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1 Green Cities: The Next Urban Design Frontier SMWM Evening of Green with Michael Bloomfield Founder + Executive Director Harmony Foundation of Canada.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Green Cities: The Next Urban Design Frontier SMWM Evening of Green with Michael Bloomfield Founder + Executive Director Harmony Foundation of Canada."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Green Cities: The Next Urban Design Frontier SMWM Evening of Green with Michael Bloomfield Founder + Executive Director Harmony Foundation of Canada 02 May :00 pm SMWM 989 Market Street Third Floor San Francisco, California (USA)

2 2

3 3 Sustainable Community Development Todays Presentation introduction integrating ecology, economy and social equity the role of citizen participation in local governance leadership citizen participation in the urban metabolism conclusion

4 4 The following slideshow was used for a presentation on sustainable community development We all know that the world is facing very serious challenges Over the past 50 years the worlds population has doubled, consumption of natural resources and production of waste have risen dramatically, and our demands on the Earths natural systems have resulted in serious social environmental and health costs.

5 5 Despite gloomy forecasts and worrying signs, there is a hopeful transformation taking place in neighbourhoods around the world known as… Sustainable Community Development (SCD) SCD is a way to harness the power of community decision-making to create and sustain patterns of human development and economic prosperity that protect the environment, reduce poverty, and improve the quality of life today and for future generations.

6 6 Goals of this presentation Examine the attributes of successful sustainable community initiatives Explore how forward-looking community leadership and strong public participation can create vibrant Green Cities

7 7 a practical vision committed leadership active public participation integration of ecological, economic and social principles into decision-making Attributes of Sustainable Community Development

8 8 The Two Key Principles of Sustainable Community Development Ecological sustainability, economic growth and social equity are compatible and mutually beneficial. The success of SCD depends on the degree to which citizens participate in the development and implementation of strategies.

9 9 The Three Core Operating Principles of Sustainable Community Development environmental protection must be entrenched in economic policymaking. social equity must be incorporated into decision-making. development must include qualitative as well as quantitative improvement (development means more than simply growth).

10 10 In 1800, there were approximately 1 billion people on earth – cities housed some 20,000,000 people worldwide. Today, with a population of over 6 billion, cities must accommodate some 3 billion people, a staggering increase that brings a host of problems. By 2030, the number of people who make cities home is expected to rise to 61% (PDDESA-UN 2003) Year Percentage of World Population Living in Cities

11 11 Community Assets natural capital physical capital human capital economic capital social capital cultural capital

12 12 Each community asset is part of the rich tapestry of social, ecological and economic activity that make up the day-to-day and long-term qualities of where we live. It is very important to recognize that they do not exist independent from each other. In fact, SCD takes advantage of how these assets interrelate in day-to-day activities to drive the transformation towards long-term sustainability.

13 13 Community Success Stories: In Dhaka, Bangladesh residents created Waste Concern, an urban composting project which involves many of the communitys assets and has improved health, economic and environmental conditions. Over 40,000 households are involved. (Green Cities: A Guide for Sustainable Community Development, Harmony Foundation 2005)

14 14 I found a fruitful world because my ancestors planted for me. So will I do for generations to come. -The sage, Choni Achieving the goals and long-term benefits of sustainable development requires a new kind of leadership which understands that success depends on the enthusiastic participation of people from all walks of life and knows how to make that happen.

15 15 We must encourage and support leaders in public office who are committed to more than their next term office. They must be committed to the future. At the heart of sustainable community development is also a personal commitment for all of us to live within the limits of the environments which support us.

16 16 Qualities of Inspired Leadership articulate the shared needs and aspirations of the community reassure stakeholders that the risks necessary to achieve a brighter future are worth taking offer a dynamic vision which motivates people to get involved because the visions message and messenger are credible, realistic and forward-looking

17 17 Role of Citizen Participation in Local Governance Urban leverage is sometimes used to describe the magnified impact that large numbers of people in urban communities can have when participating in sustainable practices. (Rees 1995) Impact is cumulative: When the number of people involved grows, the impact can be profound. Widespread public participation is essential to the success of SCD.

18 18 A study of 150 municipalities found that when local governments partnered with their citizens and community organizations rather than imposing policies their activities were far more successful. (Ludhe-Thompson 2004) By encouraging local citizens to participate, the process benefits from a rich pool of knowledge and talent.

19 19 Characteristics of Meaningful Public Participation citizen representation throughout the process process open to monitoring by all interested parties diverse forms of knowledge and experience welcome and accessible process organized around the principles of shared learning knowledge respect for divergent views and backgrounds

20 20 "Rather than fearing a loss of decision-making power, local governments need to be aware that alliances provide access to different groups within civil society whose acceptance of, and contribution to decision- making processes, is of central importance to a successful local sustainability strategy."

21 21 continue on our current path, believing that the gravity of our situation has been overstated: that human ingenuity can save us in the nick of time or assume scientific predictions are correct, accept we have cause for serious concern, and adopt sustainable practices which dont compromise the future The Grand Bet The stakes in the sustainability challenge are high. Fundamentally, we have two choices:

22 22 Transformational Leaders who motivate, encourage and empower people to pursue long-term foals and solutions Transactional Leaders who manage for short- term fixes Leadership

23 23 Characteristics of Progressive Leadership Courage Integrity Acumen Insight Passion Balance Compassion Open-mindedness Sense of Humour Acceptance of Failure Vision Recognizing Opportunities Productivity Respect for Others Those who play it safe or try to impose outcomes must face the fact that they are not really leaders after all.

