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Background and Hypothesis
The issue of environment is one of the major global concerns in the modern world. This is because the rate of pollution has reached devastating levels. However, many countries are still ignorant about the situation. The level of environmental degradation still remains very high. This has led to dramatic climate change characterized by rising sea levels and increased cases of droughts and floods1.
There are many factors that have led to the environmental pollution. One of these factors is the process of urbanization. Based on the previous studies, the rate of environmental pollution is increasing with the increase in urbanization. Although the process of urbanization is reducing pressure in the rural lands, it has led to overcrowding in the urban centers especially in slums.
People also do not have access to clean water due to increased level of pollution. However, this problem can be solved by maintaining sustainable urbanism, Low-carbon eco-planning and smart growth.
In order to solve this problem, there is a need for considering a sustainable urban design that minimizes carbon emissions to the atmosphere and generally a plan that is environmental friendly.
This entails the adoption of the technologies that does not pose a significant threat to the environment. Such technologies are associated with lower carbon emissions. It also entails urban planning and designs that discourage environmental degradation.
Methodologies Used For Desktop Research
In order to be able to understand the issue of sustainable urbanism, it is necessary to have adequate information on the same. In this case, information is collected through structured questionnaires from urban city planners. These are resourceful in determining the most effective measures in mitigation pollution in the urban areas. The information collected is also important in determining the areas that need to be improved.
This is more so important since the level of carbon dioxide emissions is still increasing despite of the measures taken to solve the problem. The information provided is therefore useful in finding out the areas that have been overlooked.
The information collected will be useful in answering of the research question. In this study, both primary as well as the secondary sources are important. The study also includes visiting the urban dwellers and interrogating them and recording notes on information provided.
This is vital since it helps in retrieving first hand information. It is also important in enhancing the profitability of the data collected first hand. Important information will also be retrieved from the official documents from the people involved in city planning. This data is of great significance in understanding the issue at hand.
Sustainable urbanism has become a critical issue in the modern world due to increased level of urbanization. It involves urban design and planning taking the environment into consideration. It entails city planning and environmental design for a better way of life2. A better way of life that is friendly to the environment in general.
Sustainable urbanism is geared towards promoting the realization of the present needs without affecting the ability to meet the future needs. This is necessary in the modern urbanization since most of the practices are leading to high level of pollution hence threatening the ability to meet future needs.
For instance, global warming has already reached devastating levels. The level of oil use and traffic jams has been increasing at a very high rate. These conditions have led to increased levels of air pollution.
Sustainable urbanism, Low-carbon eco-planning and smart growth has therefore become the major concern in the modern world. There is a need for efforts directed towards the realization of sustainable urbanization that is characterized by minimal levels of pollution. Over the past years, several studies have been conducted on how sustainable urbanization can be realized.
One of the major impacts of urbanization is an increase in temperatures. This is caused by the increased use of dark roofing materials while constructing houses in the urban areas. However, this problem can be mitigated through a number of ways.
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One of the ways through which excessive heating in the urban areas can be reduced is by using reflective roofing materials like white roofing and other light colors3. Such materials will reflect away most of the heat hence reducing the level of temperatures. Other parts like pavements, walls, and rods should also be built using reflective materials. Such practices will significantly increase the albedo of the city.
This can only be achieved by implementing policies requiring all buildings to abide with such regulations. For instance, vinyl materials are highly reflective and can reflect about 70 percent of the radiation absorbed from the sun4. Using such materials can therefore help in reducing the problem of excessive heating in the urban areas.
Another loom in planning that can assist in solving the quandary in the urban areas is by the execution of the green crown policies. This can help in reducing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because the plants will use the carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere through photosynthesis. The green roofs also play a significant role in cooling the urban environment.
Another way through which urban planning can promote sustainable urbanization is by recycling or using the excavated debris in the urban areas5. For instance, the excavated debris can be used for the green roofing. This can significantly contribute in reducing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Another important issue in promoting sustainable urban development is by maintaining the proper waste disposal. Poor drainage and waste disposal from industries located in the urban areas has resulted in devastating destruction of the biodiversity. In most cases, wastes from many industries contain toxic substances that are harmful to the environment.
These effects can however be mitigated by building water reservoir that can hold wastes from the urban areas. The design of such reservoirs is also very important. Over the past years, such reservoirs have been faced by the threat of the earthquakes. It is necessary to adopt the designs that are earthquake resistant. The water can then be recycled or treated before being released to the river.
Another area that needs to be addressed in promotion sustainable urbanization is urban transport plans. The urban transport planning must address the issue of air and noise pollution, congestion, and carbon dioxide emissions6. There are several ways through which sustainable urban transport can be realized.
In the contemporary world, several technological advancements have provided hope for the deteriorating levels of environmental pollution. For instance, hybrid vehicles that can use gas and electricity interchangeably have been developed. The hybrid vehicles have contributed significantly in environment conservation. This is more so important in the contemporary world where the level of pollution has reached devastating levels.
Hybrid cars have significantly contributed in elimination of this problem. For instance, CO2 emissions from hybrid vehicles are negligible.
They have led to a decrease in the level of CO2 emissions by about 25 to 35 percent. In connection to this, many governments are giving tax exemptions for hybrid vehicles as a way of environment conservation. Such motivations have also contributed to the increased demand for the hybrid vehicles.
