Sustainable city

A sustainable city, ecocity or ecopolis is an entire city dedicated to minimizing the required inputs (of energy, water and food) and its waste output (of heat, air pollution as CO2, methane, and water pollution.) Richard Register first coined the term "ecocity" in his 1987 book, "Ecocity Berkeley: building cities for a healthy future". [cite book | author=Register, Richard | title=Ecocity Berkeley: building cities for a healthy future | publisher=North Atlantic Books | date=1987] Another leading figure who envisioned the sustainable city was architect Paul F. Downton, who later founded the company Ecopolis Architects.

A sustainable city can feed and power itself with minimal reliance on the surrounding countryside, and creates the smallest possible ecological footprint for its residents. This results in a city that is friendly to the surrounding environment, in terms of pollution, land use, and alleviation of global warming. It is estimated that by 2007, over half of the world’s population will live in urban areas and this provides both challenges and opportunities for environmentally-conscious developers.

Practical achievement

These ecological cities are achieved though various means, such as:
*Different agricultural systems such as agricultural plots within the city (suburbs or centre). This reduces the distance food has to travel from field to fork. Practical work out of this may be done by either small scale/private farming plots or through larger scale agriculture (eg farmscrapers).
*Renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, solar panels, or bio-gas created from sewage. Cities provide economies of scale that make such energy sources viable.
*Various methods to reduce the need for air conditioning (a massive energy demand), such as planting trees and lightening surface colors, natural ventilation systems, an increase in water features, and green spaces equaling at least 20% of the city's surface. These measures counter the "heat island effect" caused by an abundance of tarmac and asphalt, which can make urban areas several degrees warmer than surrounding rural areas—as much as six degrees Celsius during the evening.
*Improved public transport and an increase in pedestrianization to reduce car emissions. This requires a radically different approach to city planning, with integrated business, industrial, and residential zones. Roads may be designed to make driving difficult.
*Optimal building density to make public transport viable but avoid the creation of urban heat islands.
*Solutions to decrease urban sprawl, by seeking new ways of allowing people to live closer to the workspace.Fact|date=December 2007 Since the workplace tends to be in the city, downtown, or urban center, they are seeking a way to increase density by changing the antiquated attitudes many suburbanites have towards inner-city areas.Fact|date=December 2007 One of the new ways is on how this is achieved is by solutions worked out by the Smart Growth Movement.Fact|date=January 2008
*green roofs
*green transport
*sustainable urban drainage systems or SUDS
*energy conservation systems/devices
*xeriscaping - garden and landscape design for water conservation

International examples


Curitiba is often cited as an example of urban sustainability.

Republic of Ireland

South Dublin County Council announced plans in late 2007 to develop Clonburris, a new suburb of Dublin to include up to 15,000 new homes, to be designed to achieve the highest of international standards. [ [ Clonburris] ] The plans for Clonburris include countless green innovations such as high levels of energy efficiency, mandatory renewable energy for heating and electricity, the use of recycled and sustainable building materials, a district heating system for distributing heat, the provision of allotments for growing food, and even the banning of tumble driers, with natural drying areas being provided instead. [Construct Ireland [ Ecology of Scale] .]


China is working with investment and technology supplied by the Singapore government to build a ecocity in the Coastal New District of Tianjin City in northern China.

As of April 2008, a second ecocity collobration project is being proposed for a district in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province on the Yangtze River, just west of Shanghai.



Further reading

*Richard Register (2006) " [ Ecocities: building cities in balance with nature] ", New Society Publishers. ISBN 0865715521.
*Timothy Beatley (2000) " [ (1997) " [ Eco-city dimensions : healthy communities, healthy planet] ", New Society Publishers. ISBN 0865713537.
*Richard Register (1987) " [ Ecocity Berkeley: building cities for a healthy future] ", North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1556430094.
*Sim Van der Ryn and Peter Calthorpe (1986) " [ Sustainable communities : a new design synthesis for cities, suburbs, and towns] ", Sierra Club Books. ISBN 087156629X.
*Paolo Soleri (1973) " [ Arcology : the city in the image of man] ", MIT Press. ISBN 0262190605.
*Ian L. McHarg (1969) " [ Design with nature] ", Published for the American Museum of Natural History [by] the Natural History Press."

External links

* [ Sustainable Cities] ,
* [ Ecocity Builders]
* [ Ecocity Summit 2008] , April 22-26, San Francisco, California.
* [ Ecocity Summit 2008 media site]
* [ Which way China?] Herbert Girardet, 2006 October 2nd, chinadialogue. Discusses the emergences of ecocities in China.
* [ Los Angeles: A History of the Future]
* [ Transition Towns, a organisation building sustainable cities]
* [ Resource Guide on Sprawl and the New Urbanism] edited by Deborah Sommer, Environmental Design Library, University of California, Berkeley.
* [ Bicycle City]
* [ The Ecocity web forum] , with a proposal for an environmentally responsible clean-slate ecocity.

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