Youth Leading Youth Towards More Sustainable Cities

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When I listened to The Beatles and had my hair long – trying the best I could to imitate their style – I used to venture out into the luxury streets of suburbia out of boredom. Watching cars zip by and feeling very out of place on the sidewalk, I wondered how this lifestyle was ever sustainable. That feeling has always stayed with me.

Focusing on sustainable cities, May 26-30 is Environmental Horizon: ECOnomics for youth. As part of the national HSBC Youth Action Series, over 200 students are participating across Canada in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal. The Toronto section is lead by 7 members known as the Toronto Environmental Youth Council (TYEC). They are showcasing that living sustainably isn’t expensive at the Evergreen Brick Works on May 30.

Facts and figures:

Half of the world’s population live in cities today (3.5 billion)

-Almost 60 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2030

-95 percent of urban expansion in the next decades will take place in the developing world

-828 million people live in slums and the number keeps rising

-cities occupy 2 percent of Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 percent of energy consumption and 75 percent of carbon emissions

Will innovation in urban development help cities become more sustainable? As Toronto continues to grow, I hope we strive to become one of the world’s most sustainable cities.

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