January 31 2013

A Midwest City Ranks Top of the Natural Resources Defense Council Smarter Cities for Transportation

Natural Resources Defense Council Smarter Cities for Transportation

When you think of a mecca for public transportation, often times your mindset shifts to large cities; New York City, Tokyo, London all stick out to me. A new city is emerging, that is the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, which was named one of the top smart cities for transportation by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  While Lincoln ranks top on a list of cities of comparable size, the innovative thinking behind the smarter solutions to public transportation can be a lesson for all and implemented on a larger scale.

As part of the Smarter Cities study conducted in 2011 by the NRDC, Lincoln was voted top based on comparing U.S. cities based on public transit availability and use; household automobile ownership and use; and innovative, sustainable and affordable transportation programs. While this study was conducted two years ago, the principles we learned are still applicable towards developing smarter cities today.

Natural Resources Defense Council Smarter Cities for TransportationAs Lincoln is home to much of the regions population, entertainment, as well as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the introduction of a smarter public transit system has aided locals, and visitors alike, in enjoying every aspect of what Lincoln has to offer. We can attribute this shift in public transit mostly by implementing smart urban planning techniques that increase the accessibility of the city.Through several zoning laws, Lincoln has been able to see major growth, while still remaining in current city limits. Urban planners have created vast amounts of bike trails, bus routes, as well a convenient system of streets, which makes travel easily obtainable within the city. Our public busing systems have shifted towards new branding techniques that advertise alternative fuels and affordable fare to create incentives for more and more people to ride as well as providing a nod to sustainability.  Since the study the city of Lincoln has continued these practices and even expanded them through several programs such as The Cleaner Greener Lincoln Initiative.

With all of these tactics being used within the city of Lincoln, where do you think your city would rank on a list of smarter cities?

Credits: Photo by Lisa Gran. Images and data linked to sources.

Lisa Gran

Lisa Gran is an undergraduate student studying Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As an aspiring engineer, Lisa is especially interested in the utilization and development of environmentally sound materials in sustainable planning and design. As she progresses in her studies, she is finding more and more that her passion lies in sustainable urban design and engineering principles, drawing inspiration from cities around the globe. Although reporting from the mid-western city of Lincoln, Lisa is setting out to explore how Lincoln is becoming a place of innovation for sustainability.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2013 at 9:48 am and is filed under Environmental Non-Profit, Transportation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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