Report (2): How to move toward healthier and more sustainable cities?

Some Principles for Building Better and More Sustainable Cities

At the same time that we’re solving for climate change, we’re going to building cities for three billion people. That a doubling of the urban environment. So if we don’t control it properly, none of the climate control solutions do not help the humankind.  Hence, an appropriate urban planning paradigm is needed to control the climate change.

One of the wrong city development paradigms is the city sprawls. This paradigm has lots of downsides and drawbacks which should be cared. In the following, some of main disadvantages of sprawl paradigm will be discussed. The key attribute is that it isolated the people. It segregates people into economic enclaves, land-use enclaves and separate them from the nature. It does not allow the interaction that makes the cities great places and that make society thrive.

Secondly, it can cause more land consumption which environmentalists are really concerned about this. Destroying the nature and vegetation, can have adverse effects on the air pollution situation and biodiversity of the region.

Another negative point about the sprawl is the more distances that the people have to ride to get different places. This issue will lead to lots of knock-on effects. One of them is the increase of air pollution level that has a direct impact on global warming. Also, this more ride causes more expenditure for the citizens who have to traverse a long distance to get their destinations. Furthermore, when the people use cars or other vehicles, they have less this opportunity to walk which can improve the health condition and physical and even mental situation.

The mentioned issues are just some cases in point that demonstrate the negative aspects of city sprawl paradigm. Therefore it is necessary to plan and assign an appropriate solution as an alternative to this paradigm. For this purpose, there are 7 general principles proposed by experts in urban planning that can help to overcome the global sprawl as following.

  1. Preserve natural ecosystem, agrarian landscapes and cultural heritage sites
  2. Create mixed-use and mix income neighborhoods
  3. Design walkable streets and human scale neighborhoods
  4. Prioritize bicycle networks and auto free streets
  5. Increase the density of road networks and limit the block size
  6. Develop high quality public transportation
  7. Match density and mix to transit capacity

As a final point, it should be noted that majority of the urban problems are origin from our wrong habits and approaches to different issues and the cities condition are a demonstration of life style. Consequently, our life manner has a direct impact on our life environment in the cities.

This essay has been inspired and written based on the speech of “Peter Calthorpe” in TED talk, Vancouver, April 2017. The link of the speech has been presented in the following:

Link of Speech:

         Prepared by Iman Dorri