Greenness does not come by itself

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Published by Erik Swan on

Why are some cities greener than others? It is not a competition; it is a fact. Of course, the urban greenness of a city can depend on many things such as geographic location, overall climate and socio-economic factors – to just mention a few. In our HUGSI report we identify big differences in how the cities distribute in the ranking. But more importantly it is clear that top achievers are very green as a result of decisive actions to greenify their cities. They do not just sit and wait for their vegetation to grow, they have employed policies and set ambitious targets and goals.

Greenification, an active decision

A greener city may have many potential benefits such as reduction of heat stress, better handling of excessive rainwater, reduction of noise levels, improved biodiversity and better air quality. They also benefit from an improved quality of life for the people living in or visiting the city. Urbanization is ongoing, city densification and expansion is how cities respond. To cope with these mega trends and large-scale changes many cities have begun to formulate a green plan.

Role models for change

Husqvarna is passionate about green spaces and the solutions used to manage and develop them. HUGSI can be used as a monitor for a city’s current vegetative state and track their development. Last year’s Global Green Model City as identified by HUGSI was Durban (South Africa). The vision for this coastal city is to be Africa’s most caring and livable city by 2030. As part of a five-year strategic plan to develop and sustain spatial, natural and built environments, the city is implementing several projects focused on improving in these areas. The trend continues with this this year with Charlotte, NC (USA) the newly appointed Global Green Model City. They have set an ambitious goal to have a 50% tree canopy cover in 2050. We can already see that the populated parts of the city analyzed by HUGSI have a 56% canopy cover. By engaging their community, the city gets support by many hands, such as the organizations like Trees Charlotte that every year plant 15 000 trees. It is our hope to continue to share examples and role to help greenify cities all over the globe.

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