Sustainable City Design

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What are the three pillars of sustainable transportation?

What is the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI)?

What is the Recycled Park in Rotterdam?

What is LEED?

What percentage of the world's population is estimated to be living in urban areas by 2050?

What is urban farming?

What is Regenerative Architecture?

What percentage of energy consumption do cities account for, despite occupying just 3% of the Earth's land?

What is the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11?


Designing sustainable cities

  • Sustainable cities are designed with consideration for social, economic, and environmental impact.

  • The UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 defines sustainable cities as those that are dedicated to achieving green sustainability, social sustainability, and economic sustainability.

  • Sustainable cities promote economic growth and meet the basic needs of its inhabitants, while creating sustainable living conditions for all.

  • Cities occupy just 3% of the Earth's land but account for 60-80% of energy consumption and at least 70% of carbon emissions.

  • By 2050, it is estimated that 70% of the world's population will be living in urban areas.

  • The European Investment Bank has spent more than €150 billion in bettering cities over the last eight years.

  • Methods to create sustainable cities include architecture, eco-industrial parks, urban farming, New Urbanism, individual buildings (LEED), the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI), and regenerative architecture.

  • The Recycled Park in Rotterdam is an initiative that creates floating, green hexagonal "islands" composed of reused litter.

  • Urban farming is the process of growing and distributing food, as well as raising animals, in and around a city or in urban areas.

  • The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices.

  • The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI) is a voluntary national guideline and performance benchmark for sustainable land design, construction, and maintenance practices.

  • Regenerative architecture includes repurposing abandoned spaces to increase green space by using cost-effective design techniques.Key Points:

  • Sustainable transportation is a major focus of sustainable cities.

  • Poor transportation systems lead to traffic jams and high levels of pollution.

  • Sustainable transportation has three widely agreed-upon pillars: better land use planning, modal shift to encourage people to choose more efficient forms of transport, and making existing transport modes more efficient.

  • The concept of car-free cities or large pedestrian areas is often part of the design of a sustainable city.

  • Urban proximity is an essential element of current and future sustainable transportation systems.

  • Diversity in modes of transportation is emphasized to reduce greenhouse emissions and diversity fuel demand.

  • Access to transportation by all levels of society is important for social responsibility in sustainable cities.

  • Smart solutions are being experimented with to regulate transportation and make public transport more efficient.

  • Urban strategic planning is crucial to establishing an international policy that focuses on cities challenges and the role of the local authorities responses.

  • Gender, race, and income are important factors in creating sustainable cities.

  • Environmental injustice is pervasive and manifests in many ways.

  • Proposed solutions include eliminating single-family zoning, pricing a minimum proportions of housing units for LMI households, and requiring community engagement in future urban planning projects.Examples of Sustainable Cities Around the World

  • Adelaide, Australia has planted 3 million native trees and shrubs by 2014 on 300 project sites across the metro area, aimed at beautifying and cooling the city, improving air and water quality, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Sydney, Australia was ranked the most sustainable city in Australia by the 2018 Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index, with a focus on improving social sustainability by being more inclusive, supporting culture, and general happiness among its people.

  • Vienna, Austria aims for only 20% of trips to be made by automobile.

  • Belo Horizonte, Brazil has a Strategic Plan for environmentally sustainable development led by the initiative of new government following planning processes from the state government.

  • Loja, Ecuador won three international prizes for the sustainability efforts begun by its mayor Dr. Jose Bolivar Castillo.

  • The Finnish city of Turku has adopted a "Carbon Neutral Turku by 2040" strategy to achieve carbon neutrality via combining the goal with circular economy.

  • In Paris, France, bike lanes are being doubled, while electric car incentives are being created, and the most polluting automobiles are banned from key districts.

  • Songdo IBD is a planned city in Incheon, Korea which has incorporated a number of eco-friendly features, including a central park irrigated with seawater, a subway line, bicycle lanes, rainwater catchment systems, and pneumatic waste collection system.

  • The city of Malacca, Malaysia has a stated ambition to become a carbon-free city, taking steps towards creating a smart electricity grid and creating a Green Special Economic Zone.

  • Oslo, Norway was ranked first in the 2019 SDG Index and Dashboards Report for European Cities with a high score of 74.8, planning to convert cities to biofuels and considerably reducing traffic by introducing a congestion charge to cut-down emissions by 50% since 1990.

  • Saudi Arabia recently unveiled a proposed one of the most ambitious eco-city projects; Neom, a smart city that will stretch for 170 km with easily accessible amenities throughout and a planned floating city off the coast.

  • The city of Portland, Oregon, USA has a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 and is working towards it through various initiatives, including increasing public transportation and bike lanes, promoting energy-efficient buildings, and investing in renewable energy sources.


Test your knowledge on designing sustainable cities with this quiz! Learn about the key principles and strategies for creating cities that are socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. Discover the importance of sustainable transportation, urban farming, and green architecture. Explore real-life examples of sustainable cities around the world, and understand the role of gender, race, and income in creating equitable and sustainable urban environments. Take the quiz and become a sustainable city design expert!

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