Sustainability. Most people often hear this term and categorize it as automatically good. They aren’t wrong. However, they don’t know understand why it is important.
In this article, we’ll explain why sustainability is important for a city. The reasons here were taken from an article directed towards the United Nations, urging them to make city sustainability one of their goals moving forward.
From this general information, we can take these and apply them to our own smaller cities, like us at Greener World.
Without further ado, here are three reasons why a sustainable city is important.
The current population of the whole planet Earth is nearing eight billion. Every year, as many as 60 million people are adding to a city’s population. More than half of the population are currently living in cities.
As the years go on, more cities will need to be built to accommodate the population growth. These growing number of people also need opportunities that will allow them to make a living. Not to mention that there also needs to be a stable economy in place that takes into consideration the increasing and retiring population.
The right plans must be set in place for this expansion, as success is dependent on it.
In today’s world, there is still some prejudice against certain ethnicities and religions. There is also hate and widespread violence for a number (or lack of) reasons.
An urbanized and sustainable city will not only allow for economic development. It can also lead to a platform that brings together diverse people and will eventually lead to acceptance.
With the growing number of people in the world, it is becoming harder and harder to stay closed-minded and lock one’s self away from people and ideologies that they don’t like. There is no escaping it.
Of course this isn’t an automatic thing. Just like the first point, good planning needs to happen right now.
Gathering the Right Data
Everybody wants to live in a good city. However, there are currently no statistics, metrics, or guidelines to really make this happen through the frame of sustainability.
This is a good reason why sustainability should be a goal by cities and by the United Nations. In making this a clear supported goal, people and organizations can make an effort to understand and create these metrics.
Creating more sustainable areas will allow us to gather the right data we need to replicate these efforts in all the cities of the world.
The importance of sustainability extends farther than these reasons. The bottom line is that sustainability is important to a city. We hope you join us to ensure that not just the local area but more areas around the world will become sustainable.
People who don’t know anything about gardening or are just starting often think that you need to get all the right and legitimate materials for the job. However, this simply isn’t true. If you use a bit of ingenuity and resourcefulness, you can find that you can have everyday items that can be used for gardening.
Here are four items you didn’t know you could recycle for gardening.
Aquarium and Its Components
Who knew that taking care of fish could also translate to a good garden?
If you own an aquarium, take care of fish, and are also nurturing a garden, then look forward to the days when you need to clean out your tank and replace the water.
Instead of throwing all the water away, why not take it and water your garden with it? Throughout the time that is has been used, the fish have been – ehem…. – making the water “healthier” in a way. The plants in your garden are sure to enjoy the nutrients that your friendly fish have left behind.
Apart from that, the pond silt can also be used as it is full of rich nutrients. Compost it. Afterward, it will turn into a resource that improves the soil of your garden.
Are you a fan of sodas? Apart from your growing blood sugar, this is also a good thing for your garden. Think twice before throwing your used soda bottles up and recycle them into cloches.
If you haven’t heard of cloches, I don’t blame you. Cloches are a protective covering that you place on plants to shield them from colder temperatures. Cold temperatures can hamper the growth of your plants.
They are usually made up of a bell-shaped glass. Today though, they are made from plastic.
When you boil water for cooking vegetables or whatever you may have in mind, do not throw away the excess. Well, at least don’t throw it away willy nilly. Instead, throw it out into the garden, to the nearest weeds that you can find.
The boiling water burns away and damages weeds. Burn away those pesky weeds!
With the rise of digital files and information, CDs are slowly being phased out. This is no reason to throw away your old Taylor Swift album though (if you do own one). Those CDs might still be valuable in the garden.
One pest that gets in the way of a beautiful and flourishing garden are birds. All you need to do is set up the CD so that it reflects the sun off. This reflection can scare away the birds.
Public spaces are very important in a community. In a way, public spaces are what people first see when they enter your community. If it is not inviting and attractive, tourists might want to go there.
Tourists aside though, the citizens of the community have the most to gain from having a great public space. A good public space allows for people to come together and reap the benefits of being an engaged community. It creates a safe space that people can participate and even relax in.
Here are three ways that each community can improve public spaces.
Having activities in your public space makes it a destination. People will flock to your public space when there are things to do there. These include simple things like walking, cycling, having a picnic, having a place to just drink, eat, and work.
Apart from these simple activities, it would also be alright to organize events that people can support and go to.
You can also open shops, restaurants, and cafes there, as well as activity centers like roller rinks, fairs, and festivals.
This point takes off from the previous point. While activities are great to have, it is also important to keep in mind that if the activities are all the same, people tend to get bored.
Ensure that the activities you have in your public space are diverse enough to keep people interested.
Make it Accessible
Your public space could have the most vibrant greenery around it. It could have the most historically amazing architecture. All of this wouldn’t matter if people couldn’t get to it in the first place. Accessibility is key.
Make sure that pedestrians and cyclists have a clear path going to your public space. Is your public space in the route of your public transportation?
If you could have designated parking spots or a parking building nearby, that would be really good for people who would want to visit.
The bottom line is that the more alternatives you can have for accessibility to your public space, the better. No parking spots? No problem. There is a walking path that connects to a garage though.
Apart from getting there, the entrances and exits must be easy to find and use. It might pay to plan out the area of your public spaces and make sure that the routes, entrances, exits, and whatever else is there is laid out logically.
