Sustainable Cities


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A sustainable city or eco-city is a city designed with consideration of environmental impact, inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output of heat, air pollution - CO2, methane, and water pollution. Richard Register first coined the term "Eco city" in his 1987 book, Eco city Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future. Other leading figures who envisioned the sustainable city are architect Paul F Downtown, who later founded the company Ecopolis Pty Ltd, and authors Timothy Beatley and Steffen Lehmann, who have written extensively on the subject. The field of industrial ecology is sometimes used in planning these cities.

There remains no completely agreed upon definition for what a sustainable city should be or completely agreed upon paradigm for what components should be included. Generally, developmental experts agree that a sustainable city should meet the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The ambiguity within this idea leads to a great deal of variation in terms of how cities carry out their attempts to become sustainable. However, a sustainable city should be able to feed itself with minimal reliance on the surrounding countryside, and power itself with renewable sources of energy. The crux of this is to create the smallest possible ecological footprint, and to produce the lowest quantity of pollution possible, to efficiently use land; compost used materials, recycle it or convert waste-to-energy, and thus the city's overall contribution to climate change will be minimal, if such practices are adhered to.

It is estimated that over 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities and urban areas. These large communities provide both challenges and opportunities for environmentally conscious developers, and there are distinct advantages to further defining and working towards the goals of sustainable cities. Humans are social creatures and thrive in urban spaces that foster social connections. Because of this, a shift to denser, urban living would provide an outlet for social interaction and conditions under which humans can prosper. Contrary to common belief, urban systems can be more environmentally sustainable than rural or suburban living. With people and resource located so close to one another it is possible to save energy and resources things such as food transportation and mass transit systems. Finally, cities benefit the economy by locating human capital in one relatively small geographic area where ideas can be generated.

