Significant developments in urban areas affect economic and environmental sustainability. To enhance social and ecological sustainability on the background of hugeevents, there is need to come up with new models as espoused by Banerjee and Loukaitou-Sideris. This could be through incentives aimed at lowering consumption and saving energy. Urban centers of the future should be socially diverse, and this can be enhanced through adopting new ways that allow citizens to be creative and economically productive. Cities will not be a threat to the environment and economic prosperity if sustainability and design are incorporated. This paper aims to show how sustainability can be aligned with development for the future cities.
Modern cities are the melting pot for technological, social development. The design of cities has changed over time as dictated by the changing needs of their inhabitants. A few old cities like Beijing Cairo and Athens that have remained and revolve over time, while many of them like Ankor Wat City have disappeared. The former have remained courtesy of engineering designs that saw thesustainable use of water in irrigation and households, whereas according to Gethering and Puckett the latter collapsed due to emerging challenges like climate change, thatthen engineers lacked the capacity to counter( 23).
Current urban designers need to come up with technologies such asIntegrated Smart Management based on remote sensor, which by careful monitoring, can transform inefficient urban improvements into efficient and sustainable cities. The technologies should be designed to specific geographic and social conditions that will help convert the existing buildings to versatile dwellings that exploit the environment for cooling and electricity.According to Banerjee and Loukaitou-Sideris, to achieve carbon-free cities can be through choosing and integrating diverse technologies to improve performance for multiple building types, cultures, climates, and socio-economic conditions (26). For example, through harnessing solar energy, for cooking and lighting, this can reduce carbon emissions. Approaches aimed at attaining sustainable cities includes planning parameters that should be decentralized; custom made and less rigid to allow the expression of architectural styles and designs of different communities.
High population growth experienced in urban centers majorly due to rural-urban migration is posing more challenges in urban areas, for instance,food insecurity and straining water supplies. Uncontrolled urbanization means converting the initially agricultural lands into residential and industrial areas. Citing an example of Conception a city in Chile, Banerjee and Loukaitou-Sideris indicate demonstrate how1734 and 1417 hectares of wetlands and forests and farmland respectively were changed into residential sites between 1975 and 2000 (34). In Accra Ghana, approximately 2600 hectares of farmland have been converted through conurbation. The same trend is being experienced in Indonesian and Chinese towns. Over time, this transformation means dwindling production of food to meet the growing demand of the urban populace. According to Veenhuizen, this can be addressed through controlled and planned land use; or otherwise, import food
The topic of “Future Cities” calls for a multidisciplinary approach to address contemporary challenges facing the developing communities.This will be through integrating sustainable urban development policies, environmental conservation,proper technological application and fiscal sustainability. Urban centers are faced with climate change, fluctuating demographics and pressure on vital resources. In the future, innovative technologies will have the ability to change existing cities into resilient alluring cities. However, poor implementation of innovative technology cannot guarantee sustainability without good governance and fiscal sustainability.
Banerjee, Tridib and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris. Companion to Urban Design.
Gethering, William and Katie Puckett. Design for Climate Change. RIBA, 2012.
Veenhuizen, R Van. Cities Farming for the Future. N.p., 2006. Web.