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Can Urban Development co-exist with ecological restoration?

The dawn of the Industrial Revolution brought new inventions, created industries and changed the way Americans lived and worked. But a major consequence of a new era was the destruction that it did to the environment. Pollution, the destruction of forests, and contaminating water were the results of clearing nature to make way for buildings, homes, and skyscrapers. Trying to restore ecosystems and keep nature alive in certain areas has been an ongoing struggle. Urban living co-existing with ecological restoration might sound like an oxymoron, but developments in the past several years throughout cities in America are working to make that a reality.

One of the ways this works is through urban agriculture. Food that is grown locally, in or near urban areas is done. Rooftop gardens are utilized by people, restaurants, and growers alike. They are small in size and operation, but growing around the country. Abandoned areas have been reconstructed to become community gardens and outlets where growers can cultivate food. People want to be able to eat healthy and farmers markets are supplying locally grown produce from sustainable farms and outlets.

Another way this happens is initiatives and programs that use renewable energy. The use pf solar power has increased rapidly over the past decade and the amount of solar panel installation has increased dramatically. Programs are underway to install solar grids on rooftops in cities like Los Angeles. Many buildings in several cities are being renovated to use more sustainable energy through solar panels, recycled materials, and better systems that regulate temperature and conserve more water. These buildings reduce their carbon footprint, lessening the amount of pollution and waste, and saving energy and money.

There are also organizations dedicated towards protecting the environment. Volunteers can recycle, pick up trash, and restore abandoned areas to sustainable ventures. There are programs that plant trees, clean up beaches and parks, and promote cycling and public transportation. In addition, there is activism, legislation, and centers that go out and educate people on what they can do to help the environment and reduce pollution. Many work to protect ecosystems, forests, and areas that are vulnerable to toxic chemicals. Nature and the modern world co-existing in harmony is a work in progress. Fortunately, there are many concerned citizens and initiatives around the country that are working to make that possible. There are places in every city as well as online where people can learn more about how to live in the modern world while working to restore nature.

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