Going Green

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By Giano M. Libot

I have issues

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


WHEN we say 'metropolis,' we imagine big buildings, droves of private vehicles, and huge highways. But how many could envision progress via urbanization as having more parks, trees, and even friendlier pedestrian walkways?

It’s not a very popular lobbying interest in the city; our best marks of how we’ve progressed are often exemplified by having the latest sky scrapers covering our city skies, which incidentally makes sense. Commerce brings jobs; parks rarely are thought to bring those.

But more and more modern cities have adopted the less conventional views of a metropolis; they no longer need to create big buildings. The greenest cities in the world are also incidentally the most progressive, in every other modern-day measurement from health to economic activity.

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Advanced research has been amazing, leading to better appreciation for growth indexes. There is a huge correlation between decreased pollution and productivity, and even between pollution and investor appeal. Even when you look at residential growth, fewer and fewer people are interested with cramped up city spaces and would rather have mountain resort-type housing.

In Chicago, around 500,000 trees have been planted to create a permanent greenbelt around the metropolitan area.

In Malmo, Sweden, about 70 percent of the waste in the city is being recycled. This accounts for lesser land to be used, and lesser waste to dispose.

In Germany, there are cities that have invested more into public transportation, and they may very well soon dispose of private vehicle use.

Obviously Cagayan de Oro is still far from those ambitions, but we could start.

It may not be easy to promote greenery as solid city investment; most of it is really lip service.

Outside the occasional fun runs for a cause, or that earth hour special being celebrated, there is no capital for the environment both from the financial resource and human resource standpoints.

But I think if there is any place to start, it should be in City Hall, it should be through legislation, and it should come as a full-on support from our elected officials.

We have to start re-thinking our ideas of what progress looks like.

There are already numerous examples outside our city showing that going green is the best way forward.

Even investing in greener parks is a place to start. We could also try employing the right kind of company to manage our waste, inviting more renewable energy companies to start their development, and creating more environmentally sound infrastructure.

We all have been witness to what happens to us when we abuse our environment. The city has had a darker past; we need to try harder and ensure a brighter future.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 23, 2014.

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