Being a sustainable city means "improving the quailty of life in a city, including ecological, cultural, political, institutional, social

and economic components without leaving a burden on future generations. More..." Urban21 Conference, Berlin, July 2000

By promoting sustainable urban form and function, cities become healthy, viable communities for citizens. Efficient urban form also helps protect the hinterland ecosystems that cities depend on. In many ways, the advantages to sustainable communities are underlined in the characteristics and definitions of urban sustainability. A good quality of life, natural open spaces, reduced waste, equality, access, lower crime, sense of community, clean air and water quality, and environmental diversity are just a few beneficial characteristics previously mentioned. The most important advantage of a sustainable city is that it follows such a development path that allows for an integral and long-term development without compromising future generations. In this section we will look at the advantages of sustainable cities from different perspectives.

"There is a sense of great opportunity and hope that a new world can be built, in which economic development, social development and environmental protection as interdependent and mutually reinforcing components of sustainable development can be realized through solidarity and cooperation within and between countries and through effective partnerships at all levels."
United Nations City Summit Habitat Agenda (Chapter I, June 1996 .pg. 1.)

Characteristics - General Cities will need to become more aware of the impact that their consumption patterns have on other regions and ecosystems. A sustainable city will also need to acquire accountability and responsibility for increasing consumption patterns. Cities may work towards responsibility by adapting a policy to reduce, recycle, and re-use consumed goods. Some cities may go as far as implementing user fees in order to control unsustainable consumption patterns. By examining the characteristics of a sustainable community, a better understanding can be reached about defining a sustainable community. Being very complex entities, cities can be characterized by a number of

htm) According to RRP International.htm Sustainability characteristics outlined by the Centre for Sustainable Development include: y the formulation of goals that are rooted in a respect for both the natural environment and human nature and that call for the use of technology in an appropriate way to serve both of these resources.rppintl. the placement of high values on quality of life.cities99/theme. optimization of key resources. Source: Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development y y y y y y y y y y Excerpts from Beth Lachman's article describes the issues that will have to be addressed with long-term planning to accomplish sustainable urban development: . 25 June 1999: http://www.different properties." Conference Strategies for Sustainable Cities (The Hague. value for diversity. These properties may change across countries and geographical regions. Diversified economic development. Dialogue is the basic principle for achieving this for Local Agenda 21. the five basic elements to the community include: y y y y y Affordable housing supporting pride & self-reliance. A self-governing. self organizing community. These must be in balance and therefore require an integrated approach. ecology and social cohesion are the pillars of a sustainable city. and Stewardship of the environment. 23. responsiveness and proactiveness. This section gives you an overview of the most important sustainability issues in cities . support of life cycles. infusement of technology with purpose.denhaag. adoption of a systems approach. " respect of the natural environment. Life-long Source: http://www.grouped by the geographical locations of the project partners. maintenance scale and capacity. 24. and preservation of heritage.

etc. protecting biodiversity. and policies.Beth E. Social issues addressed in sustainable community efforts include education. inner-city problems. business development. Furthermore. such a community probably will not be able to address other key community issues. and/or city will individuals truly work together over the long term to develop a healthy community. Another critical dimension to creating a sustainable community is fostering a sense of community. and government. community building. More Sustainable Less Sustainable ." . Compromise by special interests is also key where necessary. From an environmental standpoint. environmental justice. a community can be sustainable over the long term only if it is not degrading its environment or using up finite resources. pursuing ecosystem management. including businesses. town. If a community does not have a strong economy. air. and land. individuals. stable businesses. spirituality. A major assumption of the sustainable community definition is that trying to address such issues in isolation eventually ends up hurting some other part of the community's health« Most sustainable community efforts also involve an open process in which every member of the community is encouraged to participate. and connection to the community. appropriate technology development and implementation. etc. because it is so busy dealing with its social problems. environmental and community groups. Lachman. Environmental concerns include protecting human and environmental health. having healthy ecosystems and habitat. equity. a consultant. Such sustainability activities try to enhance individuals' and organizations' feelings of attachment. The emphasis is on communication and cooperation among many different interests and stakeholders from the community and also from those outside the geographic community if their actions might affect the community. All the different segments of the community at the local and regional level. and other uses. then it cannot be healthy and stable over the long term. recreation. crime. reducing and/or eliminating pollution in water. compares strategies for their sustainability or lack of sustainability. etc«. good wages. need to work together cooperatively to move toward sustainability. If a community has significant social problems. providing green spaces and parks for wildlife. Linking Sustainable Community Activities to Pollution Prevention: A Sourcebook: http://www. In a report prepared for the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy. such as serious crime. such as environmental problems. The focus is on consensus building for the community. Many experts feel that only by caring about and feeling a part of their neighborhood. value.rand. county. then it cannot be healthy and sustainable over the long term«.html Another way of looking at the characteristics of a sustainable community is by examining behavioural patterns. resource consumption patterns. Nigel"Economic issues include good jobs.

