Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The challenge of green urbanism: Mid-sized cities & ecological modernisation Dr Jason Byrne Griffith University School of Environment.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "The challenge of green urbanism: Mid-sized cities & ecological modernisation Dr Jason Byrne Griffith University School of Environment."— Presentation transcript:

1 The challenge of green urbanism: Mid-sized cities & ecological modernisation Dr Jason Byrne Griffith University School of Environment

2 Griffith School of Environment 2 Manuel Castells observed in 2002 that: Our blue planet is fast becoming a predominantly urban world. …For all the talk about the natural environment, it is the living conditions in cities…that determine the future of our livelihood. …Sustainable development is the code word for the most important debate of our time.

3 Griffith School of Environment 3 Challenges of an urban world Over 50% of worlds people inhabit cities By 2070 this will be more like 75% Biggest cities in 19 th & 20 th century were Euro-American Biggest in 21 st century: Asian, African & Latin-American megacities (e.g. Shanghai or Lagos) Growth will occur fastest in mid-sized cities Cities are complexly interconnected, yet highly socio- economically polarised Cities are where we find the largest environmental impacts but cities also promise for solutions

4 Griffith School of Environment 4 Urban environmental problems Air, water & soil pollution Socio-economic polarisation (environmental injustice) Proliferation of culture of hyper consumption Health: obesity epidemic & infectious diseases (SARS) Housing shortages & traffic congestion Sanitation problems (e.g. clean water) Waste management problems (e.g. sewage, landfills) Water scarcity & declining soil fertility Peak oil & the end of cheap energy Climate change impacts (storms, heat islands, flooding) Rapidly declining biodiversity Food scarcity and food contamination

5 Griffith School of Environment 5 In short, our cities are vulnerable We need to make cities more resilient –Resilience here refers to the ability to withstand environmental disruptions and to bounce back after a crisis (e.g. storm, flood, fire) with little or no damage to key infrastructure, social capital and life sustaining processes

6 Griffith School of Environment 6 Overview Why mid-sized cities? Green urbanism Examples –Industrial ecology –Biomimicry –Metabolic cities Australian initiatives Relevance to Bologna and Forli? Fukoka Building Green Roof, Japan The Wild Project Green Roof, Canada Currumbin Eco-Village, Australia St. Etienne, France: Green transport

7 Griffith School of Environment 7 Why mid-sized cities? (500,000 – 3.5 million???) All about scale –Greater share of urbanisation (30+%) –Smaller populations but still diverse –Less inertia in system –Easier to analyse –Potential for rapid response –Potential to diversify economy –Less disruption in retrofitting –Act as incubators –Realise benefits faster –Residents closer to nature –More attractive destinations (lifestyle) Curitiba Portland

8 Griffith School of Environment 8 Ecological cities Kaika and Swyngedouw (2000: 120) have recently reminded us that cities are: mediators through which the perpetual process of transformation of natur[al] into [cultural] takes place. …The city is a space of flows, of flux, of translocation.

9 Griffith School of Environment 9 Green urbanism: metabolic cities Regards previously disparate concerns as interconnected Transport, housing, health, energy, environment, governance etc. all interact in concert with each other Applies ecological sustainability principles Recognises the metabolic character of cities Seeks to close material & energy loops

10 Griffith School of Environment 10 Bio-mimicry Draws upon natural design cues Uses natural materials Seeks to emulate natural cycles Examples include: –Aerodynamic public transport –Heat chimneys in buildings –Photosynthetic energy –Industrial ecology Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe

11 Griffith School of Environment 11 Industrial ecology Discourse / paradigm holding that economic growth and environmental harm can be decoupled Waste material from one industry become the raw material input of another Creates an industrial ecosystem Economic mutualism not competition

12 Griffith School of Environment 12 green-roofs-a-brief-pictoral-history-of-green- roofs-and-roofing-systems-past-and-present/ Commodity flow analysis Energy pathway analysis Material flows analysis Lifecycle assessment Nutrient cycling Home range analysis –(animal habitats) Analyses

13 Griffith School of Environment 13 Long Term Ecological Research Baltimore, Maryland & Phoenix, Arizona Undertaking many of these analyses Studying cities as ecosystems

