Planning for Sustainability
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1. How do we figure out the best sustainability approach on any given situation?
In order to determine the best sustainability approach in any given situation, it is obligatory to remember that effective sustainability planning should include an array of social and political theories that pay attention to rational planning methods as well as communicative processes between political and social organisations. The best sustainability approach should be long-term, integrated with different interests and disciplines. This approach should be based on a combination of traditional models of growth and new appreciation of the importance of preserving societies and ecological systems. The best sustainability approach can encourage the society to get involved in sustainability planning.
2. What makes for good sustainability indicators?
Sustainability indicators show trends of important environmental and social problems. The best prototype for a good sustainability indicator is the sustainable Seattle process. A good sustainability indicator should correspond to a certain sphere of focus – social, environmental, or economic. The function of a correctly working sustainability indicator is to demonstrate the existing problems, motivate and educate the society, show the positive influences of different sustainability projects, monitor the effectiveness of those programs. Besides, good sustainability indicators must function all the time and be checked and updated on a regular basis. The connection of sustainability indicators with government or agencies is preferable as there must be someone responsible for the creation, development and control of indicators.
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3. What does climate planning usually consist of?
People discuss climate planning on all levels, starting with the international one and finishing with the local. State, regional, and local governments create climate planning tools that focus on such actions as reducing emissions and power from renewable sources, building green constructions, changing transportation systems, limiting driving, promoting alternative types of transportation and increasing recycling.
4. What are the usual priorities related to sustainable use of materials? (Three Rs: reduction, reuse and recycling)
In the world full of non-renewable materials and consumerism societies, it is high time to focus on such type of resource cycle that allows people to reuse and recycle waste materials. Three Rs are reduction, reuse and recycling. They create a basis for sustainable usage of resources. Reduction is the most important of these factors; it is based on the idea of lowering consumption, waste, and packaging as well as expanding the time of products usage. Reuse allows the society to use some products more than one time. Recycling stands for remanufacturing of materials from waste. There are also additional Rs that are recovery and rethinking.
5. How might zoning codes be changed to promote sustainability?
Sustainability planning is closely connected with a good design of cities that includes design of public spaces and living ares, changes in transportation and sewer systems, restoration of greenways, and transformation of industrial sites. Taking into account economic obstacles, there is a need to undertake projects that are economically feasible. One of these projects is the change of zoning codes which helps to create a pedestrian-friendly street and beautiful landscape design. These changes include such processes as reducing large areas of single-use zoning; increasing residential densities and the diversity of housing types by allowing single-family homes to be mixed with small apartment buildings, duplexes, and other types of dwellings; establishing minimum densities and building heights; creating provisions that help to preserve wildlife.
6. How does regenerative/sustainable design differ from industrial design?
Sustainable design includes not just the design of public spaces, streets, and houses, but also the configuration of greenway systems, changes in transportation systems, industrial processes, and water systems. Regenerative/sustainable design creates a basis for planning of infrastructure and frameworks of policies that can support the previously mentioned changes. The main idea of sustainable design is the ability of people to play an important role in developing the environment. Regenerative design focuses on many purposes at once, and industrial design does not seek to meet different goals at the same time. Sustainable design uses nature, while industrial design tries to do the work with the help of technology and engineering.
7. What do the "three Es" mean?
The Three Es include environment, economics, and equity. In terms of sustainability, environmental planning is related to the development of knowledge about ecosystems, environmental laws and regulations, tools and practices of restoration. As for the urban development, according to environmentally-oriented principles, the society should be developing in such directions as reducing transport usage, reusing and recycling of products, preventing pollution, as well as restoring wildlife and ecosystems. The second E is economics which controls demand and supply, divides resources, provides the basis for entrepreneurship, and seeks the most suitable economic tools for sustainable development. The third E – equity – is the least developed field as its goals are often not clearly understood. The spheres of equity functioning include overcoming difficulties with tax disparities between rich and poor people, poverty concentrations, distribution of housing and transport infrastructure, environmental questions concerning justice in exposure to hazards.
8. What are the strategies needed to reduce vehicle dependency?
There are several ways to reduce vehicle dependency: creating alternative means of transportation – using bicycle, public transport or just walking; changing urban design in such way so that people can reduce the amount and length of everyday transportation; reforming pricing strategies by raising cost of driving and reducing the price of alternative transportation modes. Besides, another important strategy is educational activity that provides drivers with helpful information about car promotion and available parking.
9. What aspects of urban development effect public health?
The design of urban territories is closely connected with the population of that region. If the physical design of places reflects its climate, ecosystem, flows of energy, water, and resources, such a design will integrate social communities with the nature. As a result, the automobile dependency can be reduced and resources may be used more efficiently. Society can be focused on restoring greenways and making streets, houses, and shops safer. Such changes are beneficial for human communities as well as public and ecological health.
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