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Growing Green City Criteria

As founder of this site and designer and builder of the Growing Green Cities Greenhouse, I’ve been very surprised about something that seemed apparent to me at first. What is a ‘green city’? When I started to think about the Greenhouse, my motivations were to build an innovative, technically advanced greenhouse that would aid people in generating energy, growing food and processing waste. While to me this appeared so inevitably ‘green’, obviously the greenhouse is not green. Not only does it not have a green color, there’s also nothing green growing on top of it nor around it. One could even argue that, since I reused materials, that it does not even look appealing to the eye.


Wikipedia says:

An eco-city is a city built off the principles of living within the means of the environment. The ultimate goal of many eco-cities is to eliminate all carbon waste, to produce energy entirely through renewable sources, and to incorporate the environment into the city; however, eco-cities also have the intentions of stimulating economic growth, reducing poverty, organizing cities to have higher population densities, and therefore higher efficiency, and improving health.

So with a ‘green city’, do we mean an ‘eco-city’? Personally I would say so yes. However, I would like to grow a consensus of what other people think.


On this page we’ll try to build a list of criteria. Members will have the opportunity to vote on these criteria. Obviously, the more votes a criterium will get, the more heavy it will weigh. Each criterium can be voted on to be:

  • Very irrelevant
  • Mostly irrelevant
  • Neutral
  • Important
  • Very important

The criteria will be listed for cities on the GGC Map. People local to a city on the map can then indicate how well they feel their city meets the criteria.

This way a map will grow with truly representative data. Those who know me personally know that I’m always busy trying to find out mathematical algorithms.

I’ve borrowed the eco-city criteria for the time being and will simply list them here while working behind the scene on code that allows people to vote-up, vote-down or add criteria.

  • Operates on a self-contained economy, resources needed are found locally
  • Has completely carbon-neutral and renewable energy production
  • Has a well-planned city layout and public transportation system that makes the priority methods of transportation as follows possible: walking first, then cycling, and then public transportation.
  • Resource conservation—maximizing efficiency of water and energy resources, constructing a waste management system that can recycle waste and reuse it, creating a zero-waste system
  • Restores environmentally damaged urban areas
  • Ensures decent and affordable housing for all socio-economic and ethnic groups and improve jobs opportunities for disadvantaged groups, such as women, minorities, and the disabled
  • Supports local agriculture and produce
  • Promotes voluntary simplicity in lifestyle choices, decreasing material consumption, and increasing awareness of environmental and sustainability issues


This section describes the algorithm we’ll use.

  • the total number of criteria
  • the total number of votes on all criteria
  • x  1..n

Using the above, each criterium will be assigned a weight in percents:

[latex]p(x) = 100\frac{1}{n}\sum_{i=1}^{votes}vote(x)[i][/latex]