Also known as an eco-city, a sustainable city consists of settlements built in such a way that they do not have a negative impact on the environment. It is a community of people who really feel happy, healthy and safe because all their needs and requirements are met in an ecologically meaningful way.
Where does such a project begin? For example, an existing city could aim to reduce the use of energy, food and water and reduce heat, air and water pollution through its administration and projects.
A sustainable city aims to combine different solutions in order to maintain the ecological balance in the long term. Among the characteristics of a sustainable eco-city are the following:
Reduced CO2 emissions
A striking feature of a sustainable city is a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. In addition to CO2 reduction, there is also a smaller amount of toxic gases that can damage the ozone layer. The long-term use of renewable energies makes it possible to reduce CO2 emissions. There should also be vertical gardens and several alternative means of transport, including electric buses, trains and bicycles.
In addition, households in a sustainable city should commit themselves to saving both water and energy. Shenzhen, China, is surprisingly setting a good example by introducing thousands of environmentally friendly vehicles across the city in recent years, making it the largest zero-emission service fleet in the world.
Green buildings and communities
A sustainable city also consists of green buildings and communities. Green Buildings consist of several apartment buildings and use green design in accordance with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
The city has a variety of green infrastructures, each capable of solving the problems of energy and water supply and management, as well as the effective management and disposal of waste.
A sign of greener infrastructure is sustainable and innovative financial, cooling and heating solutions. The Community must also have flexible open spaces that provide natural habitats, arable land for food and space for recreation.
Besides energy consumption, housing and transport, food consumption is one of the main causes of CO2 emissions. A sustainable city supports the urban cultivation of food.
This is possible through the promotion of vertical and roof-protected gardens, community-based agriculture, intensive indoor food cultivation and food markets. Knowledge about urban gardening is already being taught to children in schools.
Urban renewal movements
Another fundamental characteristic of a sustainable city is the renewal of facilities that are essential for a sustainable life. These include public roads, urban areas, parks, squares, waste management and modern irrigation practices. These measures serve to preserve the identity of a city and its cultural heritage through restoration or renovation.
In Melbourne, for example, incentives have been introduced for property owners to make more sustainable property management more attractive. This has resulted in efficient water and energy consumption and a significant reduction in waste.
Of course, a city cannot be called sustainable if it does not make efforts to reduce energy consumption. Solar energy will therefore be an important part of eco-cities in the future.
A sustainable city is working to enable the use and installation of dye-sensitive PV coatings on various building facilities as a means of generating electricity. One advantage of this is that some surfaces no longer have to point directly at the sun to improve the efficiency of their solar modules. The solar modules do not take up much space and provide sustainable energy, for example for air-conditioning rooms. Such a measure can contribute to a significant reduction of energy consumption and to a relief of the environment.
Remote management and monitoring of buildings
Wireless energy monitoring systems in buildings will play a role in sustainable cities. These systems will make it possible to remotely monitor and control all existing buildings in the city. This is useful to reduce energy consumption and identify hotspots for action.
The systems are designed to make energy consumption public in real time, so that all citizens pay more attention to consumption and make efforts to meet their energy saving targets. With remote management, everyone can contribute to making the community more energy efficient.
In sustainable cities, the main objective is to protect the environment while meeting the needs of all citizens. The development of a vibrant local economy is encouraged. It is able to provide easy access to rewarding and satisfactory work and lifestyles without compromising the national, local and global environment.