Propose YOUR criteria for judging a GRUEN

Group 11

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Group 11
by Nihaar Khanna - Wednesday, 8 April 2020, 3:33 AM

Hey guys! 

      This can be our group discussion area here. Everyone can propose 2-3 criteria for judging a green city. To start the conversation, click that "reply" button at the lower right corner of this post. And please remember to justify your suggestion. 

      Looking forward to a healthy conversation


Re: Group 11
by Reja Jati - Saturday, 11 April 2020, 5:17 PM
Hi everyone!

 I just had a doubt that are we gonna share our point of view in this group discussion area?     If yes then we should start collaborating now to share our ideas.

Looking forward for a positive response

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Re: Group 11
by Nihaar Khanna - Sunday, 12 April 2020, 5:16 PM

Hello Reja!

     Yes, we are supposed to be discussing it all here. I do anticipate some interesting points from your end. 

     Just to start the discussion, I am going to propose a criteria, one of my own. I propose this criteria not on judgement of the cities, rather on the judgement of the criterias judging a city and their enforcement. Undoubtedly, there would be many criterias. Criterias regarding the net carbon gain, regarding the pollution levels and industrial development, regarding deforestation and afforestation etc. etc. So here's my Criteria:

      Balance.There should be balance in everything. Balance within every criteria. 

  • Industrial development should be advanced, but not so advanced that it causes deforestation. 
  • Resources should be harvested, but not to such an extent that nature is compromised.
But why is Balance important?

     Ecological balance is a term used to describe the equilibrium between living organisms such as human being, plants, and animals as well as their environment. Photosynthesis that takes place in ecosystem contributes to building a good environment that stabilizes the coexistence of all organisms. Harmonious relationships reflect healthy and desirable ecological balance. Human being plays a key role to maintain ecological balance because they have the highest thinking capacity as compared to other living organisms. Sufficient food availability to all living organisms and their stability reflect the existence of ecological balance. Therefore, this balance is very important because it ensures survival, existence and stability of the environment. 

     You can read more about this by clicking on this sentence.

     That would be one of my suggestions. What about you?


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Balance and the Raworth doughnut model
by Brant Knützen - Wednesday, 15 April 2020, 2:13 AM

Hi Nihaar,

When you define balance, it sounds like you are talking about sustainable levels of industrial development, or sustainable levels of resource utilization.

Perhaps you are interpreting the word balance in terms of sustainability?

There's an interesting model of sustainability proposed by economist Kate Raworth in 2017 called the "Doughnut Model", which tries to provide humanity with the essentials, but within the resource limits of the planet.  Perhaps this model can help you apply the idea of ecological balance to sustainable development?

You are on the right track with sustainable development, but try to pick a few areas that resonate the most with you.

Which do you care more about, traffic congestion, or biodiversity?

Mitigating climate change to slow it down, or adapting to the "new normal" climate?

Waste management, or energy performance?

Pick 2 or 3, and explain why they are important to you.


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Re: Balance and the Raworth doughnut model
by Nihaar Khanna - Thursday, 16 April 2020, 8:08 PM


     I personally feel that what a person cares for in regard to Sustainable Development, making a better world, is based upon the one's personal feelings about his/her homeland. The context of a person's life is important when one is judging his or her views about making the decisions to change the world.

     Keeping that in mind, I would begin by reminding everyone that I'm from Delhi. There are three points that i wish to discuss, and they are traffic management, waste management and mitigating Climate Change. They might be very different from each other in some ways, but they are also very similar to each other in other ways.

     Waste management plays a key role in development and local environment of a particular area. Casual Landfills and Dumps take valuable land of development and the wildlife has to be compromised. But to manage waste, we need to reduce usage of products, items, that don't dispose easily. Every year, huge piles of waste is burned. The waste gets disposed off, but at the expense of our precious ozone layer. This leads to another topic of traffic management.

     The traffic management is necessary because  more traffic congestion leads to an increasing number of road fights, which do more harm than good and often strains healthcare resources. The increasing number of toxic fumes from the vehicles also results in breaking up of the ozone layer and disturbing the ecological balance of Nature. This leads us to mitigating climate change.

     Climate Change is a change in global or regional climate patterns that attributes largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. It can be mitigated by minimising wastage, minimising burning of fossil fuels by traffic management and justified city planning.

     Extraordinarily different though they are, it can be clearly seen that these three proposals are interrelated to great depth and should be looked into immediately, thereby ensuring us more time to move on to other developmental ideas, such as city design, healthcare facilities etc.



