What does it mean to be "Green"?

Green is the belief that human activity should not be damaging to the environment. Humans are natural and should coexist harmoniously with their environment. For us, this involves promoting goods and service, laws, and guidelines that have positive effects on the natural ecosystem. The Green Guidelines are designed to be easily duplicated in all cities. Below, we provided a brief summary of each of our 12 guidelines.

 1. URBAN GROWTH BOUNDARIES   Every city should establish an enforced urban growth boundary (UGB). The UGB should be set   based upon a rigorous analysis of ecological sensitiv  ities, environmental capacity, and the efficiency and productiveness of various land uses. The boundary can expand beyond the existing urban footprint only if there are no suitable infilll locations as indicated   by an intensity of urban land use of at least 10,000 residents per square kilometer. In Portland, Oregon, city authorities convine every six years to discuss changes to their UGB based on forecasts on population growth. Having a well defined UGB helps avoid the hidden costs of urban sprawl.

1. URBAN GROWTH BOUNDARIES

Every city should establish an enforced urban growth boundary (UGB). The UGB should be set based upon a rigorous analysis of ecological sensitivities, environmental capacity, and the efficiency and productiveness of various land uses. The boundary can expand beyond the existing urban footprint only if there are no suitable infilll locations as indicated by an intensity of urban land use of at least 10,000 residents per square kilometer. In Portland, Oregon, city authorities convine every six years to discuss changes to their UGB based on forecasts on population growth. Having a well defined UGB helps avoid the hidden costs of urban sprawl.

 2. TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT   Cities should be built around their public transit   systems. The area within 500-800 meters of ma  jor transit stations, such as the metro or bus rapid   transit (BRT), or within 500 meters of nearest bus or transit stops (in case BRT or Metro is not available) should have FAR at least 50% higher than the   average of the district. For big cities, at least 70% of   residents should live in TOD areas characterized by convenient mass transit service. Great accessibility   (pleasant walking amenities to transit system within a 500-meter radius) must also be offered. In Copenhagen, development projects are built around transit hubs with green spaces as buffers between neighborhoods.

2. TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT

Cities should be built around their public transit systems. The area within 500-800 meters of major transit stations, such as the metro or bus rapid transit (BRT), or within 500 meters of nearest bus or transit stops (in case BRT or Metro is not available) should have FAR at least 50% higher than the average of the district. For big cities, at least 70% of residents should live in TOD areas characterized by convenient mass transit service. Great accessibility (pleasant walking amenities to transit system within a 500-meter radius) must also be offered. In Copenhagen, development projects are built around transit hubs with green spaces as buffers between neighborhoods.

 3. MIXED USE   All residential units should be close to at least six kinds of amenities within 500-meter radius of their residential building entrance (amenities include schools, post offices, banks, retails, clinics, activity centers, restaurants, etc.). The job-resident ratio (the number of people employed divided by the number of residents) should be between 0.5 and 0.7 over every commuting district, which should have a spatial area that is no more than 15 km  2  . Normally, these   commuting districts are bounded by physical barriers for pedestrians. In Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City, district centers will be built around transit hubs. The districts will maintain job-housing ratio of of 0.5

3. MIXED USE

All residential units should be close to at least six kinds of amenities within 500-meter radius of their residential building entrance (amenities include schools, post offices, banks, retails, clinics, activity centers, restaurants, etc.). The job-resident ratio (the number of people employed divided by the number of residents) should be between 0.5 and 0.7 over every commuting district, which should have a spatial area that is no more than 15 km2. Normally, these commuting districts are bounded by physical barriers for pedestrians. In Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City, district centers will be built around transit hubs. The districts will maintain job-housing ratio of of 0.5

 4. SMALL BLOCKS   Blocks should be less than or equal to 2 hectares and 70% of the blocks should comply with this   standard. Exceptions made for industrial areas. Small blocks scale the city down to human size so that walking is more pleasant. Traffic is more efficient in the dense road mesh created by small block development. The urban landscape of Barcelona is dominated by small blocks which makes for a pleasant walking experience for pedestrians. 

4. SMALL BLOCKS

Blocks should be less than or equal to 2 hectares and 70% of the blocks should comply with this standard. Exceptions made for industrial areas. Small blocks scale the city down to human size so that walking is more pleasant. Traffic is more efficient in the dense road mesh created by small block development. The urban landscape of Barcelona is dominated by small blocks which makes for a pleasant walking experience for pedestrians. 

 5. PUBLIC GREEN SPACE   Publicly accessible and usable green space should comprise 20-40% of the cons  truction on areas (residential areas should have bigger coverage). All residences   should have accessible public space within 500 meters. A wonderful example of public green space is the Highline in New York City. This public green promenade was converted from an old abandoned elevated railway. Now, the structure is given new life in a way that the whole community can enjoy.

5. PUBLIC GREEN SPACE

Publicly accessible and usable green space should comprise 20-40% of the construction on areas (residential areas should have bigger coverage). All residences should have accessible public space within 500 meters. A wonderful example of public green space is the Highline in New York City. This public green promenade was converted from an old abandoned elevated railway. Now, the structure is given new life in a way that the whole community can enjoy.

 6. NON MOTORIZED TRANSIT   There should be dedicated and connected walking paths of at least 10 km in length per square kilometer, and dedicated and connected biking paths of least 10 km in length per square kilometer in urban areas. A good example of a walkable community is Liuyun Xiaoqu. Ranked fifth on a list of 50 projects by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Liuyun Xiaoqu offers a dense network of pedestrian/bicycle only roads and strict car control.

