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Copy of Sustainable Cities

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Rachel Kop

on 5 August 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Sustainable Cities

Introduction

Institute for Sustainable Cities definition: "A sustainable community is one that is economically, environmentally and socially healthy and resilient. it meets challenges through integrated solutions rather than through fragmented approaches that meet one of the goals at the expense of the others. This requires a long term perspective. One that is focused on both the present and future, beyond the next budget or election cycle."(Learning Sustainability, 2013)

Governments and citizens alike must adapt and change their current ways of working and thinking in order to maintain the desired lifestyle of many. Small but powerful changes sooner will allow for luxuries to persist in the future. Luxuries such as fast and on demand transport, clean and accessible water and ever ready electricity for cooking, cleaning and entertainment just to highlight a few.




Impact & Causes
‘Sustainable development is development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs’ (Pacione, 2009). In addition to this, 42.6 per cent of the world’s population was urban in 1990 with 72.6 percent in developed countries, 33.6 percent in developing countries. This has now dramatically changed (Pacione, 2009).

Furthermore, increased human waste and inappropriate disposal is polluting waterways and land. For example, many cities dispose of their waste in land fill sites, where in some instances methane gas has leaked into the atmosphere (Byrne, 2008). Cities have mismanaged waste, and resources for the benefit and short term pleasure of the citizens.



Management
Water: Cities have a major impact on water supply and catchment regions. For example sewage and chemical waste. Historically it was not known the hazardous impact these things could have on a cities waterways and thus impacting on the overall use and enjoyment of the rivers, lakes and other catchment areas of the citizens. Copenhagen has recognised this and through extensive work and rehabilitation the cities waterways have been made safe enough to even swim in (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, 2013a).

Traffic: As the population of cities increase rapidly, more people are using a road, rail and bike way that were not built to sustain the increased users. This has presented problems through an increase in traffic accidents, traffic jams and indeed pollution. Copenhagen has adopted a systems which encourages more citizens to cycle to work or school. The bicycle lanes are elevated and widened for the safety of all road users. New York city is adopting this systems to a certain extend to make cycling safer for all patrons (Department of Infrastructure and Transport., 2010).


Case Study-
Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen desires to become the first carbon neutral capital city in 2025. There have been plans, infrastructure and a change in the lifestyles of the citizens of the city to achieve this goal. By 2015 20% of CO2 levels will need to be reduced to achieve the final goal (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, 2013a)

Copenhagen has initiated the sustainability of some urban features such as:
•The increased mobility through combined transport and cycling solutions, which reduces congestion and increased health of the many residents.
•Cleaning the harbor lead to attractive urban areas with better quality of life, increased local business life, jobs and revenue generated in the area.
•Landfill from waste has been reduced to 1,8% of total while heating 98% of the city through district heating.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, 2013b)

Sustainable Cities
Contents:
Introduction-What is sustainability?

Impact & Causes-What are the impacts of cities on the environment?

Management-How is pollution and other environmental impacts being managed?

Case Study: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Local input- How can 'sustainable cities' be input into Australia?

Local Input-Brisbane, Australia
Ways in which a city can be sustainable...

Resources and services in the city are accessible to all.
Public transport is seen as a viable alternative to cars.
Public transport is safe and reliable.
Walking and cycling is safe.
Wherever possible, renewable resources are used instead of non-renewable resources.
Waste is seen as a resource and is recycled wherever possible.
Homes are energy efficient.
Cultural and social amenities are accessible to all.
(BBC, 2013)

This list is not exhaustive and should indeed include many other sustainable practices in order to create a carbon neutral and livable city. Cities around the world are putting in place new infrastructure, processes and law to rapidly reduce carbon emissions. An example of these cities is Copenhagen, Denmark (City of Copenhagen, Financ Administration, Centre for Urban Development, 2011).
These are just a few examples of how sustainability can be achieved.
Analysis of video....
This video explores how populated areas have moved from rural to urbanized over time and the impacts that has had on the environment and also social implications that cities have on society.

The breakdown of the environmental impacts and brief suggestions on how this can be changed were made. This video highlights the implications of much of humanities lifestyle. Through consuming more than we produce many valuable natural resources have been exhausted. Through changing to renewable energy and adjusting the consumption of our daily lives every city could become sustainable.

In this YouTube video the importance of sustainable infrastructure is growing in importance as cities are the biggest contributors to green house emissions in modern society. Furthermore technology can be used to not only educate but inform companies and citizens of the waste and transport solutions for the future. Finally communication and monitoring technology can help large corporations, governments and families monitor the cities progress for sustainability. This step forward has been undertaken in many cities globally.


Analysis of video
To enable an effective and realistic response, we have identified four target areas to make sustainability easier to promote, interpret and implement. These areas are where we will place our initial focus:
•Resource efficiency: saving energy and water and reducing waste.
•Sustainable places and urban form: improving Brisbane’ built environment, especially the interactions between land use, transport and the environment.
•Biodiversity conservation: protecting and enhancing biodiversity, natural areas and waterways.
•Health and well-being: developing a city where our people and communities enjoy physical, mental and social well-being.
(Brisbane City Council, 2009)

