Oct. 6 Issue

Diane Harris

Deputy Editor

Long before this summer of reckoning on climate change, some forward-thinking cities around the world were already focused on building a more sustainable future for their residents. From Seattle to Singapore, Charlotte, N.C. to Paris and more, this week's cover story looks at places that are pointing the way to a greener future by reimagining urban design to minimize environmental impact and enhance quality of life for all.

"Low-income and racial minority communities historically have been left out of the environmental movement [yet] have experienced disproportionate burden from environmental hazards. There needs to be a lot of effort to ensure equitable distribution of benefits and resources when it comes to sustainability initiatives." - Andy Hong, Director, Healthy Aging and Resilient Places Lab at the University of Utah

After this summer of reckoning with climate change, cities around the world will inevitably be ramping up efforts to deal with the impact of extreme weather and build a more sustainable future for the people who live there. In some forward-thinking places, however, such efforts have already long been under way—and point the way to a greener future.These leading-edge initiatives go beyond a program here or there to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or an emergency plan to cope with heat waves, floods and wildfires. Instead, they involve a serious reimagining of urban lifestyles and design in an era of climate challenges that's technologically advanced yet human-focused, that aims to minimize environmental impact while enhancing quality of life, and that is economically sound while ensuring that all residents reap the benefits.

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