Our current economic model - known as a linear economy - is not sustainable. This is the warning we hear from scientists, economists and other thought leaders who describe the linear model as a wasteful take-make-consume-dispose system, one that damages natural resources and the environment, generates excessive volumes of waste and dumps valuable materials into landfills. By comparison, the grand vision of a circular economy depicts a more resilient and sustainable model which yields responsible use and reuse of resources and raw materials, protection of the environment, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and innovation in waste management.
There was a time when bells in town squares warned citizens of impending danger. Today, the bells ring again in the form of studies and media reports with warnings about urban problems that plague modern cities and resist solutions. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of people move to cities in pursuit of a higher quality of life. This is the story of cities: Citizens with big expectations versus the endurance of big city problems. It is a still-unfolding story with numerous villains: social inequality, traffic congestion, pollution, crime, unemployment, lack of affordable housing, aging infrastructure, public service shortfalls.
In recent years, an increasing number of Spanish cities recognize the need for bold steps to confront an emerging urban crisis. A crisis with multiple dimensions including damage to quality of life caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, threats of climate change, and an urgency to develop policies that support green city innovation.
Global Perspective: Good Intentions, Complex Barriers
Since the concept of a green economy was forged in the 1990s, the ideas and strategies for green cities have evolved into a variety of urban development policies, smart city solutions and sustainability measures to protect the environment, enable economic development and ensure high quality of life