Sustainable development is a major necessity and a concern in every state, Australia is one of the continents faced by this challenge. Due to demographic change, people deplete natural resources through their day-to-day activities. The issue of deforestation, poor sanitation, and depletion of natural water sources is common in urban areas. The report internalizes the state of Australia, causes of its problem, discusses the urban forms, community attitudes, resource management, policies, recommendations, and summarizes the major issues in the review.
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Australia is a continent that has registered a high growth of urban cities over the centuries. As such, there is an emerging need to carry out a sustainable approach in executing environmental, economical, and social planning in its urban cities. Additionally, there is a need to consider the communities and their attitudes in planning for resource management and policy formulation. Therefore, the report analyzes the urban situation, community attitudes to the environmental state of the urban area, resource management, policy development, and recommends probable solutions
The findings entail the urban form in Australia, community attitudes, resource management, and policies. The vitality of the findings explains how each one of them relates to sustainable development.
The urban form in Australia is characterized by high population growth and rural to urban migration. According to Hamin and Gurran (2009), high population growth causes climate changes that include extreme heat waves and rising sea levels. Poor biodiversity conservation has led to air and water pollution. Ritchie and Thomas (2013) argue that urban areas have poor water drainage, and the buildings lack proper garbage storage leading to poor environmental management. The arguments show that urban communities face difficulties in environmental conservation.
Architectural designs in Australian urban centres lead to poor ventilation systems in buildings. The spaces that are left are very small, leading to overcrowding in buildings. According to Hamin and Gurran (2008), buildings overcrowd the urban cities and leave little space for recreational grounds. Every state needs recreational grounds, and in the case of Australia, the buildings have consumed the greater part of the region. Ratsimbazafy, Harada, and Yamamura (2012) argue that there is a need for parks and trees within a city. However, in Australia, people have depleted natural resources, which include forests and water sources.
Communities have attitudes, norms, and values toward natural resources. The values determine their reaction to the environment that they interact with everyday. Ritchie and Thomas (2013) stipulate that for sustainability, planners should have an insight of the community’s cultural dimensions. They also argue that the planners should consider the local government’s perception regarding the natural resources in the community. Most of the local people view the natural resources as sacred, which helps to conserve the resources (Roseland, M. 2012). In Australia, community participation has led to challenges and hindered the progress of projects.
Community participation is a strong foundation of any planning or policy formulation. Ratsimbazafy, Harada, and Yamamura (2012) highlight that for the local people to participate they must have a positive attitude towards the policies and the projects. The report analyses the perceptions of the local people in three ways in respect to natural resources. These ways include the attitude towards conservation of resources, the forest, and the cost plus the benefit of the community members towards the natural resources. Consequently, scholars argue that the perception of the local people depends on the incentives provided to them by implementers.
Their participation in community meetings and in development actions will majorly depend on the incentives. These arguments take an insight on the importance of community participation but first the planners have to carry out an investigation of the communities’ norms and attitudes.
Creating a communal positive attitude is not a guarantee of sustainable development. Roseland, M (2012) confirms that planners do not solve the reason why people deplete the natural resources. Ratsimbazafy, Harada, and Yamamura (2012) emphasizes on the same by arguing that the implementers do not consider the drivers of depleting the resources that positive attitudes cannot solve. Their arguments recommend that community sensitization and addressing of their economical needs promotes sustainable resource conservation.
A sustainable resource management must include a shared vision, proper communication, social efficiency, and specialist integration. Ritchie and Thomas (2013) argue that sustainable ecological risk management should be holistic and integrative in nature to accommodate different ideas from various individuals. Additionally, Ratsimbazafy, Harada, and Yamamura (2012) argue that there is need for specialists from various disciplines to ensure a suitable management of natural resources, financial disciplines, economical aspects, and social scientists. This type of management helps planners to view the problem from different perspective and achieve its solutions.
In managing natural resources, there is need to have representatives from the local and national government. According to Ratsimbazafy, Harada, and Yamamura (2012)implementers should have a collaborative approach, which involves the local administration, wildlife representatives, and the local community. The approach ensures that there is a proper communication of the information from the implementers to the national, local and community level.
It also promotes communal ownership of the project enhancing the community participation. Furthermore, the ideas and the managerial skills of the participants help in achieving the success of the initiative. The local knowledge is important in identifying the challenges since they have firsthand information of the problems that they face. The community key informants play a greater role in community mapping and identifying resources that can be useful in the development such as human skills.
Environmental planning in urban cities is important because policies are vital in ensuring sustainability. According to Hamin and Gurran (2008), policies remind every individual the importance of acting in a particular way. To minimize environmental degradation, planners must disseminate the policies to the judicial system of a nation and the key personnel of various departments. Distributing the policy ensures accountability and efficiency. In several nations, the government can transform the policies into law where every citizen is bound to respect it and respond to the bill. The environmental policies should cater for the wildlife, people in contact with the environment, and the way forward in achieving environmental conservation.
The way forward in achieving a sustainable management of environment is to formulate new approaches that help people to adapt to new climate changes. Ritchie, and Thomas (2013) propose that an integrative approach is important in addressing environmental and social challenges in urban areas. They also emphasize on awareness creation, capacity building, and training. Roseland (2012) includes the community-based efforts in accomplishing sustainable growth. Most importantly on encouraging community participation and including key informants such as chiefs and community elders in the initiatives.
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The essay demonstrates that the relationship between urban form, community perspectives to natural processes, sustainable resource management, and policy formulation are vital in considering a sustainable development. The environmental policies in Australia will be a success when all the planners put these factors into consideration. The international bodies such the United Nations, ILO, World Bank and other local organizations have come up with strategies and policies that will help nations to accomplish their sustainable development goals. These concerns are due to the common problems faced by many countries in the struggle to maintain a sustainable development in conserving the environment.
Hamin, E., & Gurran, N. (2009). Urban Form and Climate Change: Balancing Adaptation and Mitigation in the US and Australia. Habitat International, 33(3), 238-245.
Ratsimbazafy, C., Harada, K., & Yamamura, M. (2012). Forest Resources Use, Attitude, and Perception of Local Residents towards Community Based Forest Managements. Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment. 4 (13), 321-332.
Ritchie, A., & Thomas, R. (Eds.). (2013). Sustainable Urban Design: An Environmental Approach. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Roseland, M. (2012). Toward Sustainable Communities: Solutions For Citizens And Their Governments (Vol. 6). Vancouver: New Society Publishers.