Sustainable urban infrastructure expands on the concept of urban infrastructure by adding the sustainability element with the expectation of improved and more sustained urban development. In the construction and physical and organizational structures that enable cities to function, there is the aim of meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the capabilities of the future generations.
According to the College of Engineering and Applied Science of the University of Colorado Denver, urban infrastructure refers to the engineered systems (water, energy, transport, sanitation, information) that make up a city. However, challenges resulting from increasing population growth generated a need for sustainable infrastructure that is high performing, cost-effective, resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency maintains that the planning process of sustainable design can lead to the development of a community that is ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable.The design emphasis for a sustainable urban infrastructure is on localization and sustainable living. The aim is to reduce individual's ecological footprint according to the principles of sustainable development in areas with a high population density.
The criteria for what can be included in this kind of urban environment varies from place to place, given differences in existing infrastructure and built form, climate and availability of local resources or talents.
Generally speaking the following could be considered sustainable urban infrastructure:
Sustainable urban infrastructure is also called sustainable municipal infrastructure in Canada. It is an infrastructure initiative that facilitates a place or regions progress towards the goal of sustainable living.Attention is paid to technological and government policies which enable urban planning for sustainable architecture and sustainable agriculture.
Several organizations in Canada related to the FCM InfraGuide project, including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Infrastructure Canada, National Research Council of Canada, and Canadian Public Works Association, seek to achieve sustainability in municipal infrastructure especially large scale urban infrastructure, they advocate environmental protocols and inclusion of ecological and social indicators and factors in decision making at the earliest possible stage. There is little focus yet on sustainable rural infrastructure though this is a stated goal of the project, as is spreading it to achieve rural development in developing nations.
In their view, sustainability concerns apply to all of "maintaining, repairing and upgrading the infrastructure that sustains our quality of life" including at least:
These and other Canadian official entities including the Auditor General of Canada and Service Canada are focused on related efforts such as municipal performance audits, information technology and communications technology, moral purchasing and sharing of "data, information, common infrastructure, technology" and the need to "integrate their business processes" to further reduce duplication and waste, especially e-waste and greenhouse gas emissions a concern under Kyoto Protocol targets that Canada has committed to achieve. In 2011, Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol due to economic concerns.
Communities of Tomorrow is a non-profit enterprise in Saskatchewan, Canada that fosters the development and commercialization of innovative sustainable infrastructure solutions for the global marketplace. Sustainable infrastructure is the development of water, sewer, roads, and other infrastructure systems that meet the needs of current and future generations in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner. Communities of Tomorrow brings industry firms together with researchers to collaboratively develop new infrastructure solutions to existing or future problems with the ultimate goal to commercialize them. It's about building greener and longer lasting infrastructure, such as roads and water systems, to offer the global marketplace.
The Swiss Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation (GIB) supports various stakeholders, such as governments, banks and cities, in the designing, implementing and financing sustainable urban infrastructure projects at all stages of the project cycle.Currently, GIB has developed, in cooperation with the French bank Natixis, the SuRe® Standard – The Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, which is a global voluntary ISEAL standard. GIB has also developed the SuRe® SmartScan, a simplified version of the SuRe® Standard that serves as a self-assessment tool for sustainable infrastructure projects. It provides project developers with a comprehensive analysis of the various themes covered by the SuRe® Standard, offering a solid foundation for green infrastructure projects that are planning to become certified by the SuRe® Standard.
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Roadside and urban infrastructures such as signposts, bollards and street furniture are prone to damage and deterioration. As infrastructure deteriorates, it requires either replacement or enhancement. Existing public funding sources are inadequate to meet the need.Self-healing technology could protect surrounding paving and foundations from damage when items of infrastructure are impacted, which can reduce maintenance and improve the sustainability of urban developments. Self-healing developments result in zero waste and zero-landfill from maintenance on items of urban infrastructure for the life of the development.
Environmental law, also known as environmental and natural resources law, is a collective address environmental pollution. A related but distinct set of regulatory regimes, now strongly influenced by environmental legal principles, focus on the management of specific natural resources, such as forests, minerals, or fisheries. Other areas, such as environmental impact assessment, may not fit neatly into either category, but are nonetheless important components of environmental law.
Green building refers to both a structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the contractor, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages. The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.
The Commissioner for the Environment is the member of the European Commission responsible for EU environmental policy. The current Commissioner is Karmenu Vella.
An eco-city or ecocity is "a human settlement modeled on the self-sustaining resilient structure and function of natural ecosystems", as defined by the Ecocity Builders. Simply put, an eco-city is an ecologically healthy city. The World Bank defines eco-cities as “cities that enhance the well-being of citizens and society through integrated urban planning and management that harness the benefits of ecological systems and protect and nurture these assets for future generations”. Although there is no universally accepted definition of an 'eco-city', among available definitions, there is some consensus on the basic features of an eco-city.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH or GIZ in short is a German development agency headquartered in Bonn and Eschborn that provides services in the field of international development cooperation. GIZ mainly implements technical cooperation projects of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), its main commissioning party, although it also works with the private sector and other national and supranational government organizations on a public benefit basis. In its activities GIZ seeks to follow the paradigm of sustainable development, which aims at economic development through social inclusion and environmental protection. GIZ offers consulting and capacity building services in a wide range of areas, including management consulting, rural development, sustainable infrastructure, security and peace-building, social development, governance and democracy, environment and climate change, and economic development and employment.
