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Eco-Architecture in Different City Essay

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Updated: Apr 11th, 2022

Introduction

Sustainable architectural development must incorporate measures and systems to ensure the construction of human habitats, which exists in harmony with nature. Eco-architecture (green architecture) focuses on design techniques, which adequately consider the geography, climate and environmental factors of a region. The explosion of the human population in urban areas demands architectural techniques, which facilitate efficient management of human demands without compromising the harmony between architecture and nature. Geographical and environmental considerations in the design of architectural structures significantly influence the cultural, social and economical prospects of a region. The failure by city planners to consider the geography and climate of a region in the construction of essential infrastructure is the chief cause of environmental pollution and unsustainable energy demands in most cities. For example, the lack of architectural designs to facilitate the efficient cooling and aeration of buildings influences the widespread use of air-conditioning equipments to improve the indoor environment. The lack of energy-efficient buildings leads to increased energy demands. Sustainable architectural practices take advantage of a region’s geography and climate to minimize the environmental effects of the structures in the region. An architectural design, which incorporates the local wind, sunshine and ecology, influences buildings that cater to the demands for efficient use of energy and development space in an area and fosters ecological conservation. Architectural structures, which integrate efficiently with the geography, ecology, climate and environment of a region, ensure peaceful co-existence between humans and nature and promote the sustainability of ecosystems.

Eco-architecture in Milan (Europe)

An analysis of the 2013 Pollution Index demonstrates that Milan has the highest level of pollution in Europe. The primary source of air pollution in Milan is automobile emissions. Despite the adoption of regulations to curb the heavy air pollution in Milan, the infant mortality rates and health complications related to air pollution are alarming. For example, an analysis of the paediatric records from the Macedonio Melloni Hospital demonstrates that, over a period of ten days, the hospital admits between 170 and 400 children with breathing problems. Organization such as Milan’s Parents against Smog are lobbying for strict air pollution charges, extension of the zone to cover the entire Milan City and construction of metro lines and parking sites on the edge of the city. The adoption of eco-friendly architecture in Milan is underway to ensure a sustainable urban ecosystem. The Bosco Verticale architecture will provide a system that can optimize energy and minimize the carbon dioxide levels in Milan. The building design integrates plant life to ensure efficient balancing of the microclimate and removal of harmful particles from the air. The primary theme in the Bosco Verticale design is the incorporation of diverse plant life to sustain the recommended levels of humidity and oxygen and reduce carbon oxide and dust particles (Pham 2011, par. 2). The building design will help to minimize people’s exposure to radiation and pollution. The adoption of the Bosco Verticale design is an excellent eco-architecture strategy for a city whose population desperately needs low carbon emission, improved quality of living space and preservation of energy. The balcony of each apartment in Bosco Verticale will have trees with the most adaptable characteristics in light of Milan’s climate. For example, the trees will provide a shade during summer and optimally reduce the city’s pollution. On the other hand, during the winter, the trees will allow adequate sunlight for each apartment. The plants in Bosco Verticale will rely on irrigation using the water obtained through the filtering of wastewater from the building. The reuse of wastewater from showers, baths and dishes is an excellent eco-architecture strategy aimed at preserving essential resources. The energy conservation measures for the building will include the use of photovoltaic systems. The design of Bosco Verticale is a response to the evident separation of Milan and its inhabitants from nature. The Bosco Verticale building is one of the many initiatives that the Milan authorities seek to implement to realize an eco-friendly city. Other initiatives for a green city include the creation of a green belt around Milan and the rehabilitation of abandoned farms for community use.

Eco-architecture in Dongtan (China)

