The Importance of Making Green Convenient

Cycling in Amsterdam

Last week, I blogged about cycling for fun, much like when we were children, in a casual manner, using comfortable bikes and clothes.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, the New York Times published an essay a few days before my post that dealt with a somewhat similar topic: that of cycling in Amsterdam.

See, besides canals, “special” coffee shops, lovely architecture, and a red light district, Amsterdam is known for its deep love of cycling. It is, in fact, considered one of the most bicycle-friendly large cities in the world.

Go for a stroll in Amsterdam, and you’ll see C.E.O.’s, kids, moms, and the elderly zipping along cobbled streets on bombproof Omafiet bikes (the same I referred to in my blog post).

As their clothes attest, they aren’t doing it for sport (it’s common to see cyclists wearing skirts and heels or a suit and tie). Nor are they doing it because it’s green.

They’re doing it because it’s convenient.

According to the New York Times article, Amsterdam, like much of Europe, deals with congestion and greenhouse gas buildup by turning urban centres into pedestrian zones, combining driving with public transportation, and expressly encouraging cycling.

This is precisely what we need to do here. We need to not just encourage people to ride bikes and walk more often, but to make cycling, and indeed all other green activities, convenient and practical.

This is why at Mason Homes we always try to design our communities with pedestrian-friendly streets and ample parks and community resources nearby, so you’ll drive less but walk and play more.

And recently, Avonlea, our community in Peterborough, won the award for Places to Grow Community of the Year for its forward-thinking planning, a combination of smart growth and new urbanism with green building initiatives.

Is there anything else you’d like builders to do to make green initiatives convenient?

Explore posts in the same categories: Green

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