Western Harbour Malmo

Barack Obama and Sustainable Cities

Michael O'Hare - June 27, 2009

What does Barack Obama think of cities?  Does he wish to make our cities for people and less for cars? Does President Obama believe that sustainable city development is priority, given the magnitude of the other tasks that lie in wait for him?

Well, I think the initial signs are good.

Sustainable Greensburg

“I think about Greensburg, Kansas, a town that was completely destroyed by a tornado, but is being rebuilt by its residents as a global example of how clean energy can power an entire community— how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and rubble once lay.”

“‘The tragedy was terrible’, said one of the men who helped them rebuild. ‘But the folks here know that it also provided an incredible opportunity.’”

Said Mr. Obama during his first statement to a joint session of Congress back in February. The way the whole community of Greensburg came together to envision a better future after the tragic event in May 2007 is very impressive. Take a look at this short video to get an idea of what residents think:

They’re especially looking at investing in energy efficient buildings, renewable energy and alternative transport fuels to secure a better future for their children.

The question is, is this the way to succeed?

Greensburg – a City for People?

The stories from Greensburg and Barack Obama’s support of the city fill me with much confidence. Like them, I also believe in the benefits that come from community and investing in technology that makes the best use of local resources to create a city for the future.

If I were to give them some advice, it would be to think not just about the technology but also how to make the city better for people by making great use of public space. I’ve written before about what I think a city should build. As well as green technology, I think parks, cycle paths and pedestrianised streets all contribute to making a city reach its full potential.

Good luck Greensburg.  As Barack Obama said so well, you are becoming a global example and can inspire all to make our cities better places for everyone.

1 Comment »

  1. Mr O’Hare: your writing looks more like a billboard for Barak Obama than sustainable comments of Greensburg,Kansas

    Comment by George Ruiz — July 3, 2012 @ 3:35 am

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