The major environmental issues in Kyrgyzstan are summarized in the 2007 Concept of Ecological Security of Kyrgyz Republic and discussed in other environmental and environmental policy documents such as National Environmental Action Plan (1995), Country Development Strategy for 2009–2011, Strategy on Biological Diversity (2002), 2nd Environmental Performance Review of Kyrgyzstan (2008), etc.
Sustainable cities, urban sustainability, or eco-city is a city designed with consideration for social, economic, environmental impact, and resilient habitat for existing populations, without compromising the ability of future generations to experience the same. These cities are inhabited by people whom are dedicated towards minimization of required inputs of energy, water, food, waste, output of heat, air pollution - CO
2, methane, and water pollution. Richard Register first coined the term "ecocity" in his 1987 book Ecocity Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future, where he offers innovative city planning solutions that would work anywhere. Other leading figures who envisioned the sustainable city are architect Paul F Downton, who later founded the company Ecopolis Pty Ltd, as well as authors Timothy Beatley and Steffen Lehmann, who have written extensively on the subject. The field of industrial ecology is sometimes used in planning these cities.
Sustainable drainage systems are a collection of water management practices that aim to align modern drainage systems with natural water processes. SuDS efforts make urban drainage systems more compatible with components of the natural water cycle such as storm surge overflows, soil percolation, and bio-filtration. These efforts hope to mitigate the effect human development has had or may have on the natural water cycle, particularly surface runoff and water pollution trends. SuDS have become popular in recent decades as our understanding of how urban development affects natural environments, as well as concern for climate change and sustainability, have increased. SuDS often use built components that mimic natural features in order to integrate urban drainage systems into the natural drainage systems or a site as efficiently and quickly as possible.
Global Green USA is the American affiliate of Green Cross International, an international non-governmental organization founded by President Gorbachev in 1993 to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. Green Cross International operates in over 30 countries and enjoys consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. GCI is an admitted observer organization with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. It also cooperates directly with the UNEP/OCHA Environmental Emergencies Section, UN-HABITAT and other international organizations.
Green infrastructure or blue-green infrastructure is a network providing the “ingredients” for solving urban and climatic challenges by building with nature. The main components of this approach include stormwater management, climate adaptation, less heat stress, more biodiversity, food production, better air quality, sustainable energy production, clean water and healthy soils, as well as the more anthropocentric functions such as increased quality of life through recreation and providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities. Green infrastructure also serves to provide an ecological framework for social, economic and environmental health of the surroundings.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to sustainability:
This page is an index of sustainability articles.
The natural environment, commonly referred to simply as the environment, includes all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth.
Environmental governance is a concept in political ecology and environmental policy that advocates sustainability as the supreme consideration for managing all human activities—political, social and economic. Governance includes government, business and civil society, and emphasizes whole system management. To capture this diverse range of elements, environmental governance often employs alternative systems of governance, for example watershed-based management.
Environmentally Sustainable design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of ecological sustainability.
A sustainability organization is (1) an organized group of people that aims to advance sustainability and/or (2) those actions of organizing something sustainably. Unlike many business organizations, sustainability organizations are not limited to implementing sustainability strategies which provide them with economic and cultural benefits attained through environmental responsibility. For sustainability organizations, sustainability can also be an end in itself without further justifications.
Green urbanism has been defined as the practice of creating communities beneficial to human and the environment. According to Timothy Beatley, it is an attempt to shape more sustainable places, communities and lifestyles, and consume less of the world’s resources. Green urbanism is interdisciplinary, combining the collaboration of landscape architects, engineers, urban planners, ecologists, transport planners, physicists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and other specialists in addition to architects and urban designers.
The 2016 United Nations Climate Change Conference was an international meeting of political leaders and activists to discuss environmental issues. It was held in Marrakech, Morocco, on 7–18 November 2016. The conference incorporated the twenty-second Conference of the Parties (COP22), the twelfth meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol (CMP12), and the first meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement (CMA1). The purpose of the conference was to discuss and implement plans about combatting climate change and to "[demonstrate] to the world that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is underway". Participants work together to come up with global solutions to climate change.
Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation (GIB) is an independent, not-for-profit foundation under Swiss law active in the field of sustainable urban infrastructure. The CEO of GIB is Katharina Schneider-Roos.
SuRe is a global voluntary standard which integrates key criteria of sustainability and resilience into infrastructure development and upgrade. It has been developed by the Swiss Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation and the French bank Natixis.