Smog is an ever-increasing concern, which makes it no wonder that in 2014, WHO named air pollution as the world’s largest single environmental health risk. There’s cause for concern, then, that London’s smog levels were recently reported to be worse than those in Beijing.
But cities like London are also spaces for innovation, which flaunt fertile ground for ideas and solutions to promote more sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices. A number of initiatives already underway are changing the way we work, commute and relax in the city and improve air quality. It’s clear: the future of the city is green.
The way we conceive the traditional office block is changing
As the BBC warns, the office block and skyscraper, which have been part of our urban landscape since the end of the 19th Century, may soon become surplus to requirements. At Deloitte’s Edge headquarters in Amsterdam, an underwater aquifer to provide ambient temperatures, and a network of sensors to monitor light, electricity and water usage has seen the building dubbed one of the world’s greenest offices.
While business heavyweights are making headlines with cutting edge office infrastructure, small businesses are lessening their environmental impact, too. With a downturn in the number of SMEs choosing traditional office space in London, with a preference for coworking solutions.
The coworking revolution is nothing new. The likes of WeWork and independent co-working cafés are providing office solutions for freelancers, startups and small businesses operating in the city, but who for whatever reason are lacking the resources to maintain a private office. Serviced offices, where businesses benefit from leasing only the workspace they require, are part of the same trend.
Virtual offices are eliminating the need to work in the city altogether, but preserving the prestige of having a city postal address and the support and infrastructure of a major corporation. Providers i2 Office also offer meeting rooms available by the hour, half day or day, when necessity demands, allowing businesses in the city to cut their carbon footprint with effective remote working solutions.
The London Congestion Charge is no longer fit for purpose
Fleet management software offers one solution to promoting more eco-friendly driving in the city. As fleet telematics solutions providers Movolytics explain, fleet management software promotes eco driving by finding the most fuel-efficient routes for journeys, and help reroute to avoid traffic flare ups that result in increased idling and stop-start driving, but also foster more efficient driver behaviors.
Elsewhere, city administrators are helping businesses reduce traffic on the roads by promoting walking and cycling, creating extensive infrastructure such as cycle superhighways and pedestrianized zones along strategic commuter routes. Similarly, private initiatives promoting car shares like Liftshare and UberPool, aim to cut CO2 emissions by sharing travel.
Maintain and increase parks and open spaces to re-green the city
Chicago’s Green Roofs Initiative offers incentives to planners on the condition that green roofs are integrated into proposals. In Seattle, rules were changed to allow for the keeping of bees and livestock, and neighborhood pea patches and community gardens were established that contribute to local food banks. Meanwhile in Paris, 20,000 residents have backed plans for a 2m euro investment in vertical gardens across the city.
In its own commitment to “urban greening”, London’s garden bridge remains under consideration, and the Mayor of London and the London Assembly are supporting projects to make business districts greener.
Article Submitted By Community Writer