Residential energy use alone is growing at a rate of 2.2% per annum, attributed to population increase, greater ownership of appliances and information technology equipment, and increases in the average size of homes (Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics 2009). To address this one solution is to switch current supply of electricity to renewable energy resources. Currently, renewable energy sources account for around 5% of total energy consumption. In future this will rise to 20% by 2020 as a result of the Renewable Energy Target (Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator 2010). This will be a significant contribution, both to securing energy and reducing the rate of climate change in Australia (Department of Infrastructure and Transport, 2010).
The change in CO2 emissions is dramatic. This is caused by an increase in the stationary energy, land use, land use change and forestry. The increased populations living in urbanized areas of Australia and an increasing demand of energy, food and land using unsustainable practices conjoin these increases.
Stationary energy within cities and transport are the two key elements contributing to the highest proportion of emissions, approximately 50% and 14% respectively in 2008 (Figure 25). Stationary energy, however has4d grown substantially since 1990 and, as such, provide the greatest opportunity for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (Department of Infrastructure and Transport, 2010).
Currently as demonstrated in Fig 1.2 75 urban areas produce percent of the whole worlds CO2 emissions. This is staggering, and as the percentage of people living in urbanized/cities increases so too will the emissions. To reduce this figure many strategies are being implemented into modern westernized cultures such as ‘energy-efficient materials, alternative energy and water supplies, more efficient and environmentally friendly transport methods’ ((United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), 2011)
The map above demonstrates the distribution of energy used throughout the city of Melbourne. Highlighting the efficient trip/ energy expenditure within the heart of the city. For example the inner city of Melbourne used 2,500-20,00 MJ of energy per 1000 trips, which is much less in comparison to that of the outer areas (outlines in the red shaded areas). This map highlights the impacts distance, road systems and the need for commute from the inner to the outer areas of a city in order to accommodate a large number of people. In addition to this as this data was gathered in 2006 the population has increased from 3,645,232 to 3,999,950, which is an increase of 354,718 people in the greater Melbourne region (Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, cited in .id The population experts, 2011). Therefore the amount of energy consumed will have also increased.
In Genesis 1:28 it says that humans have ‘…dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth’ (Life Application Study Bible: New Living Translation, 2007) Dominion involves caring for and making the decisions to benefit those in humanities care. Throughout human history this has not been done well. Change is occurring however, to benefit both mankind and the rest of creation.
A steward is someone who takes care of and manages something that does not belong to them. Psalm 24:1 also says ‘the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.’ Christians and all mankind have a responsibility to be caretakers of what is the Lords. This can be done through living sustainably (Jacobsen, 2012).

Our role...
Fuel/CO2 Emissions: Many countries are now concerned with the CO2 emissions that are emitted. Policies are in place to hold many developed countries (United Nations) accountable to changing the levels emitted by 2025 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, 2013a). The awareness of the impact cities have on CO2 levels is the first stage in changing the current methods and possibly reducing or even reversing the damage caused to this day (Department of Infrastructure and Transport, 2010).

Waste: In Australia the main solid waste sources include 'commercial and industrial waste, construction and demolition waste and solid municipal waste' (Department of Infrastructure and Transport, 2010). Australians produce solid waste at a high rate relative to other OECD countries. However, recycling rates have increased, both total volume and per person generation of waste have also increased in conjunction with our ever increasing population (Department of Infrastructure and Transport, 2010) .

Electricity: As cities face a crisis in rising cost and effect of current methods of electricity production alternative methods are necessary. One alternative is wind generated energy. This method was pioneered by the Danes in the 1970's and has continued to develop over the decades. One issue with wind turbines however, the space required to generate sufficient amount of energy. To avoid loss of usable land and resources one option is to have offshore turbines (oceanic). This has been accomplished with success at Kriegers Flak, the world’s first offshore (oceanic) electric ‘supergrid’. The three main purposes of this new infrastructure is to 'bring renewable energy to European consumers, strengthen regional energy markets and increase the security of supply by providing transmission capacity' (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, 2013c).

Management continued...
This video poses the question, how much do we as citizens have to sacrifice to become sustainable?

Focusing on the design, architecture and social interaction between the natural and man made surroundings, whilst maintaining or increasing the enjoyment of the citizens. This video also highlights how the issue of sustainable cities is connecting cities on a global scale. Copenhagen is the example of a sustainable city focused on. The architecture, transport and water quality are mentioned as being the main focus of the local government.

The example of the 'eight house' highlights the measures taken to ensure that the lifestyle of the citizens is not impacted by the heightened demands for sustainably. Through distorting the angles and heights of the building gardens, light and view are achieved for many, if not all of the surroundings. Furthermore the idea of creating a government building that has a view over the city and that also allows the citizens to see in, creating a sense of unity and fluidity between city and those in power.


Connecting nations...
One element that has been incorporated into the sustainability plan of Copenhagen is the possibility of a 3 mile route connecting Denmark with Sweden. This plan will connect some of the most heavily populated regions of the two nations. Through doing so waste, electricity and water systems can be incorporated to decrease the emissions of the two countries. For example the wind power plants to the north of Copenhagen can be harnessed and used to enhance the electricity demands of the city.
In addition to this the resources and companies will have increased trade and productivity between the countries. The area effected by the sustainable plans will be increased and be able to enjoy the benefits of a health and vibrant city of which Copenhagen promotes.

The black and white map about outlines the businesses and infrastructure that will be connected if this bridge and road system is undertaken. The population density map above (red gradient map) demonstrates the population that will benefit from this proposition whilst highlighting the population that may be impacted by the sustainable development of Copenhagen and surrounding areas.

Finally the first map outlines the area which is Denmark exclusively. The significant benefit and difference between the three maps above is that through initiating the bridge and road system the scale on which sustainability will be harnessed is increased.
(Arupfii, 2008)
(TEDxTalks, 2011)
(Change in Australia's C02-e emissions 1990-2008, 2010).
(Map of Denmark, 2013)
(Population density map, 2011)
(Map of important companies in the region, 2011)
(Urban CO2 emissions, 2010)
(Transport Energy trip efficiency-Melbourne (2006), 2010)
Full transcript