24 24 One approach to understanding urban settlements is to think of them as metabolisms with inputs and outputs Urban Metabolisms land use and transportation planning waste reduction and recycling energy water and sewage food security community economic development air quality

25 25 An inspiring example of urban rejuvenation is the the East St. Louis Action Research Project (ESLARP). ESLARP is a cooperatively managed community assistance and development program of the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. Faculty and students from the collaborating campus units - the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the Department of Landscape Architecture, and the School of Architecture – work together with East St. Louis community groups on highly tangible and visible projects that address the immediate and long-term needs of some of the city's poorest neighbourhoods.

26 26 Another important part of land planning is to provide green space. The Benefits of Green Space improve social interaction and public health clean the air, produce oxygen; buffer wind and noise decrease energy costs through shading and heat absorption improve hydrologic balance by reducing losses and improving quality (absorb rain, increase evaporation and transpiration, and allows filtration)

27 27 Reducing Car Use is Central to Effective Transportation Strategies including: more affordable public transit land-use planning to encourage public transit, higher density and mixed zoning increased infrastructure for cycling and walking gasoline taxes to support non-automobile transportation modes road tolls and fees for care use in peak periods or congested areas

28 28 Demand Management Manages Existing Levels of Car Use More Efficiently special traffic lanes (HOV and bus-only), regulation of freeway on-ramp traffic to increase efficiency parking and toll privileges for more sustainable car use (e.g. carpooling), car-coops fleets of cars used on an as-needed basis, peak-hour pricing to reduce total vehicle travel road costs, emissions, and increases safety. traffic calming tax-exemptions for transit and for car and bicycle sharing

29 29 Car coops are one particularly successful model, and have been created in many cities in North America and Europe. They decrease car use, improve air quality and contribute to the local economy. The Cooperative Auto Network based in Vancouver has more than 1,000 members sharing over 60 cars located in neighbourhoods throughout the city.

30 30 Sustainable community development also involves supporting alternatives to car use. Toronto Community Bicycle Network a fleet of 200 bicycles in 14 hubs throughout a city of 3 million people. the Network runs on membership fees, donations and the revenues from workshops.

31 31 Waste reduction is another key issue. Effective Waste Reduction Strategies waste reduction awards; subsidies and incentives regulations for developers and builders full cost recovery for the collection and disposal of industrial waste; waste disposal taxes for wasteful households and industries public education for waste reduction banning non-recyclable containers; incl plastic bags incentives for biodegradable substitutes for plastic

32 32 Energy is another enormous challenge. Ninety percent of the worlds energy supply comes from fossil fuels resulting in an estimated 37.1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Strategies for Sustainable Energy strategic energy planning increasing energy efficiency energy alternatives reduce waste

33 33 While most alternative energies are still in the developmental phase. Grants, subsidies and tax incentives should be used to encourage safe and sustainable options. Alternative Energies biomass deep-lake cooling geothermal heat-pumps hydrogen fuel cell micro-hydro solar-photovoltaic solar-thermal tidal-power wave energy wind power nuclear power

34 34 Water and Sewage Fresh water is essential for our survival and most urban settlements are threatened by declining quality and growing shortages.

35 35 Municipal Water Strategies include: leak monitoring increased efficiency through improved technology and strategic interventions to reuse as much water as possible before treatment public education for conservation

36 36 Sustainable runoff management diverts water into the ground and replenishes ground sources purifies water reduces demands on local water treatment Strategies include: permeable paving rain harvesting diverting runoff to collectors green roofs.

37 37 Good Water Makes Good Neighbours Project A hopeful project enabling youth from Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian settlements to work together to conserve shared underground water sources. Green Cities: A Guide for Sustainable Community Development, Harmony Foundation 2005)

38 38 Cuban Urban Agricultural Program Started in 1992, this project has evolved into one of the most sophisticated urban agricultural programs in the world. Havana now has 26,000 urban farms. Green Cities: A Guide for Sustainable Community Development, Harmony Foundation 2005)

39 39 Four Core Community Economic Development Strategies more efficient use of existing resources using local needs as an opportunity for local production using purchasing power to support local production encouraging local people and local opportunities before looking for imported solutions

40 40 The Abalimi Market Garden Project (South Africa) The project combines urban agriculture and community economic development involving 3,000 families in over 100 community gardens and another 2,500 home gardens producing food for domestic use and for sale in local markets. before after

41 41 The evidence clearly shows that our current approach to development is unsustainable. The challenge to our generation is to develop goals and values which respect our responsibilities to each other, other species and future generations: ones which are compatible with a healthy environment, and promote just social and economic decisions.

42 42 Harmony Foundation 2006 For more information, please visit our website:

43 43 Special thanks for support from: The Co-operators BMO Financial Group RBC Foundation To learn more about Harmony Foundation, our publications and activities please visit our website:

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