Re: Group 11
by Reja Jati - Friday, 17 April 2020, 8:36 PM

hey NIhaar!!

I think one of the criteria to judge a green city would be :

- Zero Emissions.

Zero-emission refers to an engine, motor, process, or other energy sources, that emits no waste products that pollute the environment or disrupt the climate. Vehicles and other mobile machinery used for transport (over land, sea, air, rail) and for other uses (agricultural, mobile power generation, etc.) contribute heavily to climate change and pollution, so zero-emission engines are an area of active research. These technologies almost in all cases include an electric motor powered by an energy source compact enough to be installed in the vehicle. These sources include hydrogen fuel cells, batteries, supercapacitors, and flywheel energy storage devices. 

Why is it important?

Zero-emission is important in today's century to decrease the depletion of the layer that protects us from the harmful radiations of sun i.e the Ozone layer.  The amount of production of greenhouse gasses are directly linked with the green city. The less the production of such gases the more the city is green. so as per my view zero emmision is also one of the criteria to judge a green city. 

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Re: Group 11
by Nihaar Khanna - Friday, 17 April 2020, 10:13 PM

Hello Reja!

     Your idea sounds amazing. It's certainly a point to be considered.

     However, i feel that net cost of all advancements and developments should also be looked upon. The components and alternatives to power production other than fossil fuels are expensive and highly resource consuming. Nuclear reactors can always be used to produce valuable elements that are generally rare to find, but once again, they take a lot of space, are extremely resource consuming and propose a risk of nuclear radiation.

     How would you react against this opposition?

Re: Group 11
by Reja Jati - Saturday, 18 April 2020, 4:37 PM

Hi NIhaar!

Thankyou for your question!

I would like to clarify your doubts.

So looking for alternative resources of petroleum fuels as per you mentioned yes they are comparatively costly and technologically very advanced which are unaffordable by many developing countries. So despite being harmful to our environment, fossils fuels become very important. So in order to protect and preserve our environment, we can decrease the rate of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere so that the production of greenhouse gases through fossil fuels will have less impact since a few portions of greenhouse gases would be purified by other methods such as:


Use of air purifiers in industries etc.

As you had mentioned before balance in everything, is important, I totally agree with it. Also, there should be a balance in the increase and decrease rate of greenhouse gases and as far as possible the decrease rate should be higher for zero-emission. 

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Re: Group 11
by Nihaar Khanna - Sunday, 19 April 2020, 11:56 AM

Hello Reja

     So all we need is awareness right? That's the expected conclusion. Well done!

     I await your reply about your other criterias, and it would be great if you think of some other criterias than the ones already being discussed in our group, such as maybe water quality? I hope to make a final list soon.


Re: Group 11
by Reja Jati - Sunday, 19 April 2020, 10:59 PM
Warm Greetings !!

As Nihaar had suggested mentioning water quality as a criterion to judge a green city, I consent to it.

Water Quality

Whether a city is green or not can be also arbitrated on the basis of the quality of water and the status of water resources like a lake, river, pond, etc. available in the city. The quality of water accommodated to the people residing in the city defines the status of environmental components.  I reside in Kathmandu Valley. The water resources of the valley are polluted and their quality is degraded. So this states that the condition of the environment of Kathmandu Valley is not good since its polluted. It is an example that how does the quality of water judges the environment condition of a particular area. The water quality is directly connected to the status of environmental components. It is one of the important criteria to maintain greenery in a city. 

So, taking all these things into account, I  personally think that water quality is also one of the criteria to judge a green city.

- Reja

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Re: Group 11
by shresha kilambu - Monday, 20 April 2020, 6:52 PM

Hi everyone,

The criterias that you all have presented are very nice.

In my point of view the criteria for judging a green city would be:


              Cities have extensive environmental impacts,consume a disproportionate share of natural resources,produce high levels of pollution,and concentrate harmful emissions precisely where the population is most densely distributed.So environment sustainability is very important for the green city development.Green cities can offer greater safety from the environmental hazards and climate change.

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Re: Group 11
by shresha kilambu - Monday, 20 April 2020, 7:32 PM


             The well being of residents is critical in sustainable cities,which means guaranteed access to quality education,safe health centers,easy to access public transportation,garbage collection services,safety and good air quality,among other modern living necessities.As population and challenges change within the cities,so to does the need for adaptive solutions to resources.

