Posted by: PARTHA DAS SHARMA | September 29, 2008

Sustainable and green city development – For achieving all-round better environment:

Sustainability is the practice of using resources to provide for the needs of today’s citizens while preserving the use of those same resources for the needs of future generations. Sustainable development is all about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come. This can be achieved through the three strands of social equity which recognises the needs of everyone, maintenance of stable levels of economic growth and employment, and using natural resources prudently, whilst protecting, and if possible enhancing, the environment.

A. Planned city development emphasizes value of environment and heritage:

Transformation of rapid urbanization in developing world due to industrialization has necessitated to the planned city development. In general, the planned city development include environmental sustainability, heritage conservation, appropriate technology, infrastructure efficiency, place making, “social access,” transit oriented development, regional integration, human scale, and institutional integrity. Some of these points are discussed below:

(i) Balance with nature: Balance with nature emphasizes the distinction between utilizing resources and exploiting them. It focuses on the thresholds beyond which deforestation, soil erosion, aquifer depletion, siltation and flooding. The principle promotes environmental assessments to identify fragile zones, threatened eco-systems and habitats that can be enhanced through conservation, density control, land use planning and open space design. Balance with nature do not support any act against nature, which include cutting of hillside trees, quarrying on slopes, dumping sewage and industrial waste into the natural drainage system, paving and plinthing excessively, and construction on steep slopes.

(ii) Balance with tradition: Balance with tradition integrate plan interventions with existing cultural assets, respecting traditional practices and precedents of style. It calls for respect for the cultural heritage of a place. It also promotes architectural styles and motifs designed to communicate cultural values. Aesthetic sense of the area should be maintained.

(iii) Appropriate Technology: Appropriate technology emphasizes the employment of building materials, construction techniques, infrastructural systems and project management which are consistent with local contexts.

(iv) Cordiality: It is well known that, vibrant societies are interactive, socially engaging and offer their members numerous opportunities for gathering and meeting one another. Therefore modern society calls for cordiality among everybody. Design should follow promotion of interactive behaviour of society. It leads to creation of places of solitude for individual; spaces for “beautiful, intimate friendship” where unfettered dialogue can happen; place where the individual socializes into a personality; creation of city level domains like plazas, parks, stadium, transport hubs, gallerias etc.

(v) Efficiency: The principle of efficiency promotes a balance between the consumption of resources such as energy, time and fiscal resources, with planned achievements in comfort, safety, security, access, tenure, and hygiene. It encourages optimum sharing of public land, roads, facilities, services and infrastructural networks reducing per household costs, while increasing affordability, access and civic viability.

B. Guidelines for making City Green:

As cities are keep on growing because of urbanization, more and more cities are becoming congested. To make cities livable for the citizen and to make their life beautiful, it has been the constant endevour of the Government to encourage for green building, keep city pollution within the limit and to create sufficient green belt.

a. Green Building is a philosophy of design and construction that integrates natural resources more effectively, preserves and restores the natural and human resource base while creating healthier, more efficient “high-performance” structures, homes and communities. This philosophy incorporates the following guiding principles:

(i) Using natural and manmade resources efficiently;

(ii) Considering the impact of buildings and development projects on the local, regional and global environment;

(iii) Reducing building footprint and development size;

(iv) Allowing ecosystems to function naturally;

(v) Conserving and reusing water; treating storm water on-site;

(vi) Maximizing the use of local materials;

(vii) Optimizing energy performance by installing energy efficient equipment and systems;

(viii) Optimizing climatic conditions through site orientation and design;

(ix) Integrating natural day-lighting and ventilation;

(x) Minimizing the use of mined rare metals and persistent synthetic compounds and volatile organic compounds;

(xi) Minimizing construction waste by reducing, reusing and recycling materials during all phases of construction and deconstruction.

Generally, objectives of green buildings are: (a) Improve work and learning environments, thus increasing worker productivity and student performance; (b) Mitigate health risks such as asthma and childhood lead poisoning; (c) Create local green building jobs within every existing industrial sector; (d) Reduce energy consumption and costs; (e) Affirm the City’s commitment to environmental conservation.

b. The creation of green-space in cities is often spoken of as if it were the result of orderly planning or regulation. Most of the cities have a plan to conserve green-space on the urban fringe. Generally, planning for creation of city green zones includes:

(i) Greening Commercial Corridors – This focus on landscape enhancements along strategic streets that can serve as a neighborhood’s economic lifeline.

(ii) City Parks Revitalization – This focus on maintaining and beautification of existing parks in a city.

(iii) Setting-up of New Community Gardens;

(iv) Street Beautification Projects- creation of “Garden Blocks”.

(v) Education and Training Opportunities – Courses and workshops help city dwellers beautify their communities through horticulture.

c. Apart from setting up green buildings, green covers, strategy for implementing proper solid waste management, restricting generation of air / water pollutants and strict implementation of local emission control codes. Thus, guidelines should include:

(i) Utilize sites to capture environmental benefits and preserve or create new open space;

(ii) Develop programs and policy to conserve potable water use, improve stormwater management and “green” the city sewage waste water system;

(iii) Address city and regional transportation issues by encouraging transit-oriented development, improve public transit services and reduce dependency on individual automobile use;

(iv) Implement citywide energy conservation programs and incentives, encourage use of renewable, non-fossil fuel energy sources and improve city performance on meeting regional clean air standards;

(v) Promote the development of local, green manufacturing industries and the use of recycled content materials or renewable materials for building, operations, and supplies for city work. Also establish more extensive recycling program to include construction and demolition waste recycling;

(vi) Maintain city’s sustainable development by integrating programs, such as in workforce development, economic redevelopment, and the public school system.

d. Citywide ban on smoking in all enclosed public spaces and public vehicles, also to be imposed for long term benefit of its citizen.


  1. good solution for green city development

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