Sustainable Cities: Building the Future City for the Next 100 Years
Songdo International City-S. Korea
In his book Urban Geography, Michael Pacione, discusses the “Future City-Cities of the Future”. In his analysis there are several principles that must be included in the future city in order for it to strive and be successful, “by 2025 65 percent of the world’s population will be in urban areas” (Pacione 2005) The need for the city of the next 100 years to be sustainable in all aspects is paramount for its success and its citizens to live in peace and harmony. The factors that will play a large part in deciding the fate of our future cities are addressing population growth, the economics of cities, or making cities economically competitive, the effective managing and creation of various modes of transportation and mobility and managing the largest pollutant most inefficient parts of of our cities: buildings. All while maintaining high ecological and environmental standards including proper reduction and disposal of waste . The city of the next 100 years must be successful in managing the impacts of all of these stated areas. I will highlight current cities that are struggling with some of these areas and what must be done for the future to prepare for the next century. I. Population
There is wave of urban migration and population explosion particularly in 3rd-world nations. The projection of future growth in Lagos, Nigeria from the current city to the future city is projected to put Lagos as the 3rd largest city in 2015 behind Tokyo and Bombay. (Lagos State Government 2011) To stem and manage such growth city planners and local authorities must be diligent. Below is a picture of the daily traffic in the main city center, this is an example of the current situation when unfettered growth and poor or lack of planning are present.
While this may be an extreme example two of the projected largest cities by 2015 are both located in developing nations-Lagos being one of them and Bombay in India the other. The basic needs of the population must be met for these cities to become prosperous for its own success and for its inhabitants. With such large masses of population of people located in nations that currently have challenges handling the basic needs of its people the challenge will be to grow while still addressing these concerns. The solution to this problem of massive population growth and how to sustainability-as a city develop and grow can be found from William Rees from the University of British Columbia. He and his team have developed an ecological footprint analysis which can be used to gauge and measure whether the current natural environment can sustain the growing population. In short, breaking down the consumption of what people use into five categories: food, housing, transportation, consumer goods and services. In addition, there are also land-use categories: fossil energy land, consumed land, food land and forest land. While I will not recite the entire analysis, what is important that can be extracted from this is the characteristics of sustainable future cities, as it relates to population growth. Preserving natural capital, minimizing the ecological footprint (this can include mixed-use development, 3-4 story apartment buildings along commercial streets). (Walker, Lyle and Rees, William 1997) II. Buildings
Building and how we are currently operating them in the United States alone account for 40 percent of all energy consumption. The city of New York alone emits more greenhouse- gases, more automobile exhaust and more trash per square foot, than any other U.S. city. (Fettig 2006) In the future city of the next 100 years energy consumption of buildings must drastically be reduced. While there are some new groundbreaking solutions such as The United States Green Building Council that have developed a system of measuring energy consumption...
Cited: E2. Directed by Tad Fettig. Produced by Elizabeth Westrate. 2006.
Lagos State Government. November 30, 2011. http://www.lagosstate.gov.ng/index.php?page=subpage&spid=12&mnu=null (accessed November 2011).
Pacione, Michael. Urban Geography, Ch. 30 The Future of the City-Cities of the Future. Routledge, 2005.
Porter, Michael. "The Competitive Advantage of Nations." Chap. 3, 69-130. McMillian, 1990.
Skinner, Nancy. "Economic Development as a Path to Sustainability." In Eco City Dimensions, 66-79. New Society Publishers, 1997.
Walker, Lyle and Rees, William. "Urban Density and Ecological Footprints." In Eco City Dimensions, 96-112. New Society Publishers, 1997.
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