Image Source: http://inhabitat.com/vincent-callebaut-envisions-belgiums-industrial-zone-as-an-amazing-energy-generating-community/
Let’s take a look at the benefits of sustainable community design and why we should urge our communities to take steps towards sustainability.
So, what is a sustainable community?
Well, a sustainable community is one that is planned, build, or modified to promote sustainable living by focusing on environmental and economic sustainability, urban infrastructure, social equity, and municipal government.
Soooo, why is this important?
Well, sustainable communities greatly reduce the rapid depletion of our Earth’s natural and non-renewable resources.
So, why is this beneficial to you and your community, you ask?
Well, sustainable community development features things like:
Ecological Protection - saving plants, animals, farmland, forests, etc.
Density & Urban Design - reduce the development of low-density housing that often requires developing into farmland and natural habitats
Urban Infill - the re-use of land that has already been urbanized
Village Centers - reduces the need for vehicles because all human necessities are within walking distance of the home and community interaction is encouraged and facilitated
Local Economy - having businesses within walking distance of jobs encourages the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and brings life to a community
Sustainable Transport - encouraging alternative transportation like biking and walking reduces emissions and requires less money spent on roads
Affordable Housing - diversity is necessary for building a sustainable community especially by offering different income levels housing
Livable Community - facilitate community interaction and participation through parks, community barbecue pits, benches, sitting areas, walking/running paths
Sewage & Stormwater - encourages individual composting and miniature constructed wetlands for greywater treatment and large-scale constructed wetlands to control stormwater run-off
Water - encourages use of green roof technology, absorbing roads and parking lots, wetlands, streams, resulting in at least 35% less water consumption in a community
Energy - alternative energy solutions reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which reduces the rapid climate change
The 3 ‘R’s - reducing the waste produced by construction by encouraging reconstruction and recycling
All these aspects of sustainable community development directly affect YOU and ME and THEM...so, basically EVERYONE.
If we continue depleting the Earth’s resources at a rapid rate, our climate will continue to be negatively affected, natural disasters will continue to become more regular, communities will be destroyed and there won’t be anything left for future generations. We have to change the way we impact the Earth now. We can do this by re-imagining and re-designing the communities we dwell in and the communities we should be dwelling in. Understanding sustainable community design and its benefits lets us urge local development agencies and leaders to invest and encourage sustainable living.
Here are some awesome resources to check out!