The Role Of Sustainability In Urban Landscapes

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As the global population continues to rise more people are choosing to live in the world's cities. With United Nations predictions indicating a peak of 70% urban inhabitation by 2050 (ESA-UN, 2007, quoted in: Agudelo-Vera et al. 2010, 2295), how we facilitate the accommodation of over half of the 3.5 billion people on the planet in these urban landscapes is paramount to both our impact on the remaining natural environment, and the quality of life we live. Sustainability is a word thrown about with great frequency but little definition in relation to the built environment in contemporary specification, advertising and academic texts, and while society as a whole must take a greater responsibility in the use and re-use of natural resources,…show more content…
A common academically referenced definition for 'Sustainable Development' comes from a statement made pre-second millennia from the United Nations World Commission on the Environment and Development, where it was proposed as being 'development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (Brundtland 1987, WCED, quoted in: Agudelo-Vera et al. 2010, 2296; Celik 2013, 85; Cloutier, Larson & Jambeck 2013, 633; and Imran, Alam & Beaumont 2011, 135). Though this statement is derived from debated academic input and is often considered as being successfully implemented in some areas such as agriculture, it lacks definition and direction in what needs to be achieved in the built environment, and as a result is widely debated in relation to sustainable urban…show more content…
Effective resource management must include conscious consideration for both material usage and energy consumption (Agudelo-Vera et al. 2010, 2296), and maintain 'optimum efficiency' in the use of land and environmental resources (Aye et al. 2010, 928). In consideration of our current achievement in this, Celik (2012, 87) points out society's reliance on fossil fuels and the increasing gap between the planets capability to produce these resources and our consumption of them. Celik continues to point out the building industry's contribution in this coming not only from the energy use of construction activities, but also material utilisation and its embodied or capital energy, as also identified by Aye et al. (2010, 929). Drawing attention to both usage and consumption identifies how the application of sustainable design principles positively influences resource
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