Urban sustainability Name Instructor In the global context, Urbanization is viewed as an essential trend for development for a couple of decades to come, this is especially the case in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asian countries. Cities in mentioned regions as well as other parts of the world are predicted to promote sustainable development of their respective nations. This is supported by the knowledge that urbanization if well-articulated can enhance economic and social well-being of nations; since the urban centers provide the facilities for production.
Therefore, sustainability should be incorporated in all urban evelopment plans in order to promote investments for middle and low-income members of the society. The developments should address the present and future needs of rural and urban regions of the society (Fitzgerald,J. 2010). At the moment, approximately half the World’s population live in urban centers. Analysts project that by 2030, there will be an increase of more than one billion urban residents and by the year 2050, urban population will be between 2. to 3 billion people. Hence, the urban managers should develop sustainability mechanisms to accommodate the rising urban population. Sustainability and overall development of an urban center entail enhancing the capacity of urban residents to improve their livelihood, it involves conserving the of the existing public utilities. A citys development plan should therefore, incorporate not only the physical expansion but also give the best approaches for ensuring sustainability.
Therefore, a comprehensive and most efficient urban plan provides methods to realize development objectives, establishes an appropriate and unique urban environment that benefit both the present and future residents of the city. In ddition, urban sustainability also enhance accountability and transparency in the management of the urban utilities and resources. This in turn promote compliance to the existing by-laws and policies thereby, minimizing environmental degradation and pollution.
In this regard, urban sustainability refers to the multi-disciplinary and cross sector approach that provide the practical use and integration of citizens in the planning process, decision making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of urban projects. This promotes feasible, long-term, as well as self-sustaining urban projects and settings. In this instance, sustainability may relate to the use of natural resources and best practices in development of urban environment, which does not compromise the ability of future generations to practice further development or meet their own needs.
It refers to the development that integrates inter and intra generational equity. In order to realize urban sustainability, the planners adopt a political processes that incorporates the views and opinions, public concerns, contributions and expertise advice of local leaders, special interest groups including; women, children, the disabled and the old. The approach requires the coordination f various experts and officials from different fields such as architectures, natural resource conservation and management, transportation sector, trade and industry and the Non-Governmental organizations.
They sequentially form a team which monitor and advice the residents on the long term sustainability as well as the environmental and demographic changes of the urban environment Over the past decades, there has been debates about making urban development further viable. However, Just as the debates on general sustainability, there is no effort to explain and quantify the real meaning of the term urban sustainability. Currently, it is estimated that the total population of people living in urban environments is over 50%. This is expected to reach about 70% by 2050 (World Health Organization).
The Food and Agricultural Organization also explains that the rate of water use is slightly twice the rate of population growth, making water a fragile and scarce commodity. Thus, there exists major concerns to promote sustainability of the urban centers. Nevertheless, the aforementioned issues should not raise an alarm because the vitality of urban centers provides major opportunities for sustainable development. It is clear that sustainable urban development has adequate potential to generate good Jobs and provide better livelihoods to urban residents.
This is in turn is coupled with significant improvement in social well-being and economic growth; besides, sustainability also enhances the protection of environmental as well as resource use, it promotes protection of local and trans-boundary ecosystems. In addition, this helps reduce both the rural and urban poverty, and subsequently management of urban resources and development is difficult to address, and have long lasting impacts on the physical environment of urban centers. This may cause the growth of slums, and as a result, exclusion, inequalities and social unrest start to develop.
Current efforts by both the private sector and governments to reduce negative environmental impacts of the cities and the urban development are well elaborated. However, it is difficult to explain if their interventions are sensible or not. In most instances, governments propose and implement projects without the full consideration of their economic and technical efficiency. For example, the desalination plants constructed in major Australian towns to provide other sources of ater is neither economically nor technically efficient method of water provision.
Perhaps, appropriate and sustainable urban development models for world cities should address both economic and technological efficiency principles. That is, the methodology should aim at minimizing the pollution and damage to the physical environment. The models should as well maximize the economic efficiency while on the other hand promote sustainable use of resources and production. Urban sustainability principles highlight reduction in carbon emissions and related energy wastage during consumption.
