March 13, 2008

What’s a great city like? Part # 1: It’s clean

In a recent BusinessWeek article about The City of the Future, I read this:
More than half of humanity now lives in cities—and that figure will likely reach 75% by 2050.

In the coming postings, I’ll write a little about what a great city is like. My first input is that a great city is clean. In this regard, I admire the Swiss. Living here in Switzerland, I experience that more or less everywhere you go, it’s clean. The streets are clean, the airport and railway stations are clean, the shops are clean, the forests and parks are clean, it’s clean in and around various companies and schools. And I could keep on going.

I’m not expert in the field, but I believe there are more people to thank for this cleanliness. Taking Zurich as an example, I believe Stadt Zürich Entsorgung und Recycling can be thanked. But also - and this is not to underestimate, I think - each person who lives here should be thanked for the high degree of cleanliness. I experience that it’s simply a part of the culture to, for example, not leave any packaging behind, when you have used something. People clean up after themselves, take their things with them. That way, they do their fellow citizens as well as other people who come to Zurich from all over the world a favour.

If you’d like to learn more about the world’s cleanest cities, take a look at this.

By the way, I read that a clean city project is on its way in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. You can read more about the visionary $15 billion Masdar Initiative by clicking here.

How clean is the city you live in? And what do you think should be done to make it even cleaner?
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