Sustainability Breakthroughs

There are signs of hope, in terms of environmental safety, being shown in the small town St.Kjeld, Copenhagen Denmark. After an extremely destructive cloudburst in 2011 the city decided to become proactive about future protection from natural disasters. City officials acknowledged the powerful trajectory of global warming and created a climate-change-adapted neighborhood. In this neighborhood green (plant based) structures would channel water over costly sewage systems. To do so however, took a great deal of work, as the asphalt in the main square had to be broken down and redone as grassland to support the new green waterways. Instead of ignoring the problem of climate change, facing it head on and adapting is the greatest way to maintain sustainability. Other cities around the world have also begun to go green, be it Hamburg, Germany that is installing wind turbines, solar water heating, and roofs the minimize storm runoff. In Newcastle, England a geothermal heating project is underway that will heat the main shopping mall without the use of any fossil fuels. The Netherlands has even go so far as to create bike paths that will collect solar power by installing solar cells between the concrete of the ground a sheet of glass. In Timon McPhearson’s article on sustainability he writes: “Sustainability goals and resilience goals, if not examined carefully can be completely at odds with each other”. What he means is that resilience, which is a term often used when speaking about global warming, is a band-aid for a larger problem. After Sandy NYC constantly spoke of resilience, bringing ideas likes closeable sea gate. But, such a fix would only work in the short term because its long-term affects would be both costly and detrimental to the environment. Sustainability on the other hand is all about the big picture. It is the idea that we must manage resources properly and re-structure our land in the way that best achieves that. Through these various cities we are seeing small breakthroughs in the fight for sustainability.

Sources:
Braw, Elisabeth. “Copenhagen Unveils First Climate-change Adapted Neighborhood.” Al Jazeera America. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
Copeland, Blythe. “7 Cities with Great Green Projects Others Should Imitate.” TreeHugger. N.p., 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
McPhearson, Timon. “The Rise of Resilience: Linking Resilience and Sustainability in City Planning.” The Nature of Cities. N.p., 06 Aug. 2014. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
Assignment 4-8, Urban Futures, ,

1 Comment

  1. Good job clarifying between the two. I see what you mean, and I agree. Sustainability and long-term perspectives is something many sectors of society are struggling to deal with today.

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