Another advantage of the hybrid vehicle is that it charges the battery while in a running state. This also plays a significant role in minimizing the level of fuel consumption. The gas motors usually starts automatically when the battery charge reaches a certain level after which recharging takes place automatically. Therefore, the hybrid vehicles do not require an individual to pass through outlets.
This also helps in saving time resource. One does not waste time filling and refilling again. Hybrid vehicles have therefore led to a significant increase in efficiency. Due to reduced level of fuel consumption, hybrid vehicles have significantly contributed to reduction in pollution since it consumes minimal fuels. These developments have reduced the level of carbon dioxide emissions per kilometer traveled7.
One of the main ways through which effluence have impacted on the surroundings is through the glasshouse effect8. The destruction of the ozone layer due to increased level of pollution has been increasing day after the other. This poses a major threat of devastating global warming in the future.
There are several ways through which the process of urbanization has negatively impacted on the environment. One way is through modification of the land surface.
This has resulted from the activities taking place in the urban areas. Such modifications have consequently led to changing albedo and other aspects in atmosphere. Urbanization has also affected the environment through geometrical effect. For instance, this has led to blocking of winds hence reducing cooling effects.
One of the major reasons why pollution has significantly increased in urban areas is over reliance on fossil fuels9. Generally, many industries are located in the cities. This also attracts automobiles because the products manufactured have to be distributed. Therefore, the use of fuels is extremely high.
Since most of these industries use fossil fuels, the level co2 dioxide emissions have increased10. Therefore, adapting less intensive fuels is one of the major steps in facing the prevailing problem of pollution in the urban areas.
Industrial and municipal waste in cities is another major cause of environmental pollution in the urban areas. A significant fraction of the degraded land is as a result of industrial and waste disposal activities in the urban areas11. For instance, radioactive wastes can cause a massive destruction of the land. There is a need to have urban planning that takes waste disposal into consideration.
Leaching of toxic wastes and other dangerous materials has led to a big challenge of pollution. Past studies has revealed that the radio active property of the atmosphere has significantly changed as a result of increased levels of pollution.
Unplanned urbanization has also led to haphazard patterns of buildings that block the heat on the earth surface from radiating into the sky. There is a need to have planned building in order to give room for such natural processes.
Sustainable development can be viewed as the process where the resources are utilized in such a way that it promotes preservation of the environment while meeting the present as well as the future needs12.
The advocates of the sustainable development are determined to realize the economic environment where development efforts include environment protection, social progress, and economic growth. The main concern here is to avoid environmental degradation for the sake of the present as well as the future generation. This is one of the goals of sustainable urbanism.
In the contemporary world, the issue of globalization has raised critical concerns on environment raising the need for a sustainable environment. The rate of environmental degradation has increased significantly, the fact which has raised the concern of the policy makers.
After collecting the appropriate information, analysis is conducted in order to examine certain relationships between variables. As already noted, information on the methods that has been applied in urban planning and design is examined.
The information collected is used to determine the urban planning and design that are more effective and feasible with the contemporary world. That is, the design and planning that leads to minimal environmental pollution and degradation. Conclusions are based on the analysis.
Findings and Conclusions
From the past studies, it is evident that environment pollution in the urban areas has reached devastating levels. This has led to environmental pollution and degradation, the factor that has contributed to the current climatic change. However, this problem can be overcome by maintaining sustainable urban development that is characterized by low carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere.
This can be realized by promoting appropriate planning and design of urban areas. There are several ways through which this can be realized. One way is by adapting technologies that are associated with low carbon dioxide emissions. This can also be mitigated by adopting the green roof design that can reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
In order to solve these problems, there is a need to implement effective policies that can promote low carbon emissions and air pollution in the urban areas. It is also necessary to come up with environmental friendly planning and design. That is, a design that does not pose any threat to the environment. City planners must come up with policies that encourage low carbon emissions in cities.
Past studies have also shown that people respond faster to environmental friendly technology where the government provides incentives to eco-friendly technologies.
These include tax exemptions and other costs like congestion charges. For instance, the government can significantly reduce pollution by lifting taxes on eco-friendly technologies. Governments can also restrict high carbon emission vehicles from accessing some points of the city. Such practices can help in mitigating the problem.
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1 Mohan, Munasinghe. Sustainable Development in Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
2Mohan, Munasinghe. Sustainable Development in Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
3Mohan, Munasinghe and Rob, Swart. Primer on Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Facts, Policy Analysis and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
4Roger, Gottlieb. The Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment. New York: Routledge. 2004.
5Jennifer, Elliott. An introduction to sustainable development. New York: Routledge, 2008.
6Mark, Mawhinney. Sustainable development: understanding the green debates. Wiley-Blackwell, 2002.
7Pinninti, Rao. Sustainable development: economics and policy. New York: Wiley-Blackwell. 2000.
8South African Development Community. Environment and sustainable development. 2009.
9Mohan, Munasinghe. Sustainable Development in Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
10André, Sorensen and Peter, Grant. Towards sustainable cities: East Asian, North American, and European perspectives on managing urban regions. New York: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2004.
11Olav, Stokke. Sustainable development. New York: Routledge, 1991.
12 Zafar, Nomani. Environment, Sustainable Development and Globalization: 2007. A Plea to Indian Legislatures.