The Suburban Ripple Effect of Sustainable Cities

Much has been said about how cities must lead on sustainability and climate change when national governments have not. But they also must do so from the other direction, because the suburbs around them don’t have that capacity, either. In Boston, decisions on everything from street lighting to energy retrofits to recycling have rippled far beyond the city’s borders. This happens – and is happening in metros everywhere – because they have the buying power to create demand and lower prices for new technology, and because when cities change, markets change with them. In the world of sustainability, cities have tens of thousands of streetlights, recycling bins, power customers, transit riders, office buildings and homeowners on which everyone else can ride, too. “Cities by nature are natural aggregators,” Jim Hunt, the chief of environment and energy for the city of Boston, says. “We aggregate people, we aggregate demand, and if you can harness that in a coordinated way, you can help build markets.”

The Atlantic

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s