A significant percentage of the most polluted cities in the world are in China. An analysis of the 2005 Pollution Index demonstrates that more than half of the most polluted cities in the world are in China. The need for sustainable city planning influenced the initiatives for the construction of Dongtan eco-city. Chinese authorities have embraced the construction of eco-cities to respond to the rampant increase in urban populations, which has led to the degradation of urban ecosystems, strain on infrastructure and inadequacy of essential resources such as water and energy. The architectural design of Dongtan eco-city focuses on ecological and economical sustainability through initiatives such as renewable energy, wastewater recycling, protection of wetlands and the restriction of automobiles within the city. Dongtan will help to integrate sustainable social and economic activities with the urban landscape by ensuring zero carbon emission and 100 percent recycle of waste. The city will sustain its energy requirements using renewable sources such as rice husks, biogas, photovoltaic cells and wind turbines. Adopting a transport system, which relies on electric vehicles within the city, will help to minimize air and noise pollution and allow the use of natural ventilation systems instead of air-conditioning equipments. The design of buildings in Dongtan will be such that their positioning allows efficient adaptation to the region’s microclimate. The design of windows will include thermal glasses to minimize the energy required for heating purposes. The use of renewable sources of energy will maintain carbon emission at minimum levels. The city buildings will use eco-architecture techniques such as green roofs and technologies to reduce energy consumption. The construction of zero-energy buildings and green rooftops will help to reduce energy consumption and enhance the filtering of water (Jochumsen, 2014, par. 5). The reuse of 100 percent of the waste in the city will help to preserve the urban ecology and respond adequately to the water and energy demands within the city. The upward trend in the growth of urban population in China has compelled the increase in energy consumption. Chinese authorities need to adopt laws to enforce the use of energy-efficient architectural designs and technologies. For example, the country’s overreliance on coal is the primary causes of the rampant cases of extremely thick smog in most cities. Incidences of the use of fresh air bags by tourists demonstrate the need to transform the urban development in China’s cities.

Eco-architecture in Hanoi (Vietnam)

The Hanoi ecosystem is under intense pressure due to the lack of adequate resources and infrastructure to respond to the city’s population explosion. The overcrowding and intense pollution in the city is an illustration of the need to adopt sustainable architectural planning. Some chief examples of the ecological degradation associated with the rapid population growth in Hanoi include deforestation and soil degradation. An analysis of the Pollution Index of various cities in Vietnam illustrates that Hanoi is one of the most polluted cities in the country. The lack of architectural structures that can integrate efficiently with the geography and climate of the city has influenced initiatives to ensure socially, economically and ecologically sustainable development. Plans for the implementation of sustainable architectural designs in Hanoi are underway. The designated buildings in the Green Tech City will conform to eco-architecture standards such as open spaces, plant life and natural ventilation systems. The use of green architecture will ensure that people in the city co-exist with nature and embrace the importance of the sun, wind, water and plant life. The initiative to construct vertical gardens and green in most city buildings will help to enhance the social and economical sustainability of the city. Rooftop gardens are an excellent green architecture design in terms of minimizing the noise and air pollution, which emanate from the chaotic streets in the city and construction sites. The architectures will use glass and steel to enhance natural ventilation and penetration of sunlight. Each building will have an irrigation system to facilitate easy watering of plants. Hanoi has a significantly high number of industrial enterprises and production units. Industrial waste and mining activities have contributed to the high levels of air and water pollution in Hanoi. Old and inefficient sewage and drainage systems in Hanoi flood during heavy rains, which cause sanitation crises in the city. The construction of the Green Tech City will help to reduce carbon emission and energy consumption. The designers of the city positioned the buildings in consideration of the wind and sun to optimize the microclimate of Hanoi. The designers incorporated passive structural designs to harness the natural conditions of the city and integrate the climate and culture into the city’s architecture. Architectural systems such as canal water-cooling, waste recycling, water harvesting and plant life will allow the city inhabitants to enjoy much comfort and reduced energy usage (Dailey 2011, par. 2). The Green Tech City will contain a waterfront to control floods and provide water for irrigation.

Eco-architecture Manesar (India)

The population growth in Indian urban centres is evident in cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai. The population in both cities has grown by more than 50 percent in the last decade. Stiff construction regulations in India have fuelled the significant expansion of slums in major cities. The fact that about 60 percent of the population in India’s cities resides in slums is a clear demonstration of the unsustainable development in those cities. The growth in urban population in New Delhi has led to the high pollution in the city, which mainly emanates from automobile emissions and industrial effluent. The level of particulate matter in New Delhi, about 2.5, exceeds the WHO standard. India has adopted green architectural designs to deal with the problem of unsustainable infrastructure and resources in its cities. The country has planned to build eco-cities along the Delhi-Mumbai corridor to reduce pollution and improve social, economical and environmental sustainability (Benignos 2010, par. 8). The design of the Manesar city resembles the eco-cities of Yokohama and Kitakyushu. The architecture of the city will focus on promoting the reuse and recycling of waste. The city’s design will enhance the co-existence of humans and nature by integrating technologies for water harvesting, safe infrastructure and preservation of energy. The recycling process in Manesar will cover a wide variety of waste including food, automobiles, medical instruments, home appliances and construction waste. The city will have energy-saving buildings fitted with photovoltaic roofs to harness solar energy. The use of non-fossil fuel will allow an eco-friendly transport system with minimal carbon emission. The city will have a green belt to support plant and animal life.

