European cities, businesses seek the ultimate sustainable city

Summary:16 cities in the European Union are partnering with businesses and academics to determine best practices sustainability practices for the environment and the economy.

Cities in the European Union are partnering with businesses and academics to study the best practices in urban sustainability.

The groups recently launched TURaS (Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability) to help European cities, and the rural areas around those cities, adapt to the biggest challenges in urban sustainability -- increased flooding or the decrease of urban biodiversity, to name a few.

Over the next five years, 16 cities in 11 countries throughout the EU will research different aspects of urban sustainability. And it's not just about the environment, it's also about helping the economy. By engaging with the business community, TURaS says that each study will "ensure the optimal economic impact of the project is achieved."

Here's a full list of the partners working on this project. Below are a few examples of what they'll be working on:

  • Rotterdam, Netherlands, Stuttgart, Germany, and London, England will look at new ways of using green infrastructure, like green walls and roofs, to manage heavier volumes of rainwater.
  • Brussels, Belgium, Rome, Italy, and Seville, Spain will study ways to better support sustainable local businesses.
  • Dublin, Ireland and Nottingham, England will investigate using vacant sites to increase urban biodiversity while improving urban community life.

There are plenty of interesting ideas floating around about what goes into the sustainable city of the future. But actually testing out these different methods to see what is most effective not only for cities but for business, people, and the planet will go a long way toward creating more resilient cities.

After five years, they might just imagine the ultimate sustainable city.

Photo: infomatique /Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter.

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