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Re: Group 11
by shresha kilambu - Monday, 20 April 2020, 7:48 PM


         The renovation of public spaces is another fundamental characteristic of sustainable cities.Public streets,squares,parks,urban spaces as well as modern irrigation and waste management practices are vital aspects of sustainable living. They help preserve the cultural heritage and identity of a city through renovation and restoration.Ideally, urban renewal in a city is done in a completely integrated way.

Environment sustainability, Access to public resources and Urban renewal actions are my  3 criterias to judge a green and sustainable cities.


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Re: Group 11
by Samridhi Ahuja - Friday, 17 April 2020, 10:56 PM


I personally feel that change should always start at home and in this case it’s our city, so here is my first  pick for changes that can be made in my city

  Air pollution and traffic management

o   I picked this topic because I come from Delhi and here rising air pollution levels are a big issue. The alarming pollution levels have even lead to school shutdowns for a few days and is harming the life spans of the people who live here.

o   I added traffic management to it as well because one of the major reasons of rising levels of air pollution are the amount of automobiles on the road. It even leads to road rage and people becoming irritated due to the amount of traffic jams on the road which impacts their daily schedules.

o   The government has taken various steps to tackle these issues like the odd even scheme where an odd numbered car can run on road on odd days only. This has led to drastic shift in the AQI levels.

o   To reduce traffic congestion, the government promotes the use of public transport and carpooling. I personally use metros to commute to school and find the public transport of my city in good shape. It is also very well connected to all parts of the city. People need to change their mind-set and switch to shared means of transportation.

o   A lot of the air pollution also comes from the waste treatment done in the city. The idea of circular economy can be very helpful here to curb the rising pollution levels( I will elaborate on this in my next post)


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Re: Group 11
by Nihaar Khanna - Sunday, 19 April 2020, 11:55 AM

Hi Samridhi

     That is quite a nice idea.Even though you say it's your "first" criteria, i feel that those are three different criterias.

1) Air pollution

2) Traffic management

3) Waste disposal

     I see by reading your post that you agree with my criterias.


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Re: Group 11
by Nihaar Khanna - Monday, 20 April 2020, 11:04 PM


     We have a nice number of criterias at present and I would like to finalise our list of criterias. Please let me know by texting me within 30 minutes of this post going live or reply if there is any change to be done.

The List of Criterias:

  1.  Waste management: Products should be sterilized, the biodegradable waste should be sanitised, then distributed as manure. Incineration or landfills should be avoided and non-biodegradable wastes should be recycled.
  2. Traffic Management: A lot of traffic results in Road Rages and unnecessary pollution. Safe and Secure Public Transportation should be available.
  3. Pollution Control: Noise pollution, water pollution and air pollution should be carefully controlled. Afforestation should be promoted enough to balance the net Carbon level, so that the ozone layer is not damaged.
  4. Zero Emissions: Burning of fossil fuels should be negligible, none if possible. Natural power sources such as wind energy, solar energy, tidal energy, should be promoted.
  5. Water Quality: Clean drinking water should be abundant. Proper sanitation should be present and pollution should be strictly avoided. Sewage management should be present.
  6. Environmental Sustainability: Environmental sustainability should be present so that there are resources available for the future generations. Exhaustible resources should be restored at a similar level to which they are used up.
  7. Easy access to public resources: Public resources should be easily accessible to whoever is in need of them. However, exploitation should be strictly prohibited.
  8. Urban Renewal actions: Modern methods should be used in all possible activities to ensure accurate and profitable results. New inventions, however, should be supervised to ensure that the given criteria aren't violated.
     There should be Balance in working and exercising of the above criteria


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Re: Group 11
by Samridhi Ahuja - Sunday, 3 May 2020, 7:45 PM

Hello Nihaar ,

Seeing our planet's current situation I feel  that the  criteria you have suggested  are appropriate for judging cities .


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Re: Group 11
by Samridhi Ahuja - Sunday, 3 May 2020, 7:55 PM

Hello Nihaar,

You have raised a very valid point that the three topics should be seen as three different criteria.

But if you ask me the basic need of judging a city keeping in mind sustainable development is to see how much room for improvement does the city have.

Waste disposal, traffic management and air pollution should be seen as different criteria when we are judging them but waste disposal and traffic management are two solutions which can be used to tackle the problem of air pollution.

 Therefore I felt that they can be seen as subsets of the major criteria air pollution.