woodlands. channeling natural water-courses. protection of wetlands. Low-density. Discharge of sewage into water bodies or water-courses untreated or with low level of treatment. Heavy dependence on private cars. Source: Sustainable The image part w ith relationship ID rId7 w as not found in the file. Thermal and nuclear energy. and Market Barriers National and Sub-National Barriers . use of manure. pesticides. recovery. spread-out residential development. Natural open space. etc. Perceptual / Behavioural Barriers Institutional / Structural Barriers Economic. jobs and shopping separated into uniform tracts or concentrations. compost. integrated pest management. Reduction of waste. Hard surfaces preventing infiltration. . Destruction of natural landscape. "manicured" parkland with exotic species. heavy use of chemical fertilizers. use of natural means of sewage treatment. Landfills. Prepared for by the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy. Protection and use of natural hydrologic systems.. incinerators.Compact forms of residential Development.Nigel Richardson. Wind and solar energy. Tertiary treatment of sewage. homes. jobs and shopping in close proximity/TD. herbicides. Mixed land use. habitat. Financial. stream valleys. Movement on foot and by bicycle and transit. Segregation of land uses: homes. Employment based primarily on education and skills. etc. reuse and recycling of waste materials. Employment based primarily on environment polluting or nonrenewable resource based industry.

Considering all these issues. General Examples of Projects. It requires different social seen by various organizations. degrees of government stability. In "Towards Sustainable Communities: Resource for Citizens and Their Governments. including programmes from participating project partners. Globalisation is having a significant effect on cities.even though it is getting more and more widely accepted that this is the only way to go in the long run. This section will examine some of the most important barriers to sustainable cities . human resources. Mark Roseland covers numerous programmes and initiatives for sustainable urban development. Some research has explored why sustainable urban development is difficult to achieve.Overcoming Barriers General "We have increasingly recognized that the public sector has neither the financial nor the institutional resources to solve all the development challenges that countries face«. a different decision-making process etc. Below is a small sample of the initiatives covered in Roseland's book. forcing them to compete for international business with other cities worldwide and within their own countries. financial resources. Implementing sustainable change can be a complex task with numerous organizations and competing issues involved. y y y y Waste Reduction and Recycling Energy Efficiency and Renewables Transportation Planning and Traffic Management Land Use and Urban Form Cities are increasingly becoming the engines of national economic growth and the magnets for new residents flooding in from rural areas. it should be noted that different communities face different challenges as a result of different population structures." Dr." The path towards sustainable cities often requires changes in our current practices and actions. regulations. and others. and developmental stages. there are still a number of major obstacles that hinder the development of sustainable cities . now we see human and social capital as the limiting factor. We used to see physical and financial capital as the critical inputs and constraints to development. long-term thinking. New international political realities. The following barriers to sustainability is a compilation of research findings from Jennie Moore. Nigel Richardson. More information about these barriers may be obtained by following the source links provided at the end of the page. such as the future accession of 10 countries in Central and Eastern Europe to the European . Programmes. and Initiatives This section demonstrates numerous projects from that are implementing change towards sustainable urban development. However.

Decision-makers at all levels are faced with the task of how to resolve urban problems from transportation to waste management. NGOs and the media. which is highlighted both from a general (global) as well as from a more focused (local. This section clarifies how the participating project partners approach the issue. As a result. Advantages of sustainable cities. Links to relevant resources on the Internet. The issue is highlighted from a general point of view as well as from a regional context. Each link is accompanied by a short summary. the sustainability of cities is under pressure. The information for this module was compiled and edited by a group of collaborating environmental institutions and non-governmental organizations. A comprehensive collection of relevant Internet resources. proper decisions will not be made without the involvement of experts. The focus of this on-line module is urban sustainability. a knowledge network of seven of the world's leading sustainable development organizations seeking to accelerate the implementation of sustainable development through . citizens. South America. Major barriers hindering the progress towards sustainable cities. Information was collected and compiled by organizations working in each geographical area. Regional information. from drinking water supply to the preservation of urban green space. Africa. The module is set up along the following major pillars: y Definitions and basics. Welcome to the on-line information module on sustainable urban development! This information module is the result of the joint work of five leading organizations in the field of sustainable development. Urban sustainable development is considered in many different ways . To give you an idea of the nature and diversity of some of these pressures. Europe. Canada. y y y y y This on-line module was created within the framework of the Sustainable Development Communications Network. Project partners.especially in different geographical/economical/social contexts.Union. At the same time. located all across the world. regional) context. please see our compilation on the most pressing urban sustainability issues in selected parts of the World. The module takes a closer look-at the following countries/continents: India. The image part w ith relationship ID rId18 w as not found in the file. is also impacting cities. This section gives you more information on these partners.

