Growing Green Cities

Green building in Santiago, Chile (Photo: nielsvk/

Our really old picture of cities is Dickensian.  Grime, soot, crowding and dank back alleys. 

Our 20th century picture is high-rise energy consumption ringed by factories and car-culture suburbs. 

The 21st century vision that’s emerging is “green cities” — high-efficiency leaders in renewable energy, and recycling, with gardens on the rooftops and solar power lighting up the town. 

In this picture, population density is an advantage. Good thing, too. Cities consume 75 percent of the world’s energy. You can’t have a green planet without them in the lead. 

This Hour, On Point:  Exploring green cities.


Joan Fitzgerald, Director of the Law, Policy and Society program at Northeastern University and author of “Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development”

Jeb Brugmann, urban development consultant, founder of “ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability,” an association of over 1,000 local governments and government organizations worldwide that have committed to sustainable development.  He’s author of “Welcome to the Urban Revolution: How Cities Are Changing the World.”

Read an excerpt from “Welcome to the Urban Revolution”

Bob Dixson, Mayor of Greensburg, KS. Greensburg pledged to rebuild sustainably after it was flattened by a tornado in 2007.

See Greensburg’s master plan for sustainability.

Web Extra:

See Tom Ashbrook and two CEO’s in a recent discussion of the green business future and energy efficiency in the American economy. It was part of an event held at Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, and sponsored by the Babson Energy & Environmental Club:

Credit: Babson Energy Club on Vimeo. A special thanks to Babson co-organizer John Moorhead.

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