Giving New Meaning to “Green” Transit

In the US, we tend to think of public transportation as inherently green, which of course it is compared to our addiction to driving. It becomes even more so when old diesel buses are replaced with models running on natural gas, or with buses equipped with the cleaner diesel engines of current technology.

But in Europe they are way ahead of us. A couple of years ago, the British urban design magazine Monocle published an article highlighting 25 design examples of what, in their opinion, makes a city great. That article (Unavailable online without an expensive subscription) was apparently the subject of a story in the now-defunct International Herald Tribune. Here’s part of what the story (links to the original are broken) had to say:

“There’s something quite magical about watching trams in Barcelona, Strasbourg or Frankfurt glide silently along beds of grass as they do their city circuit. Where possible, this attractive combination of efficient public transport and inspired landscaping should be standard as part of the urban fabric . . .”

Great for livability, great for controlling stormwater runoff. For more photos and a bit more info, go here.

Kaid Benfield is director for sustainable communities and smart growth at The Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC. He has his own blog on land development and community issues and enjoys contributing here, too, since there is so much common ground.


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