Eco-architecture in Mexico City

The green architecture in Mexico City will focus on the reduction of greenhouse emissions and preservation of water and energy resources through the construction of eco-friendly structures. The Mexican government plans to implement a green architecture program, which will entail land and ecological conservation, expansion and improvement of public places, environmental-friendly transport systems and waste management including the recycling and reuse of wastewater (Benignos 2010, par. 5). The city has had considerably high levels of air and water pollution. For example, the lack of efficient sewage filtration systems has been causing the pollution of various lagoons and ponds in the city. The effects of the rehabilitation of wetlands in Mexico City are evident by the significant increase in aquatic life from 2010. The completion of water management and filtration systems will enable the city to recycle and reuse urban runoff and floodwater. The over-exploitation of aquifers in Mexico City has raised concerns about the risks of water availability for future generations. The city plans to expand the water management infrastructure to enhance the treatment of residual water and respond to the city’s water requirements without compromising on the ecological sustainability. The city’s administration is encouraging the adoption of architectural designs, which facilitate optimal water harvesting and energy conservation. An increasing number of buildings in the city have embraced the use of photovoltaic cells for power and lighting purposes. Energy-efficient buildings are required to have light-coloured materials, open floors and use materials to allow optimal sunlight. The orientation of the buildings should maximize the microclimate of Mexico City to reduce the demand for energy-consuming systems such as air-conditioners and lighting. The Mexican government has developed a program, which offers tax incentives to individuals and organizations who construct buildings with green roofs. The 10 percent incentive on the total value of a building has encouraged the construction of thousands of green roofs in public and private buildings throughout Mexico City. The green roofs contribute significantly to carbon reduction. The rapid population growth in Mexico City poses a chief threat to land conservation and the protection of crucial ecosystems. For example, the government has had to create a special police unit to protect the designated conservation areas. Illegal logging and settlements in the protected areas pose detrimental effects on the ecology and climate of the city by interfering with the rain patterns and promoting soil degradation. The Mexican government has launched the Green Your City campaign to encourage urban reforestation and dissuade human activities, which aggravate climate change. The city plans to implement a mass transit system to reduce automobile congestion, which is the primary source of carbon emission. For example, the government is in the process of expanding the subway system and providing funds to create an environmental-friendly taxi fleet in Mexico City. The use of eco-friendly fuel in Mexico’s metro-buses will significantly reduce greenhouse emissions in the city. Other carbon reduction strategies in Mexico City include the use of biodegradable energy for cleaning and maintenance work.

Conclusion

The analysis of sustainable architecture in Milan, Dongtan, Hanoi, Manesar and Mexico cities demonstrates that the adoption of architectural designs, which harmonize various structures with nature, is essential to social, economical and environmental sustainability. The failure to adopt sustainable urban planning strategies is likely to have detrimental effects on sustainable development in a country or region. Statistics on the urban populations demonstrate that the world’s cities are home to more than 50 percent of the world’s population. The growth in urban population should reach about 65 percent of the world’s population by 2030. Trends such as traffic congestion and smog are evident in most cities. The adoption of sustainable architectural designs is crucial to the protection of urban ecosystems. City planners should focus on creating urban infrastructures, which encourage reduced energy consumption and optimized recycling of waste. The use of energy-efficient transport systems and buildings will help to reduce energy demands in metropolitan areas and minimize carbon emission. The processes of heating, cooling and powering buildings in cities contribute to about 40 percent of the carbon emission in developing countries. Sustainable architecture demands the construction of buildings with efficient insulation, ventilation and energy-saving power systems such as photovoltaic cells. The recycling and reuse of waste is crucial to the preservation of resources such as water. Sustainable development programs in cities ensure efficient waste management and energy conservation systems, which can significantly improve the cities’ social, economical and environmental sustainability.

Reference List

Benignos, R 2010, City Mayors: Mexico City – Green Plan (Plan Verde), Web.

Dailey, J 2011, SOM to Create Amazing Green Tech City for Hanoi, Vietnam, Web.

Dhanapal, G 2011, Eco-cities for India, Web.

Jochumsen, S 2014, Dongtan: The world’s first large-scale eco-city? – Danish Architecture Centre, Web.

Pham, D 2011, Bosco Verticale in Milan Will Be the World’s First Vertical Forest, Web.

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