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I believe there are various programs that other countries have adapted that the United States could benefit from when it comes to reducing carbon footprints and maintaining the earth that we have already damaged. If you look at most European countries, most cities are made for people. When I say made for people I mean that the infrastructure is set up so that there are pathways, walkways, bicycle lanes and various other ways for people to navigate through the city. Even is rural parts of Europe, there are bicycle highways that go for miles and allow travel between cities. America, on the other hand, is set up for cars. Walking in most cities is hazardous, and once you leave the cities sidewalks and bicycle lanes are almost non existent. Less cars ultimately means less of a carbon footprint, but until the structure of cities are changed people will continue to drive instead of walk. While cities can have huge amounts of people, the can create less of an urban footprint if set up correctly. Because they are densely populated, if you change the zoning rules and combine residential along with commercial and retailers, you make travel less because the resources you need are in the area. (Tulloch, 2011) speaks of this in an article, stating, “New Yorkers have half the carbon footprint of residents of Denver partly because of the Big Apple’s higher population density and public transport network.” Financially this could be challenging as changing zoning and changing the mindset of small houses into high rises would be hard, but this would also allow for rooftop gardens.
Speaking of gardens, building high in these cities would allow for gardens are more over. In addition, vertical farms would help to assist urban areas with food production, and make food within their neighborhoods a reality. “Compared to traditional agriculture, vertical farming uses 70 to 95 percent less water and over 90 percent less land, while harvesting 80 percent more per unit of area. This would also reduce the carbon footprint of travel.(Cho, 2015)
Cho, R. (2015). How Sustainable is Vertical Farming? Students Try to Answer the Question. Blogs.ei.columbia.edu. Retrieved 12 October 2016, from http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2015/12/10/how-sustainable-is-vertical-farming-students-try-to-answer-the-question/Tulloch, J. (2011). How to design cities around people, not cars – About us | Allianz. Allianz.com. Retrieved 12 October 2016, from https://www.allianz.com/en/about_us/open-knowledge/topics/mobility/articles/110610-how-to-design-cities-around-people-not-cars.html/