Sustainable cities requirement of xxi century
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Sustainable cities requirement of xxi century

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Sustainable cities requirement of xxi century Document Transcript

  • 1. SUSTAINABLE CITIES: REQUIREMENT OF THE XXI CENTURY Fernando Alcoforado * Abstract: This article aims to highlight the problems faced by cities worldwide in the contemporary era, environmental degradation and the need for its transformation into sustainable cities. Keywords: The uncontrolled growth of cities. The overcrowded cities. Sustainable cities. How to build sustainable cities. 1. The overcrowded cities The city became the main habitat of mankind. For the first time in human history, more than half of the population is living in cities. This number, 3.3 billion people, should surpass the 5 billion in 2030. In the early twentieth century the urban population did not exceed 220 million people. Access to employment, services, public facilities and greater economic well-being and social development is their biggest attraction for everyone who was attending to the city. Much of the global environmental problems originated in cities which make it difficult to achieve sustainability at the global level without making them sustainable (BEAUJEU-GARNIER. 1980). The creation of cities and the increasing expansion of urban areas have contributed to the growth of negative environmental impacts. In the urban environment, certain cultural aspects such as consumption of manufactured products and the need to water as a natural resource vital to life, influencing how the environment does. The customs and habits of water use and waste production exacerbated by consumption of material goods are responsible for part of the changes and environmental impacts. Most cities around the world grow disorderly, chaotic. The uncontrolled growth of cities in Brazil and around the world underscores, often, the lack of urban planning causing irreversible impacts on such territories, which are reflected in their environmental quality. The urbanization process occurred significantly primarily in the countries of the European continent, with the emergence and development of industries in the eighteenth century. Since 1950, this process took major on a global scale. The process of industrialization has expanded by several countries, attracting more people to the cities. However, urbanization without a proper planning results in several problems of environmental and social. The excessive population growth of the cities, caused by the accumulation of people, and the lack of adequate infrastructure creates inconvenience for the urban population. Physical and biological environmental changes over time and modify the landscape and ecosystems undertake. Environmental changes occur for innumerable reasons, many socalled natural and derived from other human interventions, considered unnatural. It is a fact that technological development and contemporary cultures of the communities that have contributed to these changes in the environment and to intensify, especially in the urban environment. Nowadays most of the people inhabiting urban environments. Significant environmental impacts occur due to the modes of production and consumption in urban spaces. Pollution, traffic jams, violence, unemployment, etc, are common features in the cities. Water pollution is mainly caused by the release of industrial and domestic effluents without proper treatment. Air pollution is a major 1
  • 2. problem of the cities, this is due to the release of toxic gases in the atmosphere. The heavy flow of vehicles and industries are mainly responsible for such pollution. Other environmental problems of urbanization are: soil sealing, visual pollution, noise pollution, climate change, acid rain, lack of environmental sanitation, lack of proper disposal and treatment of solid waste, greenhouse, among others. The lack of an effective urban planning affects the quality of life of the urban population. The overcrowded cities generates the occupation of unsuitable sites for housing for lowincome populations, as areas of steep slopes, valley bottoms, among others. The rapid urbanization and growth of cities , especially from mid-twentieth century promoted physiognomic changes on the planet, more than any other human activity. The population of Brazil presents the same global trend of environmental occupation, or opts for the urban ecosystem as home. Brazil's transformation from rural to urban country occurred in the 1960s by a procedure essentially predatory, with marked social exclusion of less privileged classes of the population which does not have conditions for the acquisition of land in urban areas structured occupy mostly land that should be protected to preserve water, slopes, valley bottoms and others. In Brazil, data provided by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) (2004) indicate that over 80 % of people are urban dwellers should reach 85 % in the next twenty years. This growth of urban centers has led to a marked decrease in quality of life and the growth of social and environmental imbalances, aggravated by recent structural changes in the capitalist dynamic. This fact makes it a requirement to work with the principles of sustainability incorporated into urban management, focusing on issues such as reducing the levels of poverty, creation of jobs, deployment of sanitation, education and health, adequacy of urban land use, control pollution, environmental remediation, use of clean energy sources, combating urban violence, protection of historical and environmental, among others . 