What Makes Cities Sustainable? City Planners Like Leon Churchill Weigh In
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A good number of people consider the idea of a “sustainable city” as an oxymoron, given the massive amount of change cities need to meet ecological, societal, and economic requirements for actual sustainability. In the eyes of these people, at the rate change is happening now, sustainability is an unrealistic and unachievable goal.

City planners like Leon Churchill, however, believe otherwise. Though several still doubt the ability of today’s modern cities to provide for themselves and their residents in a sustainable manner, a quick look at some expert descriptions of a sustainable metropolis may help prove that the idea is not at all far-fetched. Here are some of these descriptions.

Excellent Mass Transit – City dwellers around the world spend (and subsequently waste) a considerable amount of time and resources stuck in traffic. This is why a number of urban governments are increasingly focusing on the improvement of mass transit systems. Such moves are even more important now since the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that road congestion can increase as much as six times in some countries in the near future. City planners like Leon Churchill understand this very well, and endeavor to reverse the situation.

Energy-Efficient Buildings – Nowadays, it’s all about Green Teams. Residential and office spaces consume massive amounts of energy just for heating and cooling needs. In return, the emission from these energy-burning tasks comprise 40 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide discharges. Fortunately, the introduction of “smart” climate devices and better insulation techniques may be enough to reverse the trend.

Localized Food Production – Let’s face it, importing food may work in short bursts, but it’s not a sustainable long-term solution. Truly sustainable cities are able to offset these problems by having a significant portion of their food supplies produced within their confines or in the nearest surroundings, with a considerable focus put on producing staple crops.

Proliferation of Renewable Energy – Fossil fuel supplies are dwindling. If renewable energy can be harnessed more and improved with further research, then cities will have a defense mechanism against any worldwide energy crisis. It also helps a lot if renewable energy is localized as well, with enough focus on maximizing solar, hydroelectric, wind, and marine energy.

For more on the subject, check out theguardian. com/sustainable-business/sustainable-cities-discussion-round-up.


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