Also, don’t forget the people with disabilities. Make sure you think of them when setting up a public space. Make it easy for them to enter, exit, and use the facilities too.
Finding more ways to improve your public space can better your chances of drawing in more people and engaging communities. We here at Greener World are constantly trying to improve our public spaces as well.
Greener World has a mission to increase community engagement in communities far and wide. While it sounds good, most people don’t know what community engagement actually does and its benefits.
Not to worry, we got you. Here are the top three benefits of having an engaged community.
Opinions and Feedback
Getting the opinion and feedback of whatever community you are in is vital to the longevity and success of your goal or project. Oftentimes, people’s feedbacks are valid and should be heard and taken into account.
This is especially true when it is with the people who directly use or benefit from your project.
However, think about what kind of opinions and feedback you’d get if the community wasn’t engaged. Would they be valid at all? If the community were totally engaged, you can be sure that these community members have invested themselves in your project. This will lead them to giving better feedback that may help you.
Community engagement is not only about providing information. It is also a way for the community to reach out and offer you their ideas and opinions.
This specific benefit is for the community itself. When a community is engaged and invested into whatever project, they have a sense of ownership with it.
If you couple an engaged community with the previous point – listening to their opinions and feedback – this gives the people a sense of power in decision making.
This is a key factor to having a successful project as the community will feel like they had a hand in what the outcome was, even though some people might not agree with it.
Improve Skills and Knowledge
Having an engaged community is a big opportunity for the people within it to improve their skills. If they join your project, they may be put into situations that they are not used to. If they are though, all the better. The bottom line is that people’s skills will increase.
The same could also be said for knowledge. Chances are that your project or role, like ours at Greener World, is directed at making changes around the community as well local governance.
Due to the nature of our project and goal, the members who join and are involved will find out what it takes to make big changes for the community and how things work.
Finally, work and engagement in these types of projects and goals is always good for experience.
These are only a few benefits of community engagement. How ever you look at it, an engaged community is good for you and the people who join.
In today’s day and age, social media is a powerful and some would say essential tool. It allows for people to easily disseminate information. Depending on the type of information and how it is presented, it is possible for it to influence as well.
The Twitter accounts we’ll be looking at today are geared towards community engagement. Here are the top five Twitter accounts that influence community engagement.
Engaging Cities is a website that does exactly what it is named. First and foremost, Engaging Cities is a website that primarily writes articles on a number of topics that are geared towards community engagement.
Articles include those with insights on community engagement, civic technology, using data for neighborhood improvement, and even case studies on community improvement.
On Twitter, they share snippets of new technologies that allow communities to be engaged and to improve.
Their Twitter handle is @engagingcities.
Public Decisions is primarily a website and online academy that caters to increasing engagement in a group’s stakeholders. They provide a series of live training events and conferences. Experts and professional from around the world share their experiences about engagement.
Apart from that, Public Decisions utilizes the latest interactive technologies to sharpen the skills and abilities of its learners.
On Twitter, they share the latest practices, trends, and ideas with public engagement. A definite treasure trove of wisdom.
Their Twitter handle is @publicdecisions.
National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation
The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, or NDCC, is a big group of innovative thinkers who get together to solve the challenges of public engagement. NDCC is a platform for dialogue regarding these issues to take place.
Apart from that, they also have a list of articles and resource centers that are very helpful.
They usually tweet excerpts of these interesting dialogues.
You can follow them at @ncdd.
Twitter is a powerful tool in the right hands. Apart from disseminating information, if you follow the right people and organizations, you might learn interesting techniques that could help increase community engagement.
Follow Greener World’s Twitter account as well! We’ll let you know once that’s all set up.
At Greener World, we could not have kept up our operations, projects, and activities without the help of the community that volunteered and gave their time and effort.
Community engagement is important in rallying together people under a specific cause or goal. In our case, it was improving our local area. You can imagine how hard it would have been to reach our goals when the people within the community are not engaged or don’t care.
Don’t worry, we got you covered. Here are three simple tips that will help you increase community engagement.
Keep Your Group Visible
The first is step is to obviously create a goal or cause that people can rally behind. Afterwards though, you must keep the group visible and make it easy for people to find it.
You could have the greatest or most noble goal in the world. If people can’t find your group, it wouldn’t matter.
Good organizations can are visible from multiple areas. You can put up posters, make magazines that you give out, have social media pages, and even just word of mouth is important.
As long the as your group is visible, likeminded individuals will be able find it and join.
The content you place in these avenues is also important. If it is relevant enough, it will engage the community.
It is important to get the right members of the group. The right people in the right roles can be just the thing to further your cause.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Be careful not to ignore your community. Interact with the members. Talk to them and get their opinions. Listen to their concerns. The fact that you are interacting with them already shows them that you are on the same level and working towards the same goal.
These will do wonders for the morale of the community, engaging them more in the process.
Communicate the Impact and Revise
Once actions and activities have been done, don’t forget to communicate the effect of your actions to people.
When doing so, get into the specifics. Tell the people how their efforts affected people, how many were affected, and how the environment changed. You should be as clear as possible so the community understands what they did and its effect.
Afterwards, it is important to get back to the drawing board. Start planning again with the community. Revise your initial actions so that you can make an even bigger impact moving forward.
When you and your community are in the same page, and they feel like they are making a difference, you can be sure that they will be engaged.
Increasing community engagement is key to reaching your organization’s goals. No man is an island, they say. That is why we must engage the community, because we can only make a difference together.