42 terms

Urbanization and Sustainable Cities, Ecological Economics

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Megacities
city with 10 million or more people
Rapid growth in developing areas- not enough clean water, houses, sanitation...
City
U.S. Census Bureau def. any incorporated community
Urban - more than 2,500 residents
Residents specialize in arts, crafts, services, or professions
Rural areas depend on agriculture and harvesting natural resources for their livelihood
Village
collection of rural households linked by culture, custom, family ties, and association with the land
Urban population growth Natural
more births than deaths
More food, better sanitation, medical care
Immigration
Push factors - things that force people out of the country
Population growth, unemployment
Pull factors - things that draw people to the city
Jobs, housing, entertainment, upward social mobility
Government policy
developing countries spend money to improve urban areas
Better jobs, education
Import food from the country-side into cities at low costs, causing hardships to farmers
Urbanization in developing countries
Problems -
no infrastructure for vehicles - huge traffic jams
Vehicle exhaust adds to air pollution
May have lung disease
Wastes fuel and time
Urbanization continued
Insufficient sewage treatment
Only partially treated
Spreads diseases
Many have open tidal canals for waste
What happens if they back up or fill up?
Less clean drinking water
Urbanization continued
Inadequate housing -
Slums - legal but inadequate multifamily tenements or rooming houses
Families living in very tight quarters with shared facilities for entire building
Shanty towns
settlements created when people move onto undeveloped lands and build their own houses
Many illegal subdivisions
Houses built from shabby materials
Surround megacities in developing nations
Many built in unsafe areas - garbage dumps, hillsides prone to landslides, deserts...
Greenfield developments
built on previously undeveloped farmlands or forests on the outskirts of cities
Unsustainable
Consumes forest, farmlands, woodlands and wetlands
Initial cost of homes are less but the need for more schools, roads, sewers, water mains, power, shopping centers, etc. are added in
Why do people move to the suburbs?
Quieter, more space, cheaper
Transportation
With urban sprawl - cars
Roads, parking lots, gas stations... all take up more space and cost more money
Money and time is lost in traffic jams
Smart growth
Well-planned developments that make efficient and effective use of land resources and existing infrastructure
Smart growth continued
Minimizes waste of space and tax dollars
Works to reduce traffic and conserve farmlands, wetlands, open spaces
Garden city - town based and landscaping and rural ambience
Many parks, gardens, walking paths, industries hidden by vegetation
Smart growth goals
Positive self image for community
make downtown vital and livable
alleviate substandard housing
Solve problems with air, water, toxic waste and noise pollution.
improve communication between groups
improve community member access to the arts.
Vauban: A Car-free suburb
"Smart growth" - stores, banks, schools and restaurants in easy walking distance
Jobs and offices nearby, with plentiful trams to and from the city
Narrow streets, high cost for parking and car ownership, car-sharing programs
Row houses with balconies, efficient windows, solar panels, photvoltaic panels (heat and electricity), gardens
Saves energy and reduces pollution
New urbanism
make urban environments more appealing, efficient, and livable
Module of 30,000-50,000 people with all amenities of a city
Protects existing wetlands and other favorable natural aspects
Encourages walking by having shops conveniently located
Increase jobs in the community
Green urbanism
improve the environmental profile of urban development; promotes redevelopment and in-fill near the urban center (pg.511)
In-fill developments - Brownfield developments - build on reclaimed industrial sites
High-density, attractive, low-rise housing
Incentives for alternative transportation
Ecological building techniques
Green roofs, solar energy, water consevation
Recycling programs
Conservation development
open-space zoning preserves at least half of the subdivision as natural areas, farmland, or other forms of open space
Economy
Management of resources, ideally to meet our needs as efficiently as possible
Use of natural resources to produce goods
Sustainable development
development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
Resources
Anything with potential use in creating wealth or giving satisfaction
Nonrenewable
materials present in fixed amounts in the environment
Fossil fuels
Minerals
metals
Renewable
can be replenished or replaced
Sunlight
Rain/snow
Droughts
Air
Living organisms - plants, animals
Unless overharvested
Intangible
things that cannot be contained
Open space
Scenic beauty
Diversity
Satisfaction
Classical economics
Branch of moral philosophy concerned with how individual interest and values intersect with larger social goals
Promotes self interests, free-enterprise society will regulate itself with-out government intervention
Supply and Demand
Supply will create its own demand
Demand - amount of a product or service that consumers are willing and able to buy at various possible prices
Supply - quantity of that product being offered for sale at various prices
To produce goods at low cost, some costs are externalized or they are passed onto the consumer
Electric companies charge supply fees
Neoclassical economics
Continual growth - offering more income or goods than people had last year
Businesses borrow resources to operate and grow
They must repay with interest and thus must have a higher profit margin to cover the interest
Natural resources - if one becomes scarce there is always a replacement or substitute
Ecological economics
The relationship between our economy and the ecological systems that support it
What is the cost of rivers that absorb wastewater, wind to blow away smoke.....
These are external costs - how the environment absorbs the waste products
These can affect human health - cost of health care and loss of work
Is constant economic growth necessary and how much do the external costs amount to that should actually be added into the production costs?
Uses systems analysis to convey a relationship between the environment, economy and human well-being
Tells us that the Earth has a limited carrying capacity so constant growth is unrealistic
Does not take into account renewable resources but nonrenewable resources are a limiting factor
Ecosystem services
Resources provided and waste absorbed by our environment
see slide 24
Common resources
see slide 27
Natural resources - limited quantity
How do we save them?
How do we save them?
Recycling
Substitution
New products
Logging industry - only a finite amount of trees, replanting and re-purposing scrap wood - laminated beams, chip board
Economical growth measurements
Gross national product (GNP) -
a measure of a nation's output
Money flow or goods and services purchased by people
Does not account for resources that are used up or ecosystem damage
Gross domestic product (GDP) -
total economic activity within national boundaries
Environmental performance index
evaluate national sustainability and progress toward achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals
Environmental health, air quality, water resources, productive natural resources, biodiversity and habitat and sustainable energy
Human development index
tracks social progress
Life expectancy, educational attainment, and standard of living as critical measures of development
Cost-benefit analysis
Evaluation of large-scale public projects by comparing the costs and befits that accrue from them
Attempts to assign values to resources as well as to social and environmental effects of carrying our or not carrying out a given undertaking
Used in building dams, roads...
How do you assign a value to lost opportunities to fish or swim in a river does the project outcome (say hydropower) benefit more than the fish/ecosystem
Economy and pollution
The cost of polluting the earth is higher than the cost of pollution control systems
Pollution control systems create jobs increasing economy
Renewable energy growing job market
Cap and trade
let upper limits (cap) on the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted, if a company reduces emissions by more they can sell the credits to other companies whom are having problems complying
Good - overall reduction in emissions
Bad - hot spots areas that have higher pollution rates because the industry bought credits
Carbon trading
Good - reducing carbon based gases
Bad - profits bankers and industry owners instead of money being put towards financing renewable energy