from : ALL+ 雜誌
A major city in the Evergreen State Seattle is situated between three national
parks. The city rests along Puget Sound, and its sprawl marks a gray line between
lush forest and deep blue ocean. From early on, the local economy was based
on logging and commercial trade done through the harbor. Now after almost
two hundred years of development, the city is aiming to return to nature through
the combined efforts of government and residents.
Seattle started out as a logging town in the mid-1800s. The arrival of Microsoft
more than a century later helped Seattle become known as an important city for
technology. A local coffee shop named Starbucks also began to grow around
this time, and the city became known for its great coffee, too. Not long after,
Seattle implemented recycling and other Eco-friendly programs. The Emerald City
quickly became one of the greenest cities in America.
To reduce the city's carbon footprint, the local government called upon its over
three million residents to make small home improvements. Volunteers help neighbors
change to water-saving showerheads and CLF lights in the aptly named SWITCH
program. Seattleites are also happy to put in time and effort in the many other city
Seattle is often praised for being on the cutting edge of green city design. In
1999, for example, the city began the Street Edge Alternative (ESA) Streets
Project. This pilot project turned a section of a typical city street into a curving road
lined with plants. The modified street allows rainwater to be absorbed into
the land instead of being sent through underground pipes. Those who live on the
pilot street are now happily parking their cars next to matured flower gardens and
The voluntary Green Up program is another effort to power Seattle by alternative
energies. Residents and business owners can elect to buy power from area wind farms
and other renewable energy sources. Green power is a bit more expensive, but it is
keeping Seattle cleaner.
Residents are also being pushed to drive their fossil-fueled cars less. As part
of the One Less Car Challenge, families give up driving one of their cars. Besides
knowing they are helping the earth, they receive incentives like discounts
on Eco-friendly products and vouchers for public transportation. City planning
has taken sustainability into mind and is helping citizens do their part in protecting
Building stylish, green structures is yet another trend in Seattle, as seen with the
Ballard Library. The library's slightly curved glass and wood roof is covered with plants
that soak up rainwater. Natural light shines through at just the right angle for readers,
who relax on furniture formed from single pieces of wood and metal. Then space is
treasured by patrons not only for its Eco-friendliness but also for its beauty.
Since trees are essential to having fresh air, Seattle wants to be filled with them.
The city hopes to expand its tree cover from its current 23 percent to 30 percent
by 2037. Working toward this goal are volunteers with Green Seattle Partnership,
who remove invasive plants to restore thousands of acres of urban parkland.
Their efforts are strengthening the forest floor, allowing plants and animals
to thrive in their natural habitat. Within the city, neighborhood groups can plant
fruit and shade trees given free by the city government.
Urbanization has changed the landscape of Seattle. Today, though, the
many people drawn to city living now see it is possible to live in harmony with their
environment. Perhaps one day Seattle, as seen from above, will be indistinguishable
from its unpopulated outskirts.