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  1. Why diversity is the key to unlocking sustainability | GreenBiz
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Both trends started in the s. Main article: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. In order for a building to become LEED certified sustainability needs to be prioritized in design, construction, and use. One example of sustainable design would be including a certified wood like bamboo. Bamboo is fast growing and has an incredible replacement rate after being harvested. By far the most credits are rewarded for optimizing energy performance. This promotes innovative thinking about alternative forms of energy and encourages increased efficiency.

The building principles of SSI are to design with nature and culture, use a decision-making hierarchy of preservation, conservation, and regeneration, use a system thinking approach, provide regenerative systems, support a living process, use a collaborative and ethical approach, maintain integrity in leadership and research, and finally foster environmental stewardship. All of these help promote solutions to common environmental issues such as greenhouse gases , urban climate issues, water pollution and waste, energy consumption , and health and wellbeing of site users.

Why diversity is the key to unlocking sustainability | GreenBiz

The main focus is hydrology, soils, vegetation, materials, and human health and well being. In SSI, the main goal for hydrology in sites is to protect and restore existing hydrologic functions. To design storm water features to be accessible to site users, and manage and clean water on site. For site design of soil and vegetation many steps can be done during the construction process to help minimize the urban heat island effects, to and minimize the building heating requirements by using plants.

In order to reduce the environmental impact caused by transportation in metropolitan areas, sustainable transportation has three widely agreed upon pillars that it utilizes to create more healthy and productive urban centers. The Carbon Trust states that there are three main ways cities can innovate to make transport more sustainable without increasing journey times - better land use planning, modal shift to encourage people to choose more efficient forms of transport, and making existing transport modes more efficient. The concept of car free cities or a city with large pedestrian areas is often part of the design of a sustainable city.

A large part of the carbon footprint of a city is generated by cars so the car free concept is often considered an integral part of the design of a sustainable city. Created by eco friendly urban planning, the concept of urban proximity is an essential element of current and future sustainable transportation systems. This requires that cities be built and added onto with appropriate population and landmark density so that destinations are reached with reduced time in transit.

This reduced time in transit allows for reduced fuel expenditure and also opens the door to alternative means of transportation such as bike riding and walking. Transportation in downtown Chicago Furthermore, close proximity of residents and major landmarks allows for the creation of efficient public transportation by eliminating long sprawled out routes and reducing commute time.

This in turn decreases the social cost to residents who choose to live in these cities by allowing them more time with families and friends instead by eliminating part of their commute time. See also: Compact city and Pocket neighborhood. Sustainable transportation emphasizes the use of a diversity of fuel-efficient transportation vehicles in order to reduce greenhouse emissions and diversity fuel demand. Due to the increasingly expensive and volatile cost of energy, this strategy has become very important because it allows a way for city residents to be less susceptible to varying highs and lows in various energy prices.

Among the different modes of transportation , the use alternative energy cars and widespread installation of refueling stations has gained increasing importance, while the creation of centralized bike and walking paths remains a staple of the sustainable transportation movement. In order to maintain the aspect of social responsibility inherent within the concept of sustainable cities, implementing sustainable transportation must include access to transportation by all levels of society. Due to the fact that car and fuel cost are often too expensive for lower income urban residents, completing this aspect often revolves around efficient and accessible public transportation.

In order to make public transportation more accessible, the cost of rides must be affordable and stations must be located no more than walking distance in each part of the city. As studies have shown, this accessibility creates a great increase in social and productive opportunity for city residents. By allowing lower income residents cheap and available transportation, it allows for individuals to seek employment opportunities all over the urban center rather than simply the area in which they live.

This in turn reduces unemployment and a number of associated social problems such as crime, drug use, and violence.

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Although there is not an international policy regarding sustainable cities and there are not established international standards, there is an organization, the United Cities and Local Governments UCLG that is working to establish universal urban strategic guidelines.

The 60 members of the UCLG committee evaluate urban development strategies and debate theses experiences to make the best recommendations. Additionally, the UCLG accounts for differences in regional and national context. All the organizations are making a great effort to promote this concept by media and internet, and in conferences and workshops. Recently, local and national governments and regional bodies such as the European Union have recognized the need for a holistic understanding of urban planning.

This is instrumental to establishing an international policy that focuses on cities challenges and the role of the local authorities responses. Generally, in terms of urban planning, the responsibility of local governments are limited to land use and infrastructure provision excluding inclusive urban development strategies. The advantages of urban strategic planning include an increase in governance and cooperation that aids local governments in establishing performance based-management, clearly identifying the challenges facing local community and more effectively responding on a local level rather than national level, and improves institutional responses and local decision making.

Additionally, it increases dialogue between stakeholders and develops consensus-based solutions, establishing continuity between sustainability plans and change in local government; it places environmental issues as the priority for the sustainable development of cities and serves as a platform to develop concepts and new models of housing, energy and mobility. The City Development Strategies CDS addresses new challenges and provides space for innovative policies that involves all stakeholders.

