Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Urban Development To Combat Climate Change: Dongtan Eco-city and Risk Management Strategies

by Peter R. Head  and J. Gary Lawrence

The activities of urban settlements are key contributors to climate change factors. In parallel, global climate change and its current and potential consequences for life property and prosperity is now accepted as the major challenge for human society in the next 100 years. The translation of science into policy and practice that stems the acceleration of greenhouse gas production, particularly carbon, while also ensuring social and economic development is still in its infancy. Drawing on lessons learned from the planning and development of a new, low-carbon eco-city on an island opposite Shanghai in China, this paper explores the potential of an integrated urbanism approach. The objective being not only to mitigate factors contributing to climate change, but to manage risk, maximize resilience, and promote the successful economic and social growth of the urban community. We posit that no matter what the scale, integrated approaches – both in understanding the true nature of the issues and designing solutions – are predictive or more successful outcomes. Global populations are growing creating stress on existing resources; sprawl consumes natural buffers making metro areas more vulnerable; distributed governance responsibility confounds coordinated planning; a successful global economy is dependent on the resilience of public infrastructure and the metropolitan labor market. An integrated urbanism approach to planning may give us the tools to leapfrog the environmental and public health costs of economic progress and create a new model for cities across the developing world.

Dongtan, Shanghai, by Tourist Republic

more on eco-city:

Toward Low Carbon Cities: Madrid and London

Eco building idea from Alexander Remizov

A Chinese eco-city: City of dreams, Still on the drawing-board

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