please visit the SD Gateway the one-stop information portal to sustainable development! For an information brochure on sustainable cities please contact Gabor Heves at The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe. which defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. while draining resources out of external regions that they depend on. that is based on an equilibrium of material and energy and also financial input/output." During the preparatory meetings for the URBAN21 Conference (Berlin. political. This on-line module integrates this information and presents it in an integrated format. As a result of increasing consumption of resources. integrated communications. social and economic components without leaving a burden on the future generations. A burden which is the result of a reduced natural capital and an excessive local debt. July 2000) the following definition was developed to define sustainable urban development: "Improving the quality of life in a city. However. plays a crucial role in all future decisions upon the development of urban areas. many organizations are referring to sustainable human development as opposed to sustainable development in order to emphasize issues such as the importance of gender equality. Cities have become the focal points of these components as major consumers and distributors of goods and services. The term sustainable development goes beyond the boundaries of science and business development and trade to include human development." . institutional. This section gives you an overview of how sustainable (urban) development was defined by the Brundtland Commission and how it is defined by different organizations in different geographical regions. values.broader. The project was implemented by the generous support of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (Canada) and the Government of Japan. and differences in cultures. debatable term. Five of these organizations have produced a significant amount of information related to sustainable cities. cultural. participation in decisionmaking processes. including ecological. the ecological impact of cities extends beyond their geographic locations. In fact. It has been recognized that the concept of sustainable development is an evolving. Join the Sustainable Development Communications Network! If your organization is interested in becoming an associate member in an active international community of organizations working in the field of environmentally sustainable development. Our aim is that the flow principle. and growing dependencies on trade. The most widely known definition of sustainable development comes from the Brundtland Commission. The image part w ith relationship ID rId25 w as not found in the file. and access to education and health. many cities tend to be large consumers of goods and services.

nonprofit organizations are common.However. ironmentalists. sustainability strategies emphasize: the ole community (instead of just disadvantaged neighborhoods). and religious organizations. use resources iciently. and actively seek to retain and enhance a locally based economy. benefits.html "A sustainable community uses its resources to meet current needs while ensuring that adequate resources are available for future generations. They are places that ild on their assets and dare to be innovative." . Sustainable communities have a strong sense of place.html y "A sustainable community is one in which improvement in the quality of human life is achieved in harmony with improving and maintaining the health of ecological systems.subjectmatters. and equity: y y y Economy . Let's look at a few: "Sustainable community development is the ability to make development choices which respect the relationship between the three "E's"-economy. Public debate in these communities is engaging. It seeks improved public health and a better quality of life for all its residents by limiting waste. nature has limits. ecosystem protection. inclusive. maximizing conservation and promoting efficiency. the business sector. civic Sustainability/DefinitionsCommunity. and where a healthy economy's industrial base supports the quality of both human and ecological systems. including businesses. and structive. Equity . ecology. and decision-making of a society. be self-renewing. and developing local resources to revitalize the local economy. There is a pervasive volunteer rit that is rewarded by concrete results. government agencies." . there are many more definitions out there. meaningful and ad-based citizen participation. They have a vision that is embraced and ively promoted by all of the key sectors of society. and economic self-reliance.Indigo Development Indigo development: http://www.indigodev. Ecology . and build local assets and self-reliance. (1993) ustainable communities are defined as towns and cities that have taken steps to remain healthy over the g term.Concern. and communities are responsible for protecting and building natural assets. disadvantaged groups. Unlike traditional community development activity should serve the common good. Inc." stitute for Sustainable Communities Institute for Sustainable . preventing pollution." .The opportunity for full participation in all activities. Partnerships between and among government.Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED): Hart Environmental Data http://www. These communities value healthy ecosystems.Human are part of nature.

iscvt.Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development . October 1995 "... but also the local environment and quality of life. initial report." .Communities: http://www.Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida.html "A community that believes today's growth must not be achieved at tomorrow's expense. the deliberate effort to ensure that community development not only enhances the local economy." .org/FAQscdef.

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