What makes a city sustainable? Is it something to do with energy? Transportation? Housing? Yes, all of these things are important, but they are not the only things that make a city sustainable.
Sustainable cities also take into account other aspects of life, including the social, economic and environmental.
It’s important to think about a sustainable city as a whole system, rather than just focusing on individual parts. A sustainable city is one that creates a complete system that is in harmony with natural patterns, resources, and cycles.
Urbanization is on the rise globally. Over the past decade, the world’s urban population has grown by an average of more than 3 percent each year. In 1950, there were 3.6 billion people living in the world’s cities.
Now, that number is up to 7.3 billion—and it is expected to rise to 8.6 billion by 2030. As the world becomes more urbanized, it faces a major challenge: how can urban centers be made more sustainable?
Essential elements of a sustainable city
Rather than thinking of urban design through a short-term lens, many sustainable-minded architects, designers, and urban planners have begun to focus on long-term sustainability in order to create cities that are equitable, efficient, and livable.
To do this, they are creating cities that not only look toward the future, but that also serve as models for others.
By taking into account the needs of local ecosystems, including the amount of housing, the types of buildings, and the use of resources, these designers are creating cities that are more likely to meet the needs of the population for centuries to come.
1.) Access to public resources
While it is often easy to push the needs of urban development in terms of tangible items, such as housing and infrastructure, the importance of access to public resources is often overlooked. However, access to public resources is essential for human health and well-being.
For example, access to clean water and sanitation is essential to ensure people in urban environments are not exposed to waterborne diseases. Access to safe public spaces is also essential for urban people to promote a sense of well-being, and for children to play outside.
Living in eco-friendly fashion is a lot about finding ways to do more with less. When you live in a city, that often means living in a smaller space.
That’s why it’s important to find ways to maximize the space you do have. One of the most powerful ways to do this is through the use of public resources. The great thing about public resources like libraries and city parks is that anyone can use them.
If you have a laptop, or a book to return, or a dog that needs a place to run, you have access to these resources.
2.) Reduction of CO2 emissions
Global climate change is a very serious problem, which is now very hard to ignore. A lot of people are still very skeptical about it; some even say that it is a hoax invented by some scientists or a way to increase the government’s control.
Until we have some clear evidence that it is happening, it is hard to make people realize how serious the problem is. As a result, there are still a lot of people who do not make changes in their life to reduce C02 emissions.
Even though global climate change is something that can not be prevented in the next few years, it is still possible to slow it down. It is not too late yet.
3.) Building thriving green spaces
Planting trees helps create thriving green spaces in cities by providing shade and oxygen, and is even beneficial to the health of residents.
However, trees need to be planted and cared for properly to thrive. Thoughtful, strategic planning and community support are essential to creating and maintaining sustainable green spaces.
The Urban Forest, the greenery on our streets and in our public areas, is the green lung of the city. Planting and maintaining trees and shrubs in our city is essential to creating livable, safe and attractive communities.
As our cities grow they can become less green, more polluted and more congested. Trees, when strategically planted and cared for, can help combat some of these problems.
4.) Renewable energy
Sustainable energy is a term used to describe sources of energy that are considered to be environmentally responsible and economically viable.
More than anything, the concept of sustainability is about striking a balance between the needs of society and the needs of the planet.
It encourages people to find innovative and environmentally responsible solutions to our current energy challenges while preserving the Earth’s natural resources.
5.) Food production
A sustainable city is one that exists in harmony with its natural environment. It is a city that has a long-term vision for the future—one that considers the needs of both its residents and its natural systems. The most important aspect of sustainable city planning is food production. It is important to understand that sustainable food production is more than just growing food in a way that does not harm the environment. It is also about making sure that the people who eat the food have access to it and the means to grow it.
6.) The safe city
When you look around the world today, you see a lot of cities that are energy-guzzling, environmentally harmful and generally unsustainable, as well as some that are protected and nourished.
Most are made up of buildings constructed with harmful materials and energy-intensive resources, and powered by electricity generated by burning fossil fuels that pollute the air and contribute to global warming.
But to create a sustainable city, you need to begin with the initial building blocks of the city – its buildings.
There is a growing awareness of the environmental impact of human activities, particularly climate change, and cities are increasingly considered to be major contributors to this impact. The rapid development of cities worldwide has made them the cornerstone of the global economy. Consequently, more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and this number will continue to rise.