Wind Power

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Planned urban developments – way to improve environment in cities

Rapid urbanization is transforming life throughout the developing world. Urbanization as a process is in itself is the biggest challenge for cities. It is also irreversible process. Urban planners claim that, urbanization is similar to an inevitable evil. The hub of civilization has been cities since the advent of industrial age. The economic process surrounding it is built on exploitation of nature and resources, killing rural outpost, creating inequalities and driving people to high density spaces – leaving rural spaces more exposed to un-controlled exploitation. Cities continue to grow in a haphazard manner. The city crises are many facets but it is only the clogged roads that are seen to be for what they are: impossible to live with. Issues like having enough water and power and getting rid of waste are considered serious.

The biggest challenges for these cities are increase in human density, which leads to problem of food, clothing & sheltering, sanitation, increasing number of slums and so the environmental degradation. Shortage of proper education, better health facilities, and most importantly a gap in demand and supply chain which contribute towards illegal operations getting started in those areas. In addition, low infrastructural and transport facilities in relation to the population growth make living condition problematic. Urban development is the key indicator for information of development indices. Some of the factors and problems to addressed are summerised as: (a) stable political situation, (b) economic strength, (c) corruption issue and public awareness, (d) skilled urban planners, (e) international relations for cultural sharing, (e) most important of all is willingness in the people and government to support for development.

Planned urban development is the key to overcome such problem of urbanization. Good land planning and infrastructure building in developing countries would help to create a perfect base which can be further nurtured with pollution free environment with sufficient greenery, better delivery of basic services like water and sanitation and finally a society with decent living. Research and demonstration are urgently needed if we are to realize our common dream of dynamic, environmentally and use-friendly cities. It is possible to revitalise depressed areas in ways that satisfy the wishes of residents and businesses. Resources such as land and materials can be reused and recycled. The scope for improving the way that buildings are designed, constructed and disposed of is tremendous. In managing the built environment, sustainability must be incorporated at various levels, from regional planning to individual construction sites. Planners, city councils, designers and urban residents all help to determine how cities develop and what construction methods are used.

Environmental issues play a central role in urban planning. However, in emerging megacities, infrastructure growth often takes precedence over the environment. Solving transportation issues has the highest priority in the cities surveyed, and air pollution is seen as the main environmental issue. The environment also plays a major role in the area of energy issues. Thus, alternative sources of energy will have a bright future in megacities. To meet growing demand for mobility, power, energy and water in the long term, megacities must not only build out their infrastructures and use them more efficiently; they must also proactively manage demand. However, city government experts are aware of the fact that efficiency must be improved significantly.

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