Ecuador's capital city has built a sustainable, eco-friendly city that puts most USA cities to shame:
Most taxis and many of the buses in Quito are operated by cooperatives, part of the booming solidarity sector made up of tens of thousands of community banks and credit unions and worker owned enterprises in the manufacturing, housing, agriculture and transport industries. It's important to note that this sector has grown along side, rather than instead of the traditional private and public sectors which have also seen healthy expansion.
People often ride the shared bikes provided by the city, use of which is available for a tiny yearly fee. Every Sunday a north south route through the city, including Avenue Amazonas, one of the city's main arteries, is given over entirely to cyclists and pedestrians, who come out in the thousands. The old airport, having been engulfed by urban expansion and replaced earlier this year, has also been turned over to the public as a park, and is already in use.Of course, everything is not perfect outside the city (violence, crime and poverty abound), but Ecuador is still moving in the right direction, expanding opportunities and safe, healthy, affordable living spaces for it's citizens rather than crying "austerity! cut everything!" like most "first world" democracies today:
Almost all this progress has occurred under the leadership of President Rafael Correa, a former economics professor who was made finance minister in 2005 during one of Ecuador's recurrent economic crises, running for the presidency the following year, assuming the office in 2007, and quickly bringing an era of unprecedented stability and prosperity. By the end of of 2012, unemployment had fallen to 4.1 percent, its lowest level on record and the poverty rate to 27.3 percent - that's 27 percent below what it was when Correa took power.So, USA, care to take some notes?