SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Characteristics of sustainable urban development
By achieving most of these characteristics or elements, it can be said that the city had a process of sustainable urban development and achieved urban sustainability.
100% of the energy coming from renewable sources. Integrated systems for recycling water and garbage.
Wide green spaces integrated to commercial, industrial and residential development.
Massive and integrated public transport that allows to move around the city in different media with a single rate.
Smart green buildings that minimize the use of resources.
How to achieve sustainable urban development
To achieve this type of urban development it is necessary to create associations of public and private entities through which the environmental, cultural and historical resources of the city are protected.
The government with the support or pressure of citizens can create laws or institutions that promote sustainability. In addition, the private sector can create new businesses and create value from the efficient use of resources and the application of new technologies.
Also the political powers; legislators, regulators, mayors, governors, community boards, etc. they must participate and support the planning and development of the urban area. They must, for example, demand the use of environmentally friendly building techniques and seek a balance between the natural systems of the city, such as rivers, with public infrastructure.
Misconceptions about sustainable urban development
Many see cities with high population density as decadent sites where crime reigns, pollution, diseases, etc. and in general they see them as contrary to environmentally friendly development.
But, the truth is that urban spaces with high population density can be more sustainable than suburbs or rural areas with homes separated by great distances. Cities with mixed-use spaces have the closest resources to each other: home, work, school, park, hospital, shopping center, etc.
This makes them more efficient thanks to lower costs of transportation, housing and public services that save many resources.
There are greater economies of scale. People will find the services they need near their home and possibly even work, so they will no longer have to spend 2-3 hours a day traveling by public transport or in a particular way. In addition, it is more viable for people to walk, use a bicycle or similar for their movements.