What makes an area green? Yes, it depends on how you define it. For some countries, like Indonesia, it’s all about building a building with natural, sustainable materials & applying more than 100 solar panels. In the Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin, that means creating a dazzling garden in a rented area of the city. Then, there are big American cities like Denver, where Mayor Michael Hancock makes it his mission to do what he can to fight climate change.
However you choose to define the word “green,” we’ve found the perfect place for it. From Iceland, which is green on almost every side of the globe, to Seoul, South Korea, where Skygarden lures travelers to a once-abandoned highway, there is green to behold all over the world. All you have to do is go out & find it!
1. Bali, Indonesia
John Hardy in 2006 built 100 solar panels in the Sibang Kajha area in the north of Badung Regency. The solar panels he uses, support the needs of rice field tours. The rice fields in Bali are indeed beautiful. Uniquely, John Hardy invites the children to take care of the rice they grow themselves so that they learn to live sustainably.
2. Santa Barbara, California
Floodwaters have formed canyons and escarpments along the Cuyama River in the northeastern corner of Santa Barbara. The city is sparsely populated, known as one of the largest oil and gas producers in the United States. Every yard of the residents’ houses, has pistachio plants, grapes, and lettuce.
3. Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, a port city on the shores of the Baltic Sea, wants to free itself from motorized vehicles by 2050. Since 2012, the city has been building pedestrian and bicycle corridors. Even The Baanas or “train” railway line was turned into a walking tour, without dismantling the tracks. To make it even more beautiful, the Helsinki city government added new lighting, planted trees, and a bicycle path. At the south end of the street, you’ll find a ping pong table, a pétanque court, and a basketball court.
4. Berlin, Germany
In the Kreuzberg neighborhood of the former West Berlin, the problem of high land rents is a scourge of society. Then Nomadisch Grün (Nomadic Green) a non-profit organization built a park on land leased from the city government. The purpose of Prinzessinnengarten, was built with a passion to encourage others to start gardening on their own land. Its 25 members make money selling food in the park.
5. Llanarthney, Wales
The National Botanic Garden of Wales, located in rural Carmarthenshire, is perhaps one of the most developed historic gardens in the world. Built since the 1600s, the Middleton estate now has the world’s largest single greenhouse, a national nature reserve, and a new tropical butterfly house, among other wonders.
6. Denver, Colorado
Not everyone in Denver likes Ordinance 300, which mandates that building owners have rooftop gardens or solar panels. However, Mayor Michael Hancock remains a supporter of fighting climate change, with the support of his citizens. Not only has he vowed to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement, but last year he launched a three-year project to start entrepreneurship in Denver related to the environment.
7. San Diego, California
The Nature Collective, a non-profit Southern California-based organization, owns 77 acres in Encinitas. Its members grow various crops and release wild animals around the lagoon. They are rejuvenating plants and promoting the area as a natural tourist destination for Californians. Among the endangered species that live there are the San Diego pocket mouse and the California gnatcatcher.
8. Vancouver, Canada
The city takes waste seriously, according to a June report that found 2.6 million single-use cups end up in the trash every week, and recently the city government approved a modular housing project to help the homeless. In addition to working to reduce waste, Mayor Gregor Robertson encourages residents to walk, cycle and use public transportation to travel.
9. Seoul, South Korea
Like New York City’s High Line, Skygarden in Seoul turns an abandoned highway into something magical. The stunning space, which is open 24 hours a day, has a bridge connecting it to an adjacent commercial building, along with a performance hall, street market and library. One “library” contains 24,000 plants, grouped by the Korean alphabet, indicating the use of certain spaces, such as roses, which impressed Dutch architect MVRDV and built a theater nearby.
10. Manú National Park, Peru
There’s biodiversity, and then there’s the mosaic of highlands, microclimates, animals, and plants in Manú National Park. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), national parks in the Tropical Andes and Amazon Basin in Southwestern Peru have about 850 bird species, between 2,000 and 5,000 plant species, and at least 200 mammal species. However, that is only an estimate – some scientists believe the number is much higher.