seville, spain: sustainability
Had to go for the alliteration! I was so excited to go to the south of Spain (did it again :)) as I had heard so many incredible things about its beauty. It truly took my breath away! Not only is it stunning but it is also done in such a green way. Sustainable + so much greenery everywhere! One of my first stops was a walk to the Universidad d Sevilla. Many of my college friends studied here so I was so happy to see it myself! The university's campus is sustainable & certified and its environmental program program is great too.
Next I walked to the Real Alcazar. This is a royal palace (oldest one still used in Europe!) with incredible gardens and architecture. I walked through mazes of green trees and orange trees, up and down tiled steps, around fountains, saw many painters/drawers throughout the grounds, some peacocks (yes, love them) and meditated as I lost myself. I left feeling very inspired and refreshed. Alcazar was recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization) as a World Heritage Site in 1987 for its importance to humanity (art, culture, peace, etc).
As I made my way back to my hostel, I walked through the Metropol Parasol: the world's largest wooden structure. Only built a couple of years ago and from what I've read, Seville has made incredible strides in becoming more sustainable. Bike-sharing, electric cars and trams, metro system and Europe's first solar power plant are huge contributors to this (BBC). Metropol Parasol serves as an urban hub where the community gathers and also gets from place to place. It even won a bronze Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction. The goal in building it was to open up more space for the city in a sustainable way.
The strides made by Seville are incredibly inspiring! Many best practices can be learned by the improvements made my this city. They are even hosting the International Conference on Urban Regeneration and Sustainability in September of this year.