In the future, the majority of the world’s population will live in the cities. Cities will be the main areas in which our human activities occur – living, eating, working, traveling. Those activities use energy and create heat, waste, and carbon footprint. Many cities try to develop low carbon city plans due to this issue, including some cities in the UK such as London, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, etc. Or some countries even prepare to build a city that does not emit carbon, such as the Masdar city and Dongtan.
The first key principle to be a successful low carbon city is :
Today, we do not have accurate and efficient carbon footprint data to make data in the assessment to set strategies for managing emissions in the city. The best way to collect the data right now is to collect from smartphones,and various sensors in the city to track transportation information, energy consumption, water and waste management. I could say that good data acquisition and processing leads to efficient use of resources. For example, knowing where an area needs how much resources At the same time, it is a measure to assess and see a more comprehensive picture of the city.
High rise building is a factor that causes urban heat. The new trend development from them is green buildings, urban layouts, considering the wind and sunlight to reduce energy use in the building. Urban farming is an alternative way to adapt to the building. There is research found that changing the empty space in the city to be agriculture, it can reduce 1% of emissions. Moreover, agriculture is another use of renewable resources since food production itself, transport reduction, and recycling biowaste.
Of course! promoting public transportation is the development that all cities need. Another option is electric vehicles but not every city can achieve it, since it needs a lot of investment and infrastructures to support it. Nevertheless, I agree that this aspect needs cooperation between government, people, and private sectors to make the development efficient.
An important aspect of the low carbon city is new ways of thinking about the economy and production. The circular economy is not just about recycling, but It is a change in the way we think that looking at everything, including outputs, such as pollution, and waste. To various by-products, it is a part of resource that can be recycled as part of new production.
I think the simple principle of a low carbon city is to be a “good city”. It is a city that uses energy efficiently, the effective use and management in everything from the use of land, buildings, traffic to efficient waste management. The more cities and people have the potential, we will release and control the amount of carbon footprint much better.
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Matthews, K., 2018. Reducing Cities’ Carbon Footprints. [online] Planetizen – Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education. Available at: <https://www.planetizen.com/blogs/99777-reducing-cities-carbon-footprints> [Accessed 1 April 2020].
Milligan, R., 2019. The UK’S Cities Are Leading The Charge To Reduce Carbon Emissions. [online] Energy Saving Trust. Available at: <https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/blog/uk%E2%80%99s-cities-are-leading-charge-reduce-carbon-emissions> [Accessed 1 April 2020].
The Peninsula Qatar. 2019. Adopting A Circular Economy Could Save Billions: Report. [online] Available at: <https://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/15/05/2019/Adopting-a-circular-economy-could-save-billions-Report> [Accessed 2 April 2020].