Light Rail Transit, Bridge Links, and Other Features of Eco-citiesDownload Audio Version
Eco-cities combine modern and innovative features such as solar panels, green roofs, bridge links, and others. They are also known as sustainable cities and the goal is to reduce waste, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable communities, cities, and districts rely on local resources, including natural ventilation, weather conditions, soils, and water. This helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions released by commercial vehicles.
Design and Features
The design is usually neighborhood based, with low-carbon, resilient, eco-friendly, and low-risk infrastructure, features, and buildings. Eco-cities combine features such as vertical landscaping, green insulation and roofs, urban drainage systems, and wind turbines. Home design incorporates natural ventilation, whether buoyancy or wind driven. Vegetation is used to keep humidity levels and temperature stable. North-facing windows are fitted with thermal glass to minimize energy consumption. Sustainable cities also treat industrial waste and dispose of sewage safely.
Eco-cities have become a global phenomenon. At the same time, the goal is to use local water flows, energy, and materials such as rain, wind, and solar energy. The goods and products manufactured are intended for recycling and reuse. Thus local companies reuse recycled paper, metals, plastics, and by-products. In sustainable cities, the local industries are labor-intensive and not water, energy, and resource intensive. This is a way to help replenish resources, make the most of human potential, and reduce the carbon footprint.
Building a Sustainable City
The goal of urban development projects is to encourage sustainable farming, contribute to the wellbeing of poor rural areas, and clean contaminated land. Green corridors are also created. The next step is to create buildings, structures, and settlements that fit the weather conditions, soil, natural habitat, and landscape in general. Land is used in diverse ways – for educational, recreational, and residential purposes and to grow organic fruits and vegetables. Mixing residential units and housing with light industry, offices, and retail stores helps reduce crime and makes cities safer for residents.
To optimize energy performance, the design is based on the idea of minimal energy consumption, no nuclear power, reduced fuel consumption, and climate responsive building materials. A sustainable city is a settlement that is energy self-sufficient. In fact, there are zero-energy structures and buildings. Self-sufficiency and reduced reliance on transport and fuels are important given the decreasing supply from fishing, livestock, and agriculture and the increased demand and consumption. Food demand is expected to increase by up to 90 percent by 2050. Sustainable gardening and farming are important because the supply of fertile land is shrinking. This is due to global warming, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and urbanization. A green city is a settlement that doesn’t encroach on nature, fosters biodiversity, and uses local land resources. All goods and food products are locally sourced.
Examples of Eco Cities
Sustainable cities are found in Germany, Sweden, India, and Brazil. Examples are Auroville, Curitiba, Stockholm, and Freiburg. In Sweden, one fourth of the municipalities have implemented sustainable policies and solutions. The goal is to reduce pollution and the reliance on synthetic chemicals, minerals, underground metals, fossil fuels, and other non-renewable resources. The main principles behind design, layout, and planning are eco-friendly industrial development and security. Mobility management programs are also implemented. The main means of transport include electric vehicles, non-motorized vehicles, bicycles, as well as public transport such as buses, electric trams, and trains. The local centres are conveniently connected by public transport, servicing nearby areas. Those who travel further on a daily basis benefit from frequent public transport. Eco-mobility is one of the top priorities. Some designers look into the feasibility of building settlements that are in the form of large villages so that traffic, engine noise, and fumes are reduced. The idea of shared space is welcomed by some people. In this case, pedestrians and cars share the same space. This is known as a home or woonerf zone. Sustainable cities and towns are also walkable. Pedestrianised cities are safe and quiet, and the air is cleaner. They combine the best of both worlds – country and city living. Banks, cafes, restaurants, and convenience stores are found within walking distance and so is the countryside. The three pillars are availability, accessibility, and affordability.
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