2. The requirement for sustainable cities and how to build them in the XXI Century It is in cities that the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development converge more intensely, making it become necessary which is thought out, planned and managed according to the model of sustainable development which aims to meet the current needs of the population of Earth without compromising its natural resources, bequeathing them to future generations. This means that the model of sustainable development in cities should be adopted aimed at aligning the economic and social factors in the environment. What characterizes a sustainable city? It is the right of the population to urban land, housing, environmental sanitation, infrastructure, urban transport and public services, work and leisure, for current and future generations. Sustainable cities are cities that have a policy of economic and social development harmonized with the natural and built environment. Sustainable cities have as a guideline the planning and control of land use, in order to prevent degradation of natural resources. A sustainable city must have clear policies and comprehensive sanitation, and waste disposal, water management, with the collection, treatment, reuse and economy, transport systems that favor mass transit quality and safety, actions to preserve and expand green areas and use of clean and renewable energy, and above all, transparent public administration and shared with civil society organizations. 2
  • 3. The search for an economically viable, socially just and environmentally sound leads the effort to understand the new dynamics that govern the urban space, which enable the construction of articulated policies whose goal is quality of life, productivity, environmental preservation and social inclusion. The challenge is to think of all the parties related to the construction of a city in a systemic, encompassing economic, social and environmental. Sustainable development can only be achieved in cities where there is cooperation between each of its inhabitants, public organizations and private productive sector, the civil society organizations and governments at all levels based on environmental responsibility policies outlined by them. Sustainable cities are cities that have a policy of economic and social development harmonized with the natural environment and built. Sustainable cities have as a guideline the planning and control of land use, in order to prevent degradation of natural resources. A sustainable city must have clear policies and comprehensive sanitation, and waste disposal, water management, with the collection, treatment, reuse and economy, transport systems that favor mass transit quality and safety, actions to preserve and expand green areas and use of clean and renewable energy, and finally, public administration transparent and shared with civil society organizations. In the current era in which the problems of global warming may lead to global catastrophe, every city has to have a plan for adapting to climate change, especially those subject to extreme events. Coastal cities, for example, must have predictable planning against rising sea levels should worry about landslides on slopes, flooding, etc, resulting from inclement rains. Anyway, should have flexibility and adaptability to changing climatic requirements. It´s necessary to redesign the urban growth of cities in order to integrate it with the natural environment, to recover its beaches and its rivers now quite committed to the discharge of sewage, so that the city does not receive a hostile response from the natural environment. The master plans for urban development of cities should revitalize its old center with the recovery of real estate in the state of blasting and its playgrounds to become peaceful living spaces and comfortable for its inhabitants, providing all local good urban infrastructure compatible with the needs of its population and promote the formation and maintenance of self-sufficient neighborhoods to avoid unplanned urban expansion of its territory. The master plans for urban development should give priority to crowding and urban development within the built environment and the recovery of degraded environments. Risk areas unduly occupied by low-income populations should be urbanized or, when not possible, promote the relocation of its inhabitants with the construction of new housing units. They are all large projects that require considerable resources to create activities that generate employment, income and well -being for the population. The planning of the development of cities, the spatial distribution of population and economic activities of the municipality and the territory under its influence should aim to prevent and correct the distortions of urban growth and its negative effects on the environment. In every city should be adopted a strategic plan for long-term based on sustainable development. BIBLIOGRAPHY 3
  • 4. ALCOFORADO, Fernando. Aquecimento global e catástrofe planetária. Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo: Viena Gráfica e Editora, 2010. BEAUJEU-GARNIER. J. Geografia Urbana. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 1980. PLANETA SUSTENTÁVEL. A primeira cidade sustentável do mundo. Disponível no website <http://planetasustentavel.abril.com.br/noticia/cidade/urbanismo-china- sustentabilidade-cidade-494285.shtml>. WWF BRASIL. O que é desenvolvimento sustentável?. Disponível no website <http://www.wwf.org.br/natureza_brasileira/questoes_ambientais/desenvolvimento_sust entavel/>. * Alcoforado, Fernando, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona, http://www.tesisenred.net/handle/10803/1944, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora, Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011) and Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), among others. 4