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Environmentalism and Community Planning Research Paper

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Updated: Oct 10th, 2021

Introduction

To begin with, it is necessary to mention, that the humanity (especially progressive humanity) is living more and more distant from the nature, and from the values of savage rest. Environment is the ecosystem which we occupy and that supports our survival. Human survival depends on the environment, as we get all the necessary natural resources that are used as food, fuel, shelter and others. Therefore, if humanity fails to take care of our ecosystem the life of the plants, animals, and humans will be endangered.

Environmentalism is the movement that popularizes the importance of environmental conservation and maintenance. Environmentalists, who support this movement, call for a sustainable management of resources, and protection of the physical environment, as this may be achieved through changes in public policies, which are implemented by the government or local authorities as well as changes in individual behavior. This essay is aimed to address the relations between environmentalism and community planning.

Discussion

People, who live in urban areas, can not be regarded as people who are out of contact with environment, as their daily activities affect the environment in which they live in. Actually, these contacts happen mainly by visiting forest parks, located within the cities, but unfortunately, increasingly more urban dwellers get to know about the existence of nature only by the means of mass media.

It is necessary to emphasize, that some people prefer moving from urban districts, and dwelling somewhere in rural areas. The environmentalist movements start from the urban areas and get to the rural because of radiation, pollution and contamination in these urban areas. Bhatia (2007), arguing on the same point, asserts that ‘the initial plan was to demolish the existing flats in order to pave way for construction of more housing units.’ The new houses were built with the aim that more people would be utilizing the same resources in the environment and this would have asserted more pressure on the ecosystem forcing people to reject it.

Relating the issues of health and welfare, it should be emphasized, that the link between health and the place of living is obvious; consequently, people aim to move to cleaner areas, especially if the city is industrial.

This forced city planners to come up with better ways of dealing with the matters of planning the cities. For instance, changes in economic and social welfare may cause deterioration of public health infrastructure resulting in emergence of new diseases in the city. The districts are planned to be distant from the plants, factories, airports etc. If there is an opportunity, the green parks are planted in the cities, and the trees along the streets add to the esthetic view, and slightly improve the ecological situation.

Environmentalism is determining the future of various fields such as community planning, engineering among others. Environmentalism have gained prominence in these fields, as more people are now aware that any action that is geared toward altering the balance of their ecosystem should be treated with caution, otherwise the wellbeing of the society may be compromised. Therefore, environmental impact assessment needs to be carried out before any development project is implemented. For instance, in San Francisco, the department of city planning continuously implements land use planning and zoning and provides oversight for all local public agency environmental impact (Bhatia, 2007).

The requirements set by the environmentalist are very demanding and are continuously calling for changes in the structure of public and community planning. The government is forced to accept laws that are very difficult to implement and interpret. For example, the 1969 US National Environmental Policy Act is very demanding since it has to be fulfilled before any project is approved by the federal government agencies. Bhatia (2007) notes, ‘the federal agencies are supposed to identify and analyze potentially adverse environmental effects of public agency’. This is a time consuming activity and may not help very much thus hindering the development of the discipline.

The challenges of this matter come up with new ways in planning, which may be used to cater the future climatic changes. This is not an easy task, since climate change is not a predictable course. However, community planners have to come up with guidelines, which can be implemented by various local authorities in order to reduce future impact of climatic changes. Therefore, by providing these guidelines, the community planners act as experts on various environmental issues. The policies by various authorities have to be examined and analyzed in order to make sure that they are in line with government regulations.

The future of community planning is rather bleak. This is due to the fact, that urban planning is becoming a very complicated issue and a single plan may not accommodate all the necessary environmental issues. In addition, urban environmental problems are multi-sectoral, which makes them very complex. They range from air pollution, poor sanitation, and poor waste disposal. These problems are aggravated by lack of adequate data and analyzed information related to urban environmental problems. Due to these complications, urban dwellers do not know who is supposed to address their environmental concerns. In case they want to group up and initiate their own project, they are often left confused on which institution to rely on in order to promote their agenda. Thus, it is the work of community planners to make sure that this vacuum is filled in order to make it easier for urban dwellers to participate in environmental management.

Conclusion

Environmentalism started as a social movement, which aimed to stop environmental destruction in the world. Its followers have coped to spread its philosophies to different fields such as community planning. People living in urban areas are always aware of environmental issues around them, and they are always eager to raise the question of environmental improvement in the corresponding institutions. They do this by donating to local organizations, which take care of environment on their behalf. However, much has to be done for the full realization of these efforts, as these efforts applied serve the common good, but not the good as of some particular interest group. It is necessary to highlight, that the matters of environmentalism should be constantly developing, as currently, the principles of regulation of the environmentalist issues are not perfect.

Work Cited

  1. Bhatia, R., ‘Protecting Health using an Environmental Impact assessment: A case study of San Francisco Land use Decision Making’. American journal of Public health, Vol. 97, No. 3, 2007
  2. Beatley, T. and Manning, K., The Ecology of Place: Planning for environment, Economy, and Community, Washington DC., Island press. 2007
  3. Graham, R., Assessing the neighborhood retail environment for community planning: Food availability and tobacco advertising in low-income Brooklyn neighborhood 2005.
  4. McManus, P., Vortex Cities to Sustainable Cities: Australian’s Urban Challenge, Sydney: NWS press, 2005
  5. Parker, J.D. and McDonough, M.H., ‘Environmentalism of African Americans: An Analysis of the subculture and barrier theories.’ Environment and Behavior, Vol. 31, No.2, 2002
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IvyPanda. 2021. "Environmentalism and Community Planning." October 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/environmentalism-and-community-planning/.

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