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 Quick Tips: UEM appetizers

Quicktips is a solutions page that illustrate actions taken in enhancing urban environments in a brief paragraph. It works as an appetizer, in raising awareness about green, alternative and sustainable environments.

  • The Czechs and Austrians have created a 250-mile long Czech Greenway connecting Vienna and Prague with foot, bicycle, and horse trails as well as canoe waterways. (Waterfront World)

  • Higher-density, "neotraditional" planning is catching on in the Canadian province of Ontario, with at least 12 projects underway. One such community, the village of Montgomery near Toronto, features three- and four-story townhouses on 20- to 30-foot wide lots, with wooden balconies, front porches, and garages in the rear. (The New York Times)

  • With its 60 million bikes outnumbering its 40 million automobiles, Germany is spending more than $1 billion over five years to construct bike paths. (What’s Next)

  • Frankfurt's new 62-story Commerzbank Building includes 13 interior gardens of 15 by 36 meters as well as natural lighting and ventilation. (Greenclips/ENR)

  • Britain's 1996 Green Building of the Year is a 6,000 square-meter administration and student building at Oxford which uses only natural and recycled materials, recycles graywater and runoff from the roof for toilets, and employs condensing gas boilers and low energy lighting. (Greenclips/Building for a Future)

  • In an innovative alternative cooling technology, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is avoiding the cost and energy use of air conditioning by pumping icy water into underground tanks during the winter and recirculating it during the summer. (Earth Island Journal)

  • Scientists at the Shell oil company predict that by the year 2050 renewable energy sources will contribute almost as much to global energy demand as coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear combined. (Solar Mind)

  • The highly successful "Magic Eyes" campaign in Thailand has managed to persuade the public to participate in efforts to clean up the Chao Phraya river and accept charges for water treatment and related clean-up activities.(Magic Eyes Booklet)

10 recipients of the 1998 Dubai International Award for Best Practices in Improving the Living Environment
Once a poor fishing village, Zhuhai, China, has become a model city for comprehensive environmental management amidst rapid urban growth, leading to the replication of its experience in many other Chinese cities. Rapid population growth, economic stagnation and the rise of drug trafficking have fragmented the low income communities of Medellin, Colombia. Through the urban sub centres, residents are working in partnership with Government, local authorities and the private sector to reclaim their communities.
In Cairo, Egypt, the Zabbaleen are not only selling products made from garbage they have collected and recycled, but they have also been successful in persuading the Government to legally recognize their community. In 1995, the Municipality of Surat, India, engaged in a comprehensive participatory planning process, producing an integrated programme of 47 projects addressing issues of transportation, water supply, sanitation and environmental management. Within 18 months, Surat was judged the second cleanest city in India.
An island of unique biodiversity threatened by pressing demands for more agricultural land, Kenya's Arabuko Sokoke Forest has been saved by the Kipepeo Project. The success of the project lies in linking conservation with development through the sustainable harvesting and export of butterfly pupae. By producing their own professional standard development plan, a low income community on the outskirts of Xalapa, Vera Cruz, Mexico, has initiated a housing project, a women's credit scheme, a nutrition and education project and has succeeded in obtaining the official incorporation of their community as part of the municipality.
Popular participation in local planning has been crucial to the ongoing rehabilitation of the Naga River, the upgrading of the City Hospital and the improvement of solid waste management in Naga City, The Philippines. Through the rehabilitation of its historic city centre, the recovery of its urban beach and the implementation of a modern waste-water treatment plant, the City of Malaga, Spain, represents an excellent example of how cities can put into practice the recommendations of the 1992 Earth Summit and the commitments made by partners at the "City Summit" the Habitat II Conference held in Istanbul in 1996.
The Dar es Salaam City Council realized it could not meet the demand for infrastructure by itself. Through the Community Infrastructure Upgrading Programme (CIP), communities such as Tabata are contributing their ideas, energy and money for roads, water and sanitation projects. Since 1994, Interface, Inc. Kennesaw, Georgia, United States of America, has applied its philosophy of "Doing well by doing good" to all aspects of its carpet manufacturing business, significantly reducing its environmental impact, saving $50 million, quadrupling its stock price and reducing the environmental impact of the operations of its domestic and international suppliers.

Do you have a Quick Tip to share? Quick Tips are short (1 or 2 lines) descriptions of initiatives that have aimed at enhancing urban environments. Please send them to
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