In broad view, it also entails reducing the water wastage and unnecessary demand. As a major approach to city development, it promotes the adoption and sustainable use of resources and limits waste generation. Urban sustainability facilitates appropriate waste management; this encompasses the adoption of 3Rs namely; reduce, re-use and recycling of wastes. These changes are expected to go along with similar adjustments in the socio-economic performance aspects of the development projects and activities (Schaffer, D. 010). Case study The City of Vancouvesr. Vancouver city is one of the clean cities in Canada and the whole world. The work highlights the strategies taken by the city administration and mayor of the city to improve its sustainability. To date, Vancouver is one the greenest cities in the world, it also provide high standards of living for the residents based on the availability of the best services and utilities in addition to the clean city environment.
In the earlier years, the city depended on the implementation and recommendations of the Clouds of Change report of 1990. This report gave the guidelines and actions for reducing emissions especially the carbon emissions from manufacturing firms. After five years, he urban planners developed a comprehensive City Plan of 1995. The plan among other concerns aimed at providing guidelines to the local government and city residents so as to develop efficient and sustainable urban communities. In addition, the city management adopted The Vancouver Greenways Plan.
This plan enabled the development of supplementary cycling and walking opportunities, this enhanced the safety of city residents along major highways. Thus, the plan contributed to sustainability of the city by reducing injuries and accidents along the streets, roads and highways. As a follow up, the city administration adopted a n all-inclusive ransportation plan in 1997, the plan gave emphasis to walking, transit and cycling. occurrence of accidents. In order to make Vancouver better and enhance sustainability of the city, the mayor formed the Cool Vancouver Task Force in 2002.
The main aim of the task force was to assist in developing action plans to address climate change and related impacts on urban settlements and infrastructure. These action enabled Vancouver to become “The Climate-Friendly City” in the world. In 2005, the task force helped draft incorporating a wide-ranging corporate climate change action plan for city operations. This detailed plan provided elaborate information relating to changes that the Vancouver council was supposed make as well as the sustainable projects to be implemented both in the present and the future.
Plans addressed relevant adjustments in different sectors of the economy, education, transportation, clean production mechanisms and waste management. To further promote sustainability of Vancouver city, the local authority passed the Eco Density in 2008. This activity provided a landmark in enhancing urban sustainability because; it promotes more sustainable urban planning processes. The plan attempts o encourage a formula of densification that is economically, socially and environmentally friendly. It facilitates the reduction of the citys undesirable impacts and ecological footprint.
Among other concerns, Eco-Density also encourages the adaptive reuse of already prevailing buildings, the development of additional secondary housing units and the creation of new housing designs that are more responsive to current development standards that are considered sustainable. To cap it all and facilitate urban sustainability, the management of the city needed to establish long lasting approaches to urbanization. The methodologies should address all aspects of development together with social, environment and economic aspects of development.
In this regards, the mayor passed the Green Rezoning Policy in 2010, this policy makes it mandatory that all new rezoning for buildings should include LEED standards and all constructions should ensure compliance with the standards. This has gone a long way to minimize hazards at construction sites. Besides, it significantly contributes to reducing disasters that can result to property damage, property loss or death of city residents. The LEEDS standards ensures that ll new buildings constructions made in Vancouver are safe, disaster proof and more energy efficient.
Hence, it promotes sustainability of the houses as well as Vancouver City in general (Greater Vancouver greenguide,2006) Regardless of the numerous benefits of urban sustainability, achieving urban sustainability is difficult because of the numerous significant challenges in creating sustainable structures so as to promote urban development. For instance, existing social structures, infrastructures as well as transportation modalities in most cases characterize an enormous economic investment.
This is the case because, these infrastructural equipment were built to last for many more years hence replacing them require the significant country spending. Consequently, Political challenges and differences also arise. Often, it is more challenging to persuade citizens living in a democratic society and the government to destroy or replace their buildings and other infrastructures since it will tamper with the well-being of people for a certain period. Other challenges also arise from the private sector, for example organizations and can oppose various adjustments because of their self-interest.
This is because they have an investment urban centers more sustainable and safe. This requires improving life of the urban residents within the capacity of the respective urban center’s finite resources. In particular, the needs of the present generation must be addressed without affecting the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. References Fitzgerald, J. (2010). Emerald cities: urban sustainability and economic development. New York: Oxford University Press. Greater Vancouver greenguide: [seeding sustainability].. (2006). Vancouver: Design Centre for sustainability at IJBC.