What can be done to make cities green?
Mayor Newsom began with how moved he was by hosting the UN’s World Environment Day in San Francisco in 2005. For that event, which was called “Green Cities – Plan for the Planet!”, he invited 120 mayors from around the world. Days of intense discussion led to the publication of 21 policy principles for building permanently sustainable cities, in the areas of energy, waste, design, nature, transportation, health, and water. Cities, Newsom said, consume 75% of natural resources and are responsible for 75% of pollution.
He became determined to help make San Francisco the Greenest city in the world. [….]
Newsom noted with glee that there is now intense competition between cities to out-Green each other. Portland, San Francisco, Manhattan, Amsterdam, Vancouver, Singapore and countless others vie in the quest for Green bragging rights. They borrow ideas and deploy comparative shame: “How can sunless Berlin have more solar power than any American city?”