In the industrial world, it is defined as resources efficient, technology
driven activity that increases investments and growth while
substantially reducing carbon footprints; thus fast and clean masstransport systems and motor fuel hybridisation; cradle-to-cradle
production and consumption patterns; advanced waste management
on the 3Rs pattern; controls on chemicals use and management;
careful mining practices and action plans to make these investments
and activities sustainable, characterise one type of green economy.
Practically, it can be thought of as an economy whose growth in
income and employment is driven by public and private
investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance
energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity
and ecosystem services. This is achieved through targeted public
expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes. The concept of
green economy emphasises on the intersection between
environment and economy.
Green-Economy is essentially an inclusive concept comprising
economic, social and the environmental pillars of growth. It’s goal
is shared prosperity with societal resilience against future shocks
It aims at:
Well-being; measured not merely on the Happiness Index but in
the context of pursuing and achieving the development goals.
It promotes :
Equity; for diversified sustainable development.
It provides :
A win-win economic-environmental model;
programmes are co-beneficial, bringing in revenues from both
environmental and economic investments.
confluence of the global economic crisis,
ecological crises and the second wave of
urbanisation in cities makes them important
spaces for unfolding transitions. Demand for
energy and materials is increasing, and the
bulk of production and consumption takes
place in cities.
Exhaustion of resources in near future triggers
rise in cost of resources; examples being oil,
staple food, onion, etc. this will affect the global
economic growth profoundly.
global economy's production and
consumption are dependent on the urban
infrastructures of the cities (energy,
water, sanitation, solid waste, mobility,
food). The urban infrastructure must be
planned and configured with a
sustainable resource use approach.
urban sprawl and implementing
redevelopment of city areas over green field
and regulating population density
for a city-wide sustainability programme.
improved planning powers and
resources (human and material) to the
vehicle and traffic laws.
Maximum parking standards.
use of private motor
Encouraging concepts like car pooling,
Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system, cable
car system, etc.
Urban patterns for Sustainable
play a crucial role in creation of green
economy by bringing about fair and healthy
economic competitiveness, by being strategic in
spatial planning and planning around landscape
Carbon emissions along the urban population
increases resulting in climate change.
The cost of renewable energy resources has
decreased and that of the conventional non
renewable resources has increased.
Urban patterns for Sustainable Development:
Ways to implement green economy in cities:
Large green patches and more sustainable
Promotion of compact cities (show minimal
wastage of space) and planned extension of
cities (curtailing urban sprawl)
facilities with diverse local
Urban patterns for Sustainable Development:
of network infrastructure like
the development of BRT system
Building greener environment that use
water and energy efficiently
Protection of valuable ecosystems and
Industries must be inspired to convert to
Urban patterns for Sustainable Development:
Cities can develop green structures by
improving transport efficiency, by homogenous
population distribution, by improving energy
efficiency, by making more productive use of
services and promoting sustainable lifestyles
that are less material intensive.
To develop structural capacity for sustainable
cities, it is necessary to adopt an integrated
approach to planning at all levels of
government and all focus areas.
Approaches for low-carbon green city
The master plan should have the principles of
green design in the city's expansion.
green transportation system should be
established that encourages public transport,
pedestrian and bicycle routes, electric and bio fuel
powered vehicles and a regular check on the age
and emission quantity of the vehicles running on
Coal should be replaced by other renewable
energy sources as it is prone to exhaustion and yet
used most widely for powering the various
• Broadly popular concept, yet ignored.
• Has high impact on economic transformation as it
• Uses indigenous practises and knowledge resources.
• Opens doors for many green jobs.
• Offers a stage to show off knowledge and to get
better job prospects(in better designed cities)
• No global definition, although UNEP defines it as,
“improved human well-being and social equity,
while significantly reducing environmental risks and
• Situational concept and characteristics vary
according to the area under consideration.
• It cannot grow completely due to private interest of
the people and the contradicting ideas of the city’s
• Game of wealth versus prosperity, where the former
is generally more preferable.
• Poses threat to the conventional definition of
urbanism by challenging the characteristic way
of interaction of inhabitants of towns and cities
(urban areas) with the built environment.
• Changes the way resources are utilised and the
way city is run.
Town is the second most populous city
of South Africa, after Johannesburg and is
the provincial capital and major primate city
of the country.
town is a centre for sustainability
thinking, yet complex socio-institutional
dynamics and politics are constraining it's
transition toward becoming a sustainable
has a good track record
conservation of biodiversity.
recognised and accepted in
national discourses, green economy is
treated as an annex to the main economy
by the South African government, it is
appreciated at provincial level.
City of Cape Town has identified the
green economy as a growth area, but the
economic rationale for its interest runs the
risk of overlooking the major structural
changes that are required in order to put the
city on a more sustainable path.
energy resource of the city is coal,
making the country one of the most carbon
dioxide intensive economies in the world.
Thus, it's development plans are strongly
biased towards coal ad nuclear energy
sources, rather than renewable resources.
distribution of land use is uneven.
