Cities are facing tough challenges. A recent study by the National League of Cities (NLC) indicates that tackling crime, ensuring fiscal health and addressing eroding infrastructure are among the most critical obligations for municipality leaders.
For cities large and small, the priority is to enhance the quality of life for those who live and work there. But what is the best way to achieve this? NLC President and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker explained during the report’s unveiling, “This is not a wishlist just of cities. This is a wishlist of the people who live in America. That’s 80 percent of the population of America that’s being represented through us.”
Becker expressed confidence that items on this wishlist can be obtained at the city level. “It is in our municipalities and communities where real innovation, real action and real decisions are being made,” Becker has said. “We are driving not just our local and regional economies, but we are driving progress in our country overall.”
Studies show that efforts supporting enhanced sustainability can make inroads toward improvement and positively impact all of the challenges identified as priorities for mayors. Becker is among the believers, as he dedicated more than 80 percent of his 2014 State of the City address to sustainability efforts and environmental issues. The city is developing solar energy projects, reducing carbon emissions and setting goals for energy-saving improvement projects.
For examples beyond Utah, check out the Top 10 Greenest Cities in the World, as identified by Dual Citizen LLC. From Copenhagen to New York City, these towns are addressing challenges while developing environmentally friendly economies by putting into place sustainable initiatives. Additionally, reports indicate the emerging energy efficient and operationally efficient “smart city” may help.
Top 10 Greenest Cities in the World
These Cities Lead the Charge
2) New York