6. NON MOTORIZED TRANSIT

There should be dedicated and connected walking paths of at least 10 km in length per square kilometer, and dedicated and connected biking paths of least 10 km in length per square kilometer in urban areas. A good example of a walkable community is Liuyun Xiaoqu. Ranked fifth on a list of 50 projects by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Liuyun Xiaoqu offers a dense network of pedestrian/bicycle only roads and strict car control.

 7. PUBLIC TRANSIT   All new developments must be within a 500-meter radius of a bus or mass   transit station. For the city as a whole, at least 90% of developments should be within 800-meter radius of a public transit station. The City of Guangzhou utilizes an affordable bus rapid transit system for transportation needs, along with an extensive metro network. The Guangzhou BRT system, introduced in 2010, has been a huge success, carrying over 1 million passengers daily.

7. PUBLIC TRANSIT

All new developments must be within a 500-meter radius of a bus or mass transit station. For the city as a whole, at least 90% of developments should be within 800-meter radius of a public transit station. The City of Guangzhou utilizes an affordable bus rapid transit system for transportation needs, along with an extensive metro network. The Guangzhou BRT system, introduced in 2010, has been a huge success, carrying over 1 million passengers daily.

 8. CAR CONTROL   Every city should have a strategy to cap car use. Where high-quality transit exists, there should be limits on parking. Car control is a key strategy in Vauban, Germany. In Vauban, 160 out of 1,000 citizens have a car and only 20% of trips are taken by private car. 81% of residents say that life without a car is "very easy" or "easy."

8. CAR CONTROL

Every city should have a strategy to cap car use. Where high-quality transit exists, there should be limits on parking. Car control is a key strategy in Vauban, Germany. In Vauban, 160 out of 1,000 citizens have a car and only 20% of trips are taken by private car. 81% of residents say that life without a car is "very easy" or "easy."

 9. GREEN BUILDINGS   At least 70% of buildings should be MOHURD One-Star, 20-40% of buildings should be MOHURD Two-Star, and 5-15% of buildings should be MOHURD Three-Star within any development. A prime example of a green building is Parkview Green in Beijing. It is a mixed-use development with shops, restaurants, high-end office space, and an art gallery. The building earned a LEED Platinum certificate for its energy saving features.

9. GREEN BUILDINGS

At least 70% of buildings should be MOHURD One-Star, 20-40% of buildings should be MOHURD Two-Star, and 5-15% of buildings should be MOHURD Three-Star within any development. A prime example of a green building is Parkview Green in Beijing. It is a mixed-use development with shops, restaurants, high-end office space, and an art gallery. The building earned a LEED Platinum certificate for its energy saving features.

 10. RENEWABLE AND DISTRICT ENERGY   Every project should analyze the potential for district energy, such as com  bined heat and power (CHP), waste to energy, and waste heat re-use. There should be 5-15% local renewable energy generation for residential areas and   2-5% for commercial areas. Milan's central district energy system has had significant environmental benefit, with a reduction of 2.5 tons of particulate matter, 70,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 50 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 20 tons of sulfur dioxide.

10. RENEWABLE AND DISTRICT ENERGY

Every project should analyze the potential for district energy, such as combined heat and power (CHP), waste to energy, and waste heat re-use. There should be 5-15% local renewable energy generation for residential areas and 2-5% for commercial areas. Milan's central district energy system has had significant environmental benefit, with a reduction of 2.5 tons of particulate matter, 70,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 50 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 20 tons of sulfur dioxide.

 11. WASTE MANAGEMENT    
  
 
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   All buildings should have waste classification facilities. All household waste must be sorted and collection of hazardous waste must be prioritized. At least 30-50% of waste should be composted and 35-50% recycled or re-used. San Francisco sets the benchmark for good waste management. In 2010, the city diverted 77% of waste from landfills and expect to reach 90%. In partnership with Recology, San Francisco has a program where citizens pay based on volume of trash disposed while Recology generates revenue from recycling and composting services.

11. WASTE MANAGEMENT

All buildings should have waste classification facilities. All household waste must be sorted and collection of hazardous waste must be prioritized. At least 30-50% of waste should be composted and 35-50% recycled or re-used. San Francisco sets the benchmark for good waste management. In 2010, the city diverted 77% of waste from landfills and expect to reach 90%. In partnership with Recology, San Francisco has a program where citizens pay based on volume of trash disposed while Recology generates revenue from recycling and composting services.

 12. WATER EFFICIENCY   All buildings must have 100% adoption of water saving appliances, and green   spaces surrounding buildings must adopt low water-use plants. All water   consumption should be metered and at least 20-30% of water supply must be   recycled from either wastewater or rainwater. In partnership with Microsoft, the City of Breda, Netherlands has implemented a cloud-based system where citizens can make informed decisions on water use. Citizens know how much water comes from rain and where water is going.

12. WATER EFFICIENCY

All buildings must have 100% adoption of water saving appliances, and green spaces surrounding buildings must adopt low water-use plants. All water consumption should be metered and at least 20-30% of water supply must be recycled from either wastewater or rainwater. In partnership with Microsoft, the City of Breda, Netherlands has implemented a cloud-based system where citizens can make informed decisions on water use. Citizens know how much water comes from rain and where water is going.