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Shazwina Zakaria


Assignment 3: Envision the Sustainable City

Part 1: Briefly describe one of the places where you grew up.

Brought up in a tropical environment, Malaysias weather was akin to constant

temperature of 30 degrees celcius, with occasional thunderstorms and heavy
rain. The place that I was brought up is the capital of the country called Kuala
Lumpur, a central area with major tall modern skyscrapers. Traffic and road
system converged to this area. The city which encompassed a 37 square
miles, has a central administrative area with about one third of a square mile.
A bustling metropolitan, this area is surrounded with many short streets. The
climate in Malaysia is relatively humid, which translates to many forms of
clouds. Humidity is vital as this would ensure the comfort of occupants.
Another vital aspect is the prevalence of underground water. As Malaysia is
fortunate to have highly occurrence of rainfall, the source of water is
dominated by water found underground. Social life was circled around
communicating with parents, brothers and friends. Asian communities are
observed to be solely having communications between families and people
that are known on daily basis. Friendly communication with strangers is
deemed to be out of the ordinary. The daily lifestyle that I had was an
enclosed interaction with parents, brothers, close relatives and friends. Since
Malaysia is predominantly regressive in developing a sustainable
transportation system, most of its citizens would count cars as a basic
necessity. Travelling in short distances using traditional bicycles is out of the
question since the humidity and the warm temperature would cause higher
discomfort; people sweat more. My life would circle around travelling to work
back and forth using a car provided by my father. Occasionally, I would hop on
buses and light rail transit. The hardship of using the light rail transit was that
the stations are least built to be situated in housing areas, thus lengthening
time taken to reach home. As I pondered at all the descriptions given, my life
was deemed to be significantly unsustainable. Energy usage was highly
prevalent with no efficient systems implemented. Wastes were not separated
to accommodate recycling initiatives. The list goes on. The only resilient
sustainable lifestyle that was adopted is taking the public transportations. As
the economy of Malaysia was in a bad state, more middle class citizens opted
for public transportations even though the efficiency is not up to standard.
Part 2: Describe your vision of a sustainable city or neighborhood.

As less energy is required to construct new, efficient cities than to modify existing
ones, the best arrangement of cities should be to that of a circular design. Its
geometrically sophisticated design should be well enclosed with gardens and parks.
The basic design is that there are radial sectors divided being close to the central
dome. These radial sectors are surrounded by lush greenery and fields, with
concrete buildings that are arranged in circular motion. By having a city which is laid
out in a circular manner instead of traditional linear arrangements, efficient
transportation system could be designed readily to which significant time can be
saved tremendously. Several transportation systems could be designed such as
maglev trains, autonomous motor vehicles and lifts which moves radially. All of this
means of transportations are designed to minimize inefficiencies and use technology
intelligently. Trains which are operated using magnetic levitation technology would
reduce energy waste and dramatically reduce time travel between. Autonomous
motor vehicles are designed next to maglev trains to which both transportations
move radially inward to the central dome or outwards. Autonomous cars are
electrically operated with voice sensing technology, and sensory devices to prevent
collisions. For this city, maglev trains and autonomous cars are deemed as a
transportation method from home to daily activities. To move in a concentric manner,
train lifts can be designed to transport from one area to another area in one
particular circle. This circular route transport serves as lifts, trains, and buses
Community which is sustainable should be deemed to yield ample opportunities for
personal development, social interaction, and participation. More community facilities
should be built instead of having a dense circular area of masonry high skyscrapers
similar to a fortress. More liveability is induced, all kinds of people interact in a daily
basis according to their personal needs and beliefs. The built environment is
predominantly filled with lush green sceneries circulating the city. Water system
which is filled from rainwater can be built in a circular manner similar to gardens and
parks. This idealistic utopia is sustainable as an efficient centric management could
be readily developed to ensure a city which thrives on a minimal use of resources
while maintaining high standard of living. The keyword is efficient centric
management as all of beneficial present and future endeavours can be developed
openly to ensure a sustainable living for the city dwellers. It is possible to achieve
this futuristic neighbourhood given that it must be pitched confidently among
potential investors.
Part 3: Sustainability Theory (500 700 words)

In Part 1 where my past lifestyle is recalled, I remembered vividly of the

consequential events that had taken place due to unsustainable lifestyle. Every
citizen of the city I lived in had the same lifestyle as I was back then, and it is no
coincidence that the temperature of environment became significantly higher as
years went by. Thus, comfort becomes more and more unattainable not only to
individual, but to the community as whole. Waste areas became mountains of piled
rubbish. Water rationing was prevalent as the citizens consumed water at a wasteful
manner; more or less a hedonistic pursuit. To ensure a better comfort, sustainability
pursuits must be implemented. In general, sustainability is not about preserving the
future generation, as these unfortunate events can occur at a near future. As how
detrimental and consequential of my actions can be, efficiency comes in mind.
Wastage of energy, and resources must be intensely controlled; turn of any electrical
systems or appliances when not in use. Physical waste should be separated to
induce recycling initiatives, thus preserving resources and land use for the future
generation. Having the belief that resources are scarce in nature, usage becomes
more of a necessity rather than pleasure or aimless pursuits. Thus, by preserving the
environment, a better future can be obtained for not just the wellbeing of my life but
to others as a whole.

The theory of sustainability is predominantly rooted on human values rather than

facts. As the definitions for sustainable development and sustainable consumption
suggest, sustainability converges into one common value; the preservation of the
future human race. Human values are vital heuristics in decision processes involving
sustainability. All activities and decisions are constructed to accommodate with the
needs of future generation. As this common value is upheld, integrity of the natural
ecosystems is also interdependent with the sustainability of human life. The
symbiosis between humans and nature are so concrete that if nature is destroyed,
humans are correspondingly destroyed. As human values are highly regarded,
present hedonistic and individualistic pursuits are questioned reasonably to put into
account of the well-being of future humanity. It is all based on motivation. When
someone starts to induce thoughts of collective perseverance, which is related to
universalism, sustainability becomes prevalent in ones thoughts and behaviours. As
human values are highly interdependent on sustainability, there are several
interventions and policies that can be done to solidify the said fact. As the Earth has
a specific carrying capacity, high population growth translates to more poverty. Thus,
by controlling the growth of population through the betterment of education, the Earth
becomes more stabilized thus higher sustainability can be achieved. As poverty
becomes prevalent among high population community, basic medical care and food
necessity are deemed unattainable, thus more deaths occurred. If this continues
significantly, the collapse of civilization is highly likely to occur. By definition,
sustainability is not upheld.

By summary, sustainability is a vital concept which is to be upheld by people across

the world. As we collectively have the same ideals to ensure collective preservation
of the world, the betterment of the world can be achieved and all of us could live in
peaceful harmony.