Sustainability and the built environment - Essay Example

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Running head: Sustainability and the Built Environment Name Institution Date Introduction Donella Meadows acknowledges that sustainability and sustainable communities are phenomenon that a number of individuals have struggled to define, however an attempt to define these terms is akin attempting to define the term justice, democracy, as well as other key values that guide our society…
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Sustainability and the built environment
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Download file to see previous pages It therefore follows that sustainable community is a community that is able to persist over generations, one that is flexible, wise enough, and foresighted enough not to compromise either its social or physical systems of support. Discussion Until mid 1980s, economic growth was the major focus as a means of alleviating the conditions of humanity; however, it came to the attention of the international community that it was useless to focus on economic development if it compromises the community’s social and natural foundations. In the terms of Siranni and Friedland 2001, this view of the international community was based on the consideration that focus on economic development that is unrestricted would continuously pollute the world’s water, soil, and air not to mention that it can decimates natural resources as well as forests, thus creating overflowing landfills and toxic wastes to our environment. The desire to have a better life and also to increase the opportunities that accrues from economic growth stimulated the interest in sustainability for purposes of preserving the environment for both the present and future generations. As Davis 2007 argues, it would be worthless after all to have a strong economy and jobs yet we do not have a planet that is habitable to them. Communities facing the same predicament around the country have echoed sustainability. It is quite evident that various communities are facing negative predicaments from the conventional approaches to development of the built environment, economic growth, and transportation planning, yet these are efforts that are meant to alleviate the communities’ quality of life and opportunities. It has been argued that if the same approach is maintained, it would degrade the present quality of life and cause devastating environmental predicaments for the next generation (Huckle 1996). The need to design a workable approach to avoid and repair such problems should therefore be prioritized (Girardet 1999). Sustainable development has proved to be an approach that that can effectively be able to counter such predicaments as it is a process that is ongoing. Through sustainable communities it is indeed possible to alleviate the community wellbeing and economic development in such a way that does not compromise the environment. There are several strategies that can be employed to achieve the balance between sustainable communities as well as maintain a healthy environment. Efficiency use of the available resources is one of the essential factors of achieving sustainability. As a matter of fact, environmental impacts may be reduced significantly if the communities embark on efficiently using the available water, energy, and the available resources. As echoed by Huckle 1996, using improved techniques of manufacturing may also go a long way in reducing waste, pollution, not to mention the reduction in the cost of production. These would in turn enhance economic development with minimal environmental degradation. Energy efficiency for instance can be used as a means of reducing climate change, air pollution, smog, acid rain oil spill among other harms to the environment related to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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