluted runoff in water and harmful chemicals spread on land; leaving citizens with no sources of fresh water or food to survive (“A Green Economy” 5). Water pollution is a serious matter for many people in the world. “Over 1.7 billion people in Third World countries have an inadequate supply of safe drinking water. In India, for example, 114 towns and cities dump their human waste and other untreated sewage directly into the Ganges River” (“Third” 3).Sustainable cities play a role in the economy by supporting green economic growth. The United Nations Environment Program defines a green economy as “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.”  (“A Green Economy” 3). To create a green economy, America needs to work on building standards and creating more green architecture.When governments choose to build green, LEED-certified buildings, it means more than reducing environmental impacts and demonstrating strong environmental stewardship; it also means exercising fiscally sound governance that supports local investment, creates jobs, and saves taxpayers money for years to come through reduced water and energy consumption. Thus, green building is something that governments at all levels can be proud of getting behind. (“Green Building” 1).Green buildings not only help the environment, but also the pockets of Americans. Decreased water and energy use makes them cost nineteen percent less to run than ordinary properties (“Green Building” 1). As time goes on, we continue to see the positive long-term savings from green buildings. This includes their decreased operational cost and increased property value (Pierce 6). Green development and buildings are the future of America and the start of a green economy.A green economy will increase the number of jobs available for workers with only a highschool diploma opposed to a college degree. Focusing on creating clean energy will create many new green-collar jobs. (Shekar and Nguyen 2). Pinderhughes, a professor of Urban Studies at San Francisco State University, defines green-collar jobs as “manual labor jobs in businesses whose goods and services directly improve environmental quality.” (Shekar and Nguyen 3). These jobs will be creating a new section of work, while repurposing current blue-collar jobs (Hendriks et al 1). Often these jobs are located in urban areas. They’re created by nonprofit organizations or small for-profit businesses, most of which are making the switch to green development (Hendricks et al 2). Green jobs form a great range of positions in the workforce. This includes anything from factory line workers to wind turbine manufacturing (Pollin 4).There are important challenges in transitioning to a green economy. This includes protecting our global ecosystems, reducing the risks of climate change on the earth, and improving the lives of the poor who have no support to improve their own energy efficiency (“A Green Economy” 5). To address the protection of ecosystems, the government can put restrictions on businesses. Laws can be made about the dumping of waste and how to create waste-free companies. Laws like these would improve the lives of the poor in Third World countries. This is due to the decreased waste being shipped to them. It improves the lives of those currently suffering the consequences. A green economy offers a development path that reduces carbon dependency, promotes the efficiency of resources and energy use in America, and lessens the amount of environmental degradation (“A Green Economy” 4). Through green building and the creation of more green-collar jobs, these goals are all reachable.Green cities work to create a sustainable environment and promote the conservation of natural resources (“Green Cities” 1). The ecological benefits of green development are astronomical. Increasing sustainable development and growth will cause greenhouse gas emissions to decrease. This creates a healthier earth for those who inhabit it. “Cities only take up three percent of the earth’s land but take in seventy-five percent of the greenhouse gases emitted annually” (“Green Cities” 1). This shows that improvements need to be made to cites to decrease energy use and pollution being emitted. The United States also holds only 4.6 percent of the population but burns and emits a quarter of the earth’s fossil fuels. This reveals that cities are not the only part of America at fault (Pierce 4). Cities may currently get a bad rap for the high amounts of pollutants emitted, but in the future green cities will thrive. Urban areas are more sensible as they build up instead of out and use space more efficiently (Glaeser 1). This decreases the distance from place to place and eliminates long drives to work, creating less carbon dioxide pollution in the air. “Unless we collectively act to preserve the global environmental commons – the climate, the ozone layer, the diversity of life and the oceans – we will undermine the sustainability of national and regional development” (Wolfensohn 1).