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Cities and Sustainability
Transcript of Cities and Sustainability
Urban Population Trends
More people moving to urban areas than rural
Size and population of urban areas growing
Urban growth faster in less-developed areas
Poverty becoming urbanized
By: Hanna Peterson, Gracie Hoidal, Cassidy Ferrall, and Krystsina Ivanova
Reasons for Urban Growth
Urban population grows naturally (birth and death) and by immigration. People are also attracted to the city because of jobs, food, housing, education, health care, and entertainment.
People are less attracted to rural areas because of poverty, inability of land to grow food, declination of job opportunities, famine, war, and social conflicts.
Urban Population In the US
Population of people residing in urban areas increased from 5% to 79% from 1800 to 2008. This occurred in four phases:
Migration from rural areas to central cities
Central cities to suburbs
From north and east to south and west
Left cities and suburbs, migrated to areas outside of suburbs
PROS: Quality of urban life increases.
Destruction of wildlife habitat in rural areas mitigated.
CONS: Deteriorating infrastructure of cities
Growth of low-density development on edge of cities and towns caused by:
Land available for cities to spread
Gas and highways encouraged car usage
Tax laws encourage home owndership
Laws favored areas of land
Governments don't work together to develop solid plan
Urban sprawl has caused or aggravated several environmental problems
Growth of Urbanism
Builders have used cluster development for high density housing units on parcel of the land while 30-50% is used for recreational space saving cost and land on roads and infrastructure.
New Urbanis m, Old Villagism
Mixed-use and diversity - shops, offices, apartments, homes
Quality urban design - Architectural diversity
Environmental sustainability - minimal environmental impact
Smart transportation - Buses and trains
Cities For People, Not Cars
Ecocities, Green cities
Solar, renewable energy resources
Redesign for people
Use energy efficiently
Prevent pollution, reduce waste
Reuse, recycle, compost municipal waste
Protect and support biodiversity
Urban gardens, farmers markets
Zoning and other tools for sustainability
Ecocites, people are able to walk or bike for most of their travel, trees throughout, solar panels and gardens on roofs of buildings, abandoned lots are restored, available parks, and educational buildings such as schools, libraries, sustainable zoos, botanical gardens. Olympia, Washington is example of an attempt to be ecocity.
Three Big Ideas
Urbanization is increasing steadily and the numbers and sizes of urban areas are growing rapidly, especially in less-developed countries.
Most urban areas are unsustainable with their large and growing ecological footprints and high levels of poverty.
Urban areas can be made more sustainable and livable just as some cities and villages already are.
Case Study: A Living Building
Help the climate, vegetation, and other surrounding eco-region
Renewable resources only for energy
Capture, treat, and reuse all water
Design to be energy efficient
Pros of Urbanization
Centers of economic development
Recycling more prevalent
Pollution, health problems
Urbanization is Less-Developed Countries
One billion live in unsanitary urban conditions, could be slums, squatter settlements, shantytowns
To solve problems in these areas, rural conditions should be improved to discourage emigration from them
Urbanization: creation and growth of urban and suburban areas
Transportation and the Environment
Cities expand, upward, outward or downward.
The United States is a car centered nation.
The United States is responsible for 43% of the world's yearly gas supply.
Cars, are also the biggest contributor of outdoor air pollution in the world
Cars contributed to the Urban Sprawl
U.S. motorists spend an average of 2 years in traffic jams
Relationship to Seattle
Relationship to watershed
Urban Land-Use Planning
Urban land-use planning gives the best use of parcel land
Urban land-use planning can help reduce uncontrolled sprawl and slow the resulting degradation of air, water, land, biodiversity, and other natural resources
Controls and directs sprawl
Cuts wasteful resource
Zoning to chanel growth
Urban growth boundary
Seattle house densities high
Preserved area with city surroundings
Urbanization In Seattle
#4 on list of cites that take environment seriously, #8 on "green" rankings
Diesel exhaust is highest contributor to pollution in Puget Sound
Urban areas are dependent on watersheds, yet urban expansion and land use changes have contributed to watershed degradation , increasing urban exposure and vulnerabilities to water-related hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, and coastal storm surges
To Drive or Not To Drive?
Scientist have suggested a user-pays approach to reducing cars on roadways
A tax on gas to cover environmental and health damage costs ( a gallon of gas would cost about $12.00! )
Rapid mass transit systems within and between urban areas
3 reasons why taxing gas in the us would not work- opposition from 2 groups ( overtaxed & transportation industries), spread out areas of urbanization & mass transit doesn't exist
Trade-Offs To Cars
Alternatives to motor vehicles are-
heavy-rail systems (subway, elevated railways, and metro trans)
light-rail systems (streetcars, trolley cars and tramways)
Seattle placed as 8th place on the "top ten U.S. green cities" made by mother nature network.
More than 20 public buildings in Seattle are LEED-certified or under construction for LEED certification.
LEED: green building tool that addresses the entire building lifecycle recognizing best-in-class building strategies.
Benefits of solar electricity:
No fuel (no price risk)
Modular and expandable
Short lead times
McClure, R. (n.d.). Breathing Uneasy: Air Pollution Crisis in South Seattle.
Seattle: Seattle Accolades (n.d.).
Seattle: Seattle Accolades.
Miller, G. T., & Spoolman, S. E. (2012).
Living In The Environment
(Seventeenth ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Case Study: Curitiba
Ecocity, known as ecological capital of Brazil
Best bus system, 1.5 million trees planted
Recycles 70% of paper, 60% of metal, glass. and plastic
The poor receive many basic services