The future will become more beautiful one step at a time. On April 22, New York City–following on the heels of Denver, Portland, San Francisco, and Toronto–took a small step in this direction by passing legislation requiring new buildings to have “green roofs.”

In addition to cooling down a city by mitigating the urban heat island effect, “green roofs” can help cut energy costs, absorb air pollution, reduce stormwater runoff, promote biodiversity, provide soundproofing, and, generally, make a city more livable.

I understand opponents don’t like governments placing mandates on individual businesses, but a city isn’t just comprised of individual citizens and businesses, is it? It is a community, and the interests of the broader community–not to mention the interests of butterflies and birds–need to be taken into consideration.

Look for more cities and communities to enact similar legislation in the near future.

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