Sustainability of the city and its ecological footprint
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There are some agreed sustainability indicators, even some agreed target values regarding a sustainable city, but they still have to be underpinned by empirical evidence. The common starting point of definitions is generally the destructive impact of the city on its regional and global environment which can be observed in form of the depletion of natural resources and the pollution of soil, water and air. A sustainable city is therefore generally regarded to be the one that is compact and preserves land, has mixed use to increase access and reduce need to travel, is socially and economically balanced, uses clean and renewable energy and recycles all its waste. However, the sustainable city cannot exist as a self-sufficient unit, in ignorance of relationship with its hinterland. The ecological footprint which is the amount of land required to produce resources to sustain our quality of life is a yardstick for measuring the ecological bottom line of sustainability. With a sustainable cit...y target to relieve pressure on the countryside, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of calculating city’s ecological footprint and see how it relates to the target global average. Although problem of reducing ecological footprints primarily concerns the wealthiest countries, it has to be fully acknowledged in the less economically developed part of the world, while recognizing that cities themselves provide many potential solutions.
Keywords:sustainable city / hinterland / resources / ecological footprint
Source:Spatium, 2004, 11, 48-52
- Institute of Architecture, Urban & Spatial Planning of Serbia