High densities of residential clusters are
found to be located far from the CBD and
other economic activities.
Town is situated on the coast of Table
Bay so, a number of low-lying areas are
vulnerable to sea level rise.
The city faces water scarce future due to
climate change. Water quality is detoriating
and there are no alternative options for
building new dams. Desalination is an
option but with adverse affects like cost
ineffectiveness and threat to marine
The City of Cape Town has formed an Energy and
Climate Change Sub-Committee dedicated to the
mitigation, climate change adaptation, climate
resilience, communication and education.
This process is challenged by social and political
fragmentation (as the city is managed by a
different political party to the rest of the country),
fiscal conservatism (as energy sales are a source of
municipal revenue), a resistance to the signing of
power purchase agreements with renewable
energy suppliers at a national level, and lingering
perceptions of the environment as an optional
luxury rather than a necessity for human survival.
representing a number of high-profile
institutions and thought-leaders has been
formed, and is working on a number of
strategies to integrate sustainable
thinking into city growth plans and
translate theories into action.
Water consumption 50%*
Mobility A fossil-fuel-free, solar-powered
personal rapid transit system*
Masdar City is being constructed 17 kilometers from
the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Masdar City will cover 6 square kilometers and will be
home to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses. An
expected 40,000 workers will commute to the city daily.
It is an initiative by the Government of Abu Dhabi through
Mubadala Development Company together with BioRegional,
Foster & Partners and World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) UAE.
Initiated in 2008, it will take around eight years to build,
with the first phase scheduled to be complete and habitable
Abu Dhabi is mostly desert. However, by 2009
Masdar City, a carbon-neutral city of 6 square
kilometres housing 50,000 people will be built.
The city will have net zero greenhouse gas
emissions, with no oil or gas burnt on-site.
The first phase of the development, initiated by
the Government of Abu Dhabi through Mubdala
Development Company in cooperation with
BioRegional, Foster & Partners and WWF UAE, is
scheduled to be habitable in 2009.
Around 80% of water will be recycled on-site through
different mechanisms. The intention is to reuse water as
many times as possible. For instance, leftovers from
watering crops will be captured through irrigation
recovery. This mechanism works by collecting leftover
water from the top soil, after irrigation through an
underground collection system. The collected water can
then be used for other purposes.
Landscaping within the site will be irrigated with grey
water and treated waste water produced by the city’s water
Through these different mechanisms, water consumption
will be reduced by over 50%, in comparison to the Abu
Solar panels and solar collectors on roofs and
elsewhere will generate enough electricity to
meet most of Masdar City’s needs. Additionally,
narrow streets and shaded walks will reduce the
need for air-conditioning and the city will be
oriented north-east to minimise the amount of
direct sunlight on buildings’ sides and windows.
As much of the construction equipments is
powered by gas, some carbon dioxide will be
released into the atmosphere during the
construction phase. This emission will be offset
by planting trees or putting surplus solar energy
back into Abu Dhabi’s national power grid.
waste in Masdar will be recycled, reused or converted to energy.
waste will go to landfill.
organic waste will be re-used as
fertilisers for landscaping or converted
into energy through digesters.
vehicles will not be allowed in the
envision an emission-free
transport system called a personal rapid
transit (PRT) system. Solar-powered cars will
run under the city like a subway system.
The cars won’t run on fixed routes but will
take their passengers directly to their
destination. PRTs represent an energyefficient way of moving people among
roughly 1,500 stations.
needed for construction, such as
recyclable plastic, will be re-used or
Preliminary plans are being made for
recycling the concrete used in city
buildings when the city is ultimately torn
down some time in the future.
project is supported by the global
conservation charity WWF and the
sustainability group BioRegional. In
response to the project’s commitment to
zero carbon, zero waste and other
environmentally friendly goals, WWF and
BioRegional have endorsed Masdar City
as an official ’One Planet Living®’
The 10 ‘One Planet Living®’ principles are:
1. Zero Carbon
2. Zero Waste
3. Sustainable Transport
4. Local and Sustainable Materials
5. Local and Sustainable Food
6. Sustainable Water
7. Natural Habitats and Wildlife
8. Culture and Heritage
9. Equity and Fair Trade
10. Health and Happiness
economy is not about slowing economic
Involves local resources
Cost efficient and can also be included in
existing city plans and paradigms.
Green growth can be viable model for
economic growth that can trigger healthy
competition as it focuses on improving
resource productivity rather than money
"Green City Transition: Enabling urban areas for a green economy" by
"Sustainability in Austerity: Enhancing city resilience and boosting the green
economy by making the cuts that really matter" by Philip Monaghan
"Urban Patterns for Sustainable Development: Towards a Green Economy and
Growing Greener Cities" from email@example.com.
Source material for case study: Cape Town, South Africa
Presentation by Anton Cartwright, African Centre for Cities
Source material for case study: Abu Dhabi, UAE