It is amazing to see the way cities developed fast over decades by destroying landscapes and introducing tarmac, cement and pollution for their growth. It is equally amazing to see how these same cities now do mega projects to restore nature in their urban areas with very important results in most of the core human values at stake. This shows a huge transformation in self aware city design and development, requiring a totally different attitude to leadership than a few decades ago.
The next step in the evolution of regions is level 4 regenerative, core values driven participation….a Sustainocracy.
This amazing restauration of the natural river through this metropole has shown measurable impact on society, the environment, the people and the economy (4 x WIN). It is also shows an enormous contrast between the 20th and 21st century city development attitude and professionalism. It did not prevent Seoul from being flooded again due to torrential rains this year but the new age engagement with nature will surely show positive effects in the longer term.
Here is example where citizens take the initiative and make a difference. It shows that taking initiative is important. Determination will get the other partners (such as narrow minded governments) on board eventually, especially when the arguments are about regional health and climate safety. Who dare to say no to joining?
Spain used to be a country full of woods. There is a local saying that says that “a squirel could cross the entire country without touching the ground”. This all changed when the spanish king Felip II in the 16th century decided to build the Armada, a huge fleet of (wooden) ships. The inland climate of Spain is dry and hot in summer. The spanish living in Madrid refer to their climate as “6 months winter, 6 months hell”. With our knowledge today about the benefits of woods there is every reason to reforest Spain as much as possible. Also other greening actions are taken….
But such actions also need to be supported by the citizens and business people for the benefit of their own current and future wellness. Too often still irresponsible and criminal acts set woods on fire in Spain which can be directly related to stupidity (sigarettes, glass waste, wild bbq-ing) and malice (real estate interests).
African Green wall
Desertification is a huge problem and largely caused by human interventions in nature. We domesticated certain crops for massive productivity, requiring more and more land to grow more of it. This productivity is part of the financial world of investors and public food dependence and therefore so widely supported by governments. There are many other ways of providing us with our nutrition (as we show in our online course on regional self sufficiency and food resilience) but this needs to find its way into our societies (f.i. by taking our responsibility ourselves for local food). Meanwhile governments get to multibillion euro/dollar Green Wall projects to counteract the desertification. Gladly the first results are very promising.
Do you know of any positive initiatives in your city or country? Don´t hesitate to share it with us. Hopefully at some stage we can also work proactively and prevent these mega remedial investments and spend the money of care instead of repair. Let us start with our progress as remediators.