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The Role of Food for Sustainability in the Built Environment Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Apr 29th, 2022

Sustainability refers to a movement that attempts to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the capability of the subsequent generations to meet the needs of the future. Today, the world is facing an urgent need to sustain life on earth. Scholars have noted that many nations around the world are currently robbing the heritage of the youth’s future due to the current involvement in environmentally unsustainable practices.

Even though the natural environment is capable of providing life sustaining services to us, sometimes we degrade and destroy the environment by altering its natural processes. This is mainly contributed to the increased world population which could be projected to be about 9 billion by 2050. Practices such as farming, cutting down of trees, fishing as well as human encroachment pose a direct impact on the sustainability of ecosystems. For this reason, environmental sustainability should be seen as everyone’s challenge.

In the developed nations, the side-effects of industrial as well as agribusiness production destroy waterways and the soil. On the other hand, in most third world countries, immense deforestation, destructive farming practices as well as uncontrolled urbanization are the main sources of ecological degradation and hence the current climate change. However, all nations should endeavor to meet the present economic needs exclusive of compromising the capability of the environment to meet the needs of upcoming generations. We should all be conscious of the role played by food in contributing to the global concerns for sustainability in the built environment.

Moreover, it is the duty of environmental designers to ensure that any nation has a healthy food system. This paper aims at describing the role of food in contributing to the global concerns for sustainability in the built environment. It also attempts to analyze the role of an environmental designer in promoting a healthy food system.

Globally, the built environment is known to hold the society’s cultural heritage, individuals, families as well as economic activities. This environment protects people’s life, health, psychological and social welfare. In addition it also supports economic activities and upholds artistic and cultural ideals. However, if not well managed, this sector can lead to several environmental challenges such as climatic changes. For this reason, the issue of sustainable built in environment is a crucial global concern which needs the support of various stakeholders within the political, technological as well as economic sectors (Rachel & Ruby, 46). Handling this issue calls for the adaptation of strategies as well as societal and inter-sectoral adjustments.

Access to healthy food is an important aspect that should be considered by environmental designers. This is because, not all people have access to supermarkets as well as restaurants. As a matter of fact, people living in rural areas may have no access to transportation and thus may have difficulties in getting to the supermarkets and make healthy food choices. On the other hand, those in urban areas may experience problems with regards to the quality of food available. More often than not, the market forces limit the practicality of building large supermarkets with diverse products in favor of neighborhood convenient stores that are often associated with a variety of food choices such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

For this reason, improved access to healthy foods is likely to expose people to a variety of preferences through proper allocation of food stores. Nevertheless, these food stores should ensure sustainable development (McCarthy, 24). This is mainly because the climatic changes that the world is currently experiencing are mainly attributed to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (Lowe, 13). Moreover, about 41 % of all the energy used globally is associated with the building sector and research has shown that there is a very close connection between the use of construction energy and climatic change.

Consequently it is important for environmental designers to ensure that they environmentally assess any new food stores in order to enhance sustainable development (Liso, Aandah, Eriksen & Alfsen, 35). This is with regards to the place of construction, the method of construction, the type and amount of energy used, as well as the materials and products used to construct them.

Even though the energy demand is projected to increase in future, the EU requirement on energy performance of buildings and structures such as food stores should be observed. This directive will help to ensure that the maximum energy used in construction will be evaluated on a holistic basis, considering the demand for space heating, as well as the energy used for lighting and cooling the food stores. In addition, the EU requirement will ensure that all food stores have a valid certificate that indicates the energy performance and the measures being taken to improve it.

In conclusion, it is clear that food plays a major role in the sustainability of the built environment. It is important for every individual to understand the scientific understanding behind the construction of sustainable food stores. The building and construction designers should ensure that these food stores conform to the principles stipulated in the international standardization system (ISO). Moreover, more research should be conducted in order to come up with more appropriate ways of enhancing sustainable food stores. Governments should formulate policies that ensure sustainable food stores that provide room for the impacts of climatic changes in future. Such progress is likely to ensure a healthy food system. Moreover, these measures will help to thwart climatic changes.

Works Cited

Liso Robert, Aandahl Guro, Eriksen Siri & Alfsen Knut. “Preparing for Climatic Change Impacts in Norway’s Built Environment.” Building Research & Information, Volume 31, 2003. Print.

Lowe Robert, “Preparing the Built Environment for Climate Change.” Editorial in Building Research & Information, Volume 31, 2003. Print.

McCarthy James, Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Print.

Rachel Kaplan & Ruby Blume, Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living, 2011. Print.

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IvyPanda. "The Role of Food for Sustainability in the Built Environment." April 29, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-food-for-sustainability-in-the-built-environment/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The Role of Food for Sustainability in the Built Environment." April 29, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-food-for-sustainability-in-the-built-environment/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'The Role of Food for Sustainability in the Built Environment'. 29 April.

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