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Sustainable Cities

  1. 1. Sustainable Cities Wali Memon1 Wali Memon
  2. 2. The Ecocity Concept in Curitiba, Brazil Ecocity, green city: Curitiba, Brazil Bus system: cars banned in certain areas Housing and industrial parks Recycling of materials Helping the poor2 New challenges Wali Memon
  3. 3. Major Population Trends in Urban Areas Urbanization continues to increase steadily and the numbers and sizes of urban areas are growing rapidly, especially in developing countries.3 Wali Memon
  4. 4. Half of the World’s People Live in Urban Areas Urbanization – creation and growth of urban areas Urban growth- rate of increase of urban populations Natural increase- more birth’s than death’s 79% - Americans and 50%- world’s people live in urban areas Immigration from rural areas Pushed from rural areas to urban areas Pulled to urban areas from rural areas4 Wali Memon
  5. 5. Half of the World’s People Live in Urban Areas Four major trends Proportion of global population living in urban areas is increasing Number and size of urban areas is mushrooming Megacities – more than 10 million - 18 Hypercities – more than 20 million -1 :Tokyo Urban growth slower in developed countries Poverty is becoming increasingly urbanized; mostly in developing countries5 Wali Memon
  6. 6. Global Outlook: Satellite Image of Major UrbanAreas Throughout the World6 Wali Memon
  7. 7. Typical Daily Traffic Jam of People, Carts, and Other Vehicles in Delhi, India7 Wali Memon
  8. 8. Urbanization in the US Four phases between 1800 and 2008 Migration from rural areas to large central cities Migration from large central cities to SUBURBS and smaller cities Migration from North and East to South and West Migration from cities and suburbs to developed rural areas - EXBURBS8 Wali Memon
  9. 9. Urbanization in the US Environmental problems decreased better working and housing conditions air/water quality improved better sanitation, better medical care concentration in cities, reduced habitat destruction, protect biodiversity Older cities Deteriorating services Aging infrastructures- streets, bridgeswater supply pipes, sewers,dams. Fallen $1.5 trillion9 behind Wali Memon
  10. 10. Major Urban Areas in the United States Revealed by Satellite Images at Night10 Wali Memon
  11. 11. Urban Sprawl Gobbles Up the Countryside Urban sprawl – growth of low-density development Contributing factors to urban sprawl in the U.S. Ample land Federal government loans Low-cost gasoline; highways Tax laws encouraged home ownership State and local zoning laws Multiple political jurisdictions: poor urban planning11 Wali Memon
  12. 12. Urban Sprawl Gobbles Up the CountrysideEffects of urbansprawl Las Vegas 1973 Las Vegas 2000 12 Wali Memon
  13. 13. U.S. Megalopolis of Bowash 500 mile long with 35 million people13 Wali Memon
  14. 14. NATURAL CAPITAL DEGRADATION Urban Sprawl Land and Water Energy, Air, Economic Effects Biodiversity and ClimateLoss of cropland Increased use of Increased energy Decline of surface water and use and waste downtownLoss of forests and groundwater business districtsgrasslands Increased air Increased runoff pollution IncreasedLoss of wetlands and flooding Increased unemployment Increased greenhouse gas in central cityLoss and surface water andfragmentation of emissions groundwater pollution Enhanced global Loss of tax basewildlife habitats in central city Decreased natural warming sewage treatment Memon Wali 14 Fig. 22-6, p. 593
  15. 15. Urbanization Has Advantages Centers of: Economic development Innovation Education Technological advances Jobs Environmental advantages Recycling Reduce stress on wildlife habitats Save energy – mass transportation15 Wali Memon
  16. 16. Urbanization has DisadvantagesHuge ecological footprints Urban populations occupy 2% of the world’s area but consume 75% of the resources and reulting high waste outputLack vegetation Vegetation destroyed –buildings, parking lots , roads no absorbtion of pollutants, shade, aestheticWater problems flooding, destroy wetlands, severe water shortage16 Wali Memon
  17. 17. Urbanization Has Disadvantages Concentrate pollution and health problems Excessive noise Different climate and experience light pollution cities warmer, foggier,cloudier than suburbs and nearby rural areas heat generated by industry ,heat -absorbing surfaces create URBAN HEAT ISLAND17 Wali Memon
  18. 18. Natural Capital Degradation: Urban Areas Rarely Are Sustainable SystemsInputs OutputsEnergy Solid wastesFood Waste heat Air pollutantsWaterRaw Water pollutantsmaterials Greenhouse gasesManufactured Manufacturedgoods goods NoiseMoney WealthInformation Ideas Wali Memon 18 Fig. 22-8, p. 595
  19. 19. Noise Levels of Some Common Sounds Permanent damage begins after 8-hour exposureNoise Levels (in dbA) 850 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 Normal Quiet rural Rainfall Vacuum Lawn Rock music Earphones Boombreathing area cleaner mower at loud level cars Quiet Normal Average Chain Thunderclap Air raid Military Whisper room conversation factory saw (nearby) siren rifle Wali Memon 19 Fig. 22-9, p. 596
  20. 20. Life Is a Desperate Struggle for the Urban Poor in Developing CountriesSlumsSquatter settlementsShantytownWhat can governments do ? slow migration from rural areas designate land, supply clean water, composting toilets transportation20 Wali Memon
  21. 21. Case Study: Mexico City Urban area in crisis Severe air pollution Water pollution 50% Unemployment Deafening noise Overcrowding Traffic congestion Inadequate public transportation 1/3 live in slums (barrios) or squatter settlement Progress – catalytic converters after 1991,no cars in central zone, no leaded gas, green spaces21 Wali Memon
  22. 22. How Does Transportation Affect UrbanEnvironmental Impacts?Combination of plentiful land, inexpensive fuel, expanding network of highways –dispersed cities, residents depend on motor vehicles for most transportationCompact cities Dispersed cities Hong Kong, China United States Tokyo, Japan Canada Mass transit Australia22 Wali Memon
  23. 23. Motor Vehicles Have Advantages and DisadvantagesAdvantages Mobility and Disadvantages convenience Largest source of Jobs in outdoor air Production and pollution repair of vehicles Accidents: death Supplying fuel and injury Helped create Building roads urban sprawl Status symbol Traffic congestion23 Wali Memon
  24. 24. Reducing Automobile Use Is Not Easy, but It Can Be Done Full-cost pricing: high gasoline taxes - $3.18/liter Gradually phasing in, will spur energy – efficient cars and mass transportation Europe, Japan, Developing Chinese cities Difficult to pass in the United States Strong public opposition Mass transit: not an option in most cities Dispersed nature of the U.S.24 Wali Memon
