Creating “green cities” is a challenge for all countries of the world. These types of cities contribute to a better environment for people and animals, economic vitality, social wealth and spiritual fulfillment.
- Divide the class into teams of 4 students.
- Pair each group with a global city that is a leader in environmental, social and/or economic sustainability. Interesting examples are Curitiba, Reykjavik, Vancouver, Barcelona, Malmö, Sydney, Dubai and Freiburg. The sustainability meter is and useful tool to investigate the sustainability of Dutch municipality: http//www.duurzaamheidsmeter.nl/index.php?topic=2013-2014&style_id=0
- Teams examine one or more of the following categories of “their” city: air quality, water, land use, transportation, energy, food and agriculture, green buildings, waste management, and public health.
- If possible, invite a local municipal official to talk about the sustainability plan for the town or village where the school is located.
- Each team presents its findings to the whole class.
- Using criteria they set themselves, students vote on which town or village they think is most progressive in terms of sustainability.
Explore with students the wide range of characteristics of “green cities. What are leaders in urban sustainability and what does that look like?
Gain insight into the many characteristics of green, healthy, safe, attractive, social and climate resilient cities and towns and be able to provide examples of them.
Flipchart, computers and notepads.
What did the students observe and how did they feel during this assignment. What did they discover about the different sustainability efforts of different cities? Which local sustainability efforts made the most impact?