Eco-cities: who can afford them?

'Are you torn between living green and living in the heart of the city? Now you can do both! Take a tour of Europe's eco-cities, starting with Stockholm's trendy neighborhood of Hammerby Sjostad, along with London and its BedZed, and finish with IssyGrid, the first French smart grid project. Ready for the ride?'

It is known that cities are a major source of CO2 emissions, much of it directly or indirectly involved with the built environment. This fact has been contributing for a definite shift in the mindset of those living and building the cities. The increasingly higher numbers of environmentally conscious housing developments, such as the ones shown on the video are proof of that.
However, something is often not mentioned but can be easily picked up from these sorts of videos/articles/interviews. The fact is that, in order to be able to live in these ‘eco-cities’ (or eco/green/bio/sustainable cities...)  one usually has to pay a considerable high price.
The truth is that it has become fashionable to live in a place like Bed Zed. Those who are not lucky enough to own a house there can get a glimpse of the place through guided tours! According to the bioregional website ‘thousands of people visit BedZED every year’ (Opening hours are from 9.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays), and I am sure the same happens in other places such as this.

Apparently, and according to THIS article, 'Research has shown that buyers are willing to pay up to a 20% premium for innovative design and green features such as those at BedZED'.Why? Well, maybe because 'the average BedZED resident still presently releases a massive 56% less carbon dioxide than the average English citizen' the same article states...

Of course, overall, these housing developments certainly have many positive outcomes, but I cannot help wondering just how this fact fits in the sustainability agenda. Sustainable cities, YES, but for whom?

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