The Social Sustainability of Cities: Diversity and the Management of Change

The inequality in spatial development and socio-economic classes paired with concerns of poverty reduction and climate change are factors in achieving global sustainable cities. According to the UCLG there are differences between regional and national conditions, framework and practice that are overcome in the international commitment to communication and negotiation with other governments, communities and the private sector to continual to develop through innovative and participatory approaches in strategic decisions, building consensus and monitoring performance management and raising investment.

The UCLG has specifically identified 13 global challenges to establishing sustainable cities: demographic change and migration, globalisation of the job market, poverty and unmet Millennium Development Goals, segregation, spatial patterns and urban growth, metropolisation and the rise of urban regions, more political power for local authorities, new actors for developing a city and providing services, decline in public funding for development, the environment and climate change, new and accessible building technologies, preparing for uncertainty and limits of growth and global communications and partnerships.

In Adelaide , South Australia a city of 1.

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The projects range from large habitat restoration projects to local biodiversity projects. Thousands of Adelaide citizens have participated in community planting days. Sites include parks, reserves, transport corridors, schools, water courses and coastline. Only trees native to the local area are planted to ensure genetic integrity. Premier Rann said the project aimed to beautify and cool the city and make it more liveable; improve air and water quality and reduce Adelaide's greenhouse gas emissions by , tonnes of C02 a year. He said it was also about creating and conserving habitat for wildlife and preventing species loss.

The Rann government also launched an initiative for Adelaide to lead Australia in the take-up of solar power. In addition to Australia's first 'feed-in' tariff to stimulate the purchase of solar panels for domestic roofs, the government committed millions of dollars to place arrays of solar panels on the roofs of public buildings such as the museum, art gallery, Parliament, Adelaide Airport, schools and Australia's biggest rooftop array on the roof of Adelaide Showgrounds' convention hall which was registered as a power station. On a per capita basis this was the best result in Australia, the equivalent of preventing more than a million tonnes of C02 entering the atmosphere.

In the s container deposit legislation was introduced. Consumers are paid a 10 cent rebate on each bottle, can, or container they return to recycling. In non-reusable plastic bags used in supermarket checkouts were banned by the Rann Government, preventing million plastic bags per year entering the litter stream. The City of Greater Taree north of Sydney has developed a masterplan for Australia's first low-to-no carbon urban development.

Belo Horizonte, Brazil was created in and is the third largest metropolis in Brazil, with 2.

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The Strategic Plan for Belo Horizonte — is being prepared by external consultants based on similar cities' infrastructure, incorporating the role of local government, state government, city leaders and encouraging citizen participation. The need for environmental sustainable development is led by the initiative of new government following planning processes from the state government. Overall, the development of the metropolis is dependent on the land regularization and infrastructure improvement that will better support the cultural technology and economic landscape.

Southern cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba are often cited as examples of urban sustainability. The GreenScore City Index studies the ecological footprints of Canadian cities and splits them into three population categories: large, medium, and small. The index studies 50 cities in Canada. Most cities in Canada have sustainability action plans which are easily searched and downloaded from city websites. In , Calgary ranked as the top eco-city in the planet for it's, "excellent level of service on waste removal, sewage systems, and water drinkability and availability, coupled with relatively low air pollution.

There is also a larger, ambitious plan in action: the Copenhagen Climate Plan. On a more local level, the industrial park in Kalundborg is often cited as a model for industrial ecology. Examples include Aalborg , Ballerup and Frederikshavn. Aalborg University has launched a master education program on sustainable cities Sustainable Cities Aalborg University Copenhagen. See also the Danish Wikipedia.

Loja, Ecuador won three international prizes for the sustainability efforts begun by its mayor Dr. Jose Bolivar Castillo. Oxford Residences for four seasons in Estonia , winning a prize for Sustainable Company of the Year, is arguably one of the most advanced sustainable developments, not only trying to be carbon neutral , but already carbon negativeGermany. Freiburg im Breisgau is often referred to as green city.

It is known for its strong solar economy. Vauban, Freiburg is a sustainable model district. All houses are built to a low energy consumption standard and the whole district is designed to be carfree. The Finnish city of Turku has adopted a "Carbon Neutral Turku by " strategy to achieve carbon neutrality via combining the goal with circular economy.

No other country has built more eco-city projects than Germany. It is one of the few cities with a Green mayor and is known for its strong solar energy industry. Another green district in Freiburg is Rieselfeld, where houses generate more energy than they consume. There are several other green sustainable city projects such as Kronsberg in Hannover and current developments around Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt.

The government portrays the proposed Hung Shui Kiu new town as an eco-city. The same happened with the urban development plan on the site of the former Kai Tak Airport. South Dublin County Council announced plans in late to develop Clonburris, a new suburb of Dublin to include up to 15, new homes, to be designed to achieve the highest of international standards.

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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. In a energy plan was carried out by the Danish Aalborg University for the municipalities of Limerick and Clare. It will come up on acres 2. Auroville was founded in with the intention of realizing human unity, and is now home to approximately 2, individuals from over 45 nations around the world.

Its focus is its vibrant community culture and its expertise in renewable energy systems, habitat restoration, ecology skills, mindfulness practices, and holistic education.

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