We can learn from the Swedes

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

AF­TER spend­ing a chilly week in Malmo, Swe­den at the in­vi­ta­tion of a Swedish NGO on an in­ter­mu­nic­i­pal knowl­edge ex­change part­ner­ship, it’s good to be back in the Mother City.

Apart from the warmer weather, Cape Town’s unique spirit of hos­pi­tal­ity and nat­u­ral beauty is in­com­pa­ra­ble. How­ever, some game-chang­ing sus­tain­able and re­new­able en­ergy plans re­lat­ing to ev­ery­day “smart liv­ing” can be learnt from the Swedes.

Like the Nether­lands, cy­cling is a way of life in Swe­den, de­spite in­clement weather. Whether you’re a tod­dler or an oc­to­ge­nar­ian, a daily sea of com­mut­ing cy­clists pre­vail on in­ner city roads.

Malmo spends a huge por­tion of its bud­get on ed­u­cat­ing its cit­i­zens, es­pe­cially its ju­ve­nile learn­ers on the im­por­tance of de­vel­op­ing a green econ­omy, im­ple­ment­ing prac­ti­cal ini­tia­tives such as the use of non- mo­torised trans­port to re­duce car­bon emis­sions and plant­ing communal veg­etable gar­dens. Re­cy­cling, re­duc­ing and reusing waste is an­other no­brainer. As in most First World coun­tries, house­holds are en­cour­aged to sep­a­rate do­mes­tic waste and ap­pro­pri­ate stor­age fa­cil­i­ties ad­join res­i­den­tial com­plexes.

Green build­ings and ex­ten­sive res­i­den­tial apart­ment blocks sit­u­ated on the Western Har­bour of Malmo is an ex­am­ple of a part­ner­ship of de­vel­op­ers and lo­cal gov­ern­ment aimed at in­cul­cat­ing smart liv­ing.

I am pleased to re­port that the City of Cape Town has set in mo­tion its own sus­tain­able and re­new­able en­ergy re­source and smart- liv­ing strate­gies. Read­ers can find out more at www.city­of­capetown.co.za

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