  25. 25. Reducing Automobile Use Is Not Easy, but It Can Be Done Raise parking fees Tolls on roads, tunnels, and bridges into major cities Car-sharing Charge a fee to drive into a major city It is working in some cities25 Wali Memon
  26. 26. Some Cities Are Promoting Alternatives to Car Ownership Bicycles Heavy-rail systems Light-rail systems Buses Rapid-rail system between urban areas26 Wali Memon
  27. 27. TRADE-OFFS BicyclesAdvantages DisadvantagesAffordable Little protection in an accidentProduce no Do not protectpollution riders from bad weatherQuiet Impractical forRequire little long tripsparking space Can be tiringEasy to maneuver (except for electricin traffic bicycles)Take few Lack of secureresources to bike parkingmake Wali Memon 27 Fig. 22-11, p. 600
  28. 28. TRADE-OFFS Mass Transit RailAdvantages DisadvantagesUses less energy Expensive to buildand produces and maintainless air pollutionthan cars Cost-effective only along a denselyRequires less populated corridorland than roadsand parking Commits riders toareas for cars transportationCauses fewer schedulesinjuries anddeaths than cars Can cause noise and vibration forReduces car nearby residentscongestion incities Wali Memon 28 Fig. 22-12, p. 600
  29. 29. TRADE-OFFS BusesAdvantages DisadvantagesCan be rerouted Can lose moneyas needed because they need low fares to attract riders Can get caught inCost less to develop traffic and add toand maintain than pollutionheavy-rail system Commits riders to transportation schedulesCan greatly reducecar use and air Noisypollution Wali Memon 29 Fig. 22-13, p. 601
  30. 30. TRADE-OFFS Rapid RailAdvantages DisadvantagesCan reduce travel by Expensive to run andcar or plane maintain Must operate alongIdeal for trips of 200– heavily used routes1,000 kilometers to be profitable(120–620 miles)Much more energy Causes noise andefficient per rider vibration for nearbythan a car or plane residents Wali Memon 30 Fig. 22-14, p. 601
  31. 31. Potential Routes for High-Speed Bullet Trains in the U.S./Canada 31 Wali Memon
  32. 32. Case Study: Destroying a Great Mass Transit System in the United States National City Lines Purchased and dismantled streetcar systems Sales of cars and buses increased Guilty of conspiracy32 Wali Memon
  33. 33. How Important Is Urban Land Use Planning?Urban land-use planning can help to reduce uncontrolled sprawl and slow the resulting degradation of air, water, land, biodiversity, and other natural resources.33 Wali Memon
  34. 34. Conventional Land-Use Planning Land-use planning Encourages future population growth Economic development Revenues: property taxes Environmental and social consequences Zoning – various parcels of land are designated for various uses Mixed-use zoning – promoting neighborhood grocery stores34 Wali Memon
  35. 35. Smart Growth works Smart growth Reduces dependence on cars Controls and directs sprawl Cuts wasteful resourceUS cities – Curitiba, BrazilPortland, Oregon,greenest city in the US China 80% of country’s arable land designatedSan Francisco, CA as fundamental land35 Wali Memon Europe-high gas tax
  36. 36. SOLUTIONS Smart Growth ToolsLimits and ProtectionRegulations Preserve existing open space Buy new open spaceLimit building permits Buy development rights that prohibitUrban growth boundaries certain types of development on landGreenbelts around cities parcelsPublic review of new development TaxesZoning Tax land, not buildings Tax land on value of actual use (such asEncourage mixed use of housing forest and agriculture) instead of onand small businesses highest value as developed landConcentrate development along Tax Breaksmass transportation routes For owners agreeing not to allow certainPromote high-density cluster types of development (conservationhousing developments easements) For cleaning up and developingPlanning abandoned urban sites (brownfields)Ecological land-use planning Revitalization and New GrowthEnvironmental impact analysis Revitalize existing towns and citiesIntegrated regional planning Build well-planned new towns and villages within citiesState and national planning Wali Memon 36 Fig. 22-16, p. 603
  37. 37. Preserving and Using Open SpaceUrban growth boundary U.S. states: Washington, Oregon, and TennesseeMunicipal parks U.S. cities: New York City and San FranciscoGreenbelts Canadian cities: Vancouver and Toronto Western European cities37 Wali Memon Central Park, New York
  38. 38. How Can Cities Become More Sustainable and Livable? An ecocity allows people to: choose walking, biking, or mass transit for most transportation needs; recycle or reuse most of their wastes; grow much of their food; and protect biodiversity by preserving surrounding land. 38 Wali Memon
  39. 39. New Urbanism Is GrowingConventional housing developmentCluster development – high density housing clustered, rest of the land is commonshared spaceNew urbanism, old villageism Walkability Mixed-use and diversity Quality urban design Environmental sustainability Smart transportationMayfaire, Wilmington,NC ; Yardley, PA ; Kentlands,39 Wali MemonGaithersburg MD and others
  40. 40. Conventional and Cluster Housing Developments40 Wali Memon
  41. 41. The Ecocity Concept: Cities for People Not Cars Ecocities or green cities Build and redesign for people Use renewable energy resources Recycle and purify water Use energy and matter resources efficiently Prevent pollution and reduce waste Recycle, reuse and compost municipal waste Protect and support biodiversity Urban gardens; farmers markets41 Zoning and other tools for sustainability Wali Memon
  42. 42. Urban Indoor Farming Rooftop greenhouses Sun Works: designs energy-efficient greenhouses Hydroponic gardens Skyscraper farms Ecological advantages and disadvantages42 Wali Memon
  43. 43. China’s Vision for an Ecocity2008: Dongtan, China, ecocity, 30 milesfrom Shanghai. 80,000 people by 2020Carbon neutral city: use renewable resources for energyReduce the need for cars, or use electric- or hydrogen-powered cars-zero tail pipeemissions. Cars running on fossil fuels will have to be parked outside the cityPublic transportation – electric light rail, pollution free, fuel cell buses43 Wali Memon
  44. 44. The Ecovillage Movement Is Growing Ecovillage movement Eco-hoods – 375 , half in Europe and half in North America 1993: ecovillage in Los Angeles, CA, U.S. What is making it work? Other ecovillages Asheville NC, Ithaca NY Success stories44 Wali Memon