Fast company has just released its list of the top 13 most creative and innovative cities in the world, most of which are within the United States which I must admit is a little surprising. In a statement, Fast company explained that criteria used was to determine and rank cities with "initiatives that can help our communities go greener, be safer, live smarter, and invest for the future."
No 1: Cleveland
From being a city scarred by urban blight and foreclosure, Cleveland, Ohio is putting together an impressive urban plan "to create acres of tree nurseries, oases of native plants, and community gardens." Also, empty lots within communities are to be used as mini solar farms to power homes in the community. "A solar array in a previously empty 3-acre lot, for example, will provide enough power for 200 homes."
No 2: San Francisco
This seems to be just about the "Bank on San Francisco" program, a public-private partnership established by the city and county of San Francisco and several other financial organizations. This program ensured that the 17 participating banks accepted not only United States issued IDs but Mexican and Guatemalan IDs as well to enable Latino immigrants working in the city to safely deposit their money in the bank and hang on to the 5% of their annual income they would have spent on check-cash services. Other than the banks having more money to lend, I'm not sure what good this has done.
No 3: Tucson
This comes due to the initiative to make the city as "healthy as possible." The program which started in 2003, has created "700 miles of bike ways and 72 miles of shared-use paths" with more than $80 million planned to be spent in the future. With all the new access and increased circulation within the city, the crime rate has greatly been reduced, more than 20% since 2006 and has seen a "45% reduction in crystal-methane availability since 2006."
No 4: Taipei
Taipei, Taiwan has been working hard over the years to achieve "zero landfill, total recycling" by 2010, 30 years ahead of the UN's trash targets. The city has managed to slash their garbage volume by almost 60% by introducing a new system of kitchen waste disposal that turns food waste into pig feed.
Article info obtained from: www.fastcompany.com/cities/2009