Creating an environmentally friendly living space for everyone might seem like quite the challenge, but expert say we CAN make a difference, perhaps as early as 2030. It’s estimated that by 2030 the world’s population will have doubled in urban areas. More people now live in cities than elsewhere, and that’s a first for humanity! Making cities greener, more efficient and generally more pleasant to live in isn’t all about walking everywhere and picking up litter; it’s about implementing sensible, practical initiatives and cityscape features that enhance the quality of living for both the people in the city and the planet. Here are just five of our favourite green features that could easily jump off our eco architects’ page and right into any city. 1. Beekeeping Tokyo is now a leading light in the world of urban beekeeping. But what are the benefits? It’s not like bees can help us cut our energy costs, is it? Urban beekeeping has several interesting economic and environmental benefits. It encourages local trade and community supported programs, and the presence of bees is superb for city flora. There are scores of plants – 250,000 species – that rely solely on the humble bee for pollination. The city bee is the perfect companion for our next green urban feature – the rooftop garden. 2. Rooftop gardens Great for reducing both pollution and temperature. It’s easy to adapt flat-roofed structures like our garden buildings for rooftop greenery. In cities, it’s estimated rooftop gardens could reduce ambient temperatures by 9°F, saving between 15-45% on energy consumption. Green architects like us are big supporters of the rooftop garden! 3. Urban farming It’s estimated the average meal travels 4,200 miles from source to table. What if it only travelled 20 miles? Or even a few feet from your rooftop garden? Urban farming is about creating a healthy environment of locally sourced and managed food. The carbon footprint of food import and movement within a city currently accounts for around 21% of the total city carbon footprint. 4. Energy production Solar power, wind power, biomass- they’re all viable energy solutions that could be implemented by most people today. The great thing about modern sustainable energy is that a lot of it is designed to be used in the cityscape. You don’t need miles of wind turbines in your back yard, just enough to power your own electricity needs. We believe a certain level of self-sufficiency is the future of home and business energy production. 5. Eco-friendly buildings Living structures aren’t just archways of vines over your back door. Living architecture is a truly exciting new arm of sustainable housing that includes measures like constructing buildings from biomaterials and using incredibly efficient insulation techniques (like our buildings already do!) the idea is to minimise the carbon footprint and waste of a building via a sensible network of recycling and eco-friendly building management. Buildings that give back to their environment, that’s what the cities of the future will be all about. Until then, why not try your hand at a little urban beekeeping?