14 Griffith School of Environment 14 Energy pathway analysis Movement of energy through urban ecosystems Impact of built environments on atmospheric energy Urban albedos – reflection of solar energy Heat island effects

15 Griffith School of Environment 15 Material flows analysis How materials flow or move through a system –e.g. movement of goods through an economy –movement of raw material through a city –movement of waste through sewers & drains –tracing how trees become paper then waste

16 Griffith School of Environment 16 Nutrient cycling analysis Tracing the flow of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium through landscapes Determining the impact upon ecosystems Examining the role of humans in this process

17 Griffith School of Environment 17 Home range analysis Examining population dynamics Studying animal-plant interactions Identifying the foraging areas of animals Considering human impacts Mapping human-animal interactions Urban Habitats

18 Griffith School of Environment 18 Commodity flow analysis Transportation –Trucks –Rail –Ships Warehousing Pipe networks Retailing Disposal Re-use Analysis of truck movements through Los Angeles

19 Griffith School of Environment 19 Lifecycle assessment Examining the cradle to grave impacts of goods Researching impacts of entire sourcing, manufacturing, use and disposal process Developing lower impact goods –Biodegradable plastic –Recyclable carpet –Recyclable cars

20 Griffith School of Environment 20 Bad example – clean coal Australias largest export is coal New Australian government signed Kyoto Protocol (2007) Committed to carbon-trading Want to have our cake and eat it Solution is clean coal technology –Geosequestration –Biosequestration Emissions reduction though: –Energy & water efficiency –Dispersed generation Does not solve the problem GEs clean coal campaign

21 Griffith School of Environment 21 Good example: renewables Solar power Wind power Biofuels & biogas Geothermal Tidal Hydroelectricity e.g. use sewage to generate electricity from methane digesters and algae farms Maglev wind turbine: / Newcastle, UK San Francisco, USA China Arizona, USA

22 Griffith School of Environment 22 Other examples Green buildings Urban agriculture Green schools & solar schools Green transport –Solar & hydrogen busses Water recycling & re-use Water & energy efficiency Stormwater harvesting Biodiesel (from waste oil) Hydrogen bus - Perth Solar bus - Adelaide

23 Griffith School of Environment 23 Planning mechanisms State sustainability strategies (e.g. W.A.) State of the environment reports (indicators) Regional planning schemes Climate change adaptation strategies Sustainability-based local land use plans Transit-oriented development & bicycle planning Parks, green corridors, green roofs & city farms Water sensitive urban design Green building rating scheme National ban on incandescent light-bulbs Environmental levies & subsidies

24 Griffith School of Environment 24 Australian Subsidies Solar hot water system rebate (up to $4,000) Photo-voltaic roof panel rebate / credit ($8,000) Solar electricity feed-in tariff (44 c per kwh) Roof insulation ($1,600) & energy monitors Low-flow showerheads (free) & dual flush toilets Free give-aways and heavily discounted CFBs Domestic rainwater tanks ($500 federal; $1000 state) Water efficient washing machines ($200 - $300) Worm farms ($50) Native plant discounts & rebates (up to $100 p.a.) Vehicle registration discounts for hybrid vehicles

25 Griffith School of Environment 25 Gold Coast - Australia Gold Coast, Australia

26 Griffith School of Environment 26 Gold Coast City Council Carbon neutral by 2020 Green power for municipal buildings Switching to hybrid car & truck fleet Solar heating of municipal swimming pools Wastewater recycling & domestic re-use Rainwater tank & washing machine subsidy Four free street trees (per person / year) revegetation Domestic kerbside recycling program Investigating tidal energy Target 52% of municipal area as eco-reserve

27 Griffith School of Environment 27 Bologne & Forli? Both cities have committed to sustainability Compact urban forms Pedestrian oriented Public transportation Plenty of sunshine (solar) Potential to become European mid-sized city leaders Potential for a network of collaborators Potential for international partnerships with other mid- sized cities

28 Griffith School of Environment 28 Questions?

Download ppt "The challenge of green urbanism: Mid-sized cities & ecological modernisation Dr Jason Byrne Griffith University School of Environment."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google