Section 1: The City of Petaluma
Over the past few decades, continuous increase in adverse climate change coupled with environmental degradation has called for greater efforts in trying to curb this change and improve the amicability of our surroundings. One of the ways experts have proposed and applied to the effective control of global degradation is by encouraging sustainability. Sustainability is referred to as the maintenance of the global eco and biological system by ensuring they retain their productivity indefinitely thus supporting human life(Paul James, Liam Magee, Andy Scerri, Manfred B. Steger). In other terms, it can also be referred to as pursuing a common idea that will collectively or individually reduce negative human impact on the environment. Efforts to build sustainability are encouraged in many cities and towns more so in Petaluma, California. A city in Sonoma County, California, Petaluma, like many other towns, has embarked on efforts to increases sustainability by decreasing human impact on the environment and by ensuring the ecosystems in the area can continue being productive. Such actions are meant to limit the effects of urbanization’s ecosystem. On the other part of the world in China, sustainability efforts are occurring at the Yangtze River, one of the largest rivers in the globe(P. Lyman and Van Slyke). As such, this paper will compare the sustainability efforts in Petaluma with the sustainability efforts in the Yangtze.
Despite Petaluma being a relatively small town, research indicates the town is facing challenges in the efforts of improving or applying sustainability. The impact of the One Bay Area on the city varies with some of the impacts significantly felt while others not. Water use is one impact with water on the Bay Area determining the water usage in the town. Water coming from the One Bay Area is controlled by the city, and thus its usage is directly related to the city. Another factor is energy efficiency, the One Bay Area, due to its productivity and viability is a factor in the city’s energy efficiency(Harris). Most of the large-scale projects in the city are carried out around the One Bay Area with the area also having the largest concentration of the city’s industries making the area a significant factor in the city’s efforts to maintain constant energy. Also, importantly is to the effect of the Bay on the economic sustainability of the city with the Bay providing significant economic revenue to the city dwellers making its sustainability a vital factor.
Based on the analysis of the One Bay Area and the city of Petaluma, the following recommendations would be viable in ensuring the city can support and amplify local sustainability planning. These recommendations include:
- Limiting the town’s growth through growth management systemsis one recommendation which can control the population increase in the area thus limiting water usage, energy usage and another human impact on the Bay which will consequently reduce any negative impact the Bay may have in the city.
- Another recommendation would be the control of the Bay’s use for economic activity which will continue sustaining the Bay’s ecological set-up. For instance, controlling fishing on the Bay will enable fish to sustain their ecology despite fishing and other activities ensuing.
Key sustainability challenge faced by Yangtze River Delta and how it has been dealt with
Along the Yangtze River Delta sustainability efforts have been placed on water retention. In maintaining the sustainability of the Yangtze River Delta, there are certain political and social conditions in place to curb urbanization along the river. Some of the sustainability efforts established along the river are also aimed at maintaining biodiversity along the river. In a similar way to the One Bay Area, the Yangtze serves millions of people along its delta. As such, experts in the country strive at ensuring the variety of life in the area’s ecosystem. Also, the political institution, NGOs, and individuals to coordinate the development and management of the river basin by ensuring the water catchment areas and fishing areas are regulatedto ensure the social and economic benefits of the river basin are experienced by everyone along the river(P. Lyman and Van Slyke).Most of the sustainability efforts along the Yangtze River are meant to ensure the freshwater ecosystems of the river, species and services are maintained. Sustainability efforts along the Yangtze River are expected to curb the water quality deterioration, industrial pollution and other instances of rapid economic development. In addition to establishing sustainability efforts that control the urban human impact of the river on the surroundings, there also efforts that seek to create sustainability among the agricultural lands that surround the Yangtze River Delta and basin. As mentioned above, the river is a source of economic livelihood along the river, serving cities and rural areas alike. The areas along the river are subjected to extreme cultivation which can act as a threat to the ecosystems of the river. Notably, this is not a problem that can be associated with the One Bay Area, which is not subjected to intense cultivation. The areas mostly affected by this intense cultivation are the steep slope areas which are the main area for sediment production. Agriculture is the main economic activity in the rural areas along the river basin and the delta, thus conserving the soil around these areas has become a critical part of the sustainable efforts to ensure sustainable agriculture and also controlling the ecosystem.
How the Yangtze River Delta is facing the problem of population increase affecting One Bay Area
One particular problem that the One Bay Area is struggling with is how to curtail human impact mostly due increasing urbanization which places pressures on the area’s ecosystem. In the same manner, the Yangtze River basin has seen a substantial growth in populationdue to the increased dependency on the river as a water source for the cities and also as a water source for irrigation and the like. Curbing with this population boom has proved a challenge for the administration of the river in the same way it has been a challenge for the county government of the SonomaCounty and the administration of Petaluma town(Petaluma groups spreads the word about sustainability). One of the ways, the Chines government has dealt with this population increase is by regulating the number of people that have access to the river, especially in areas where this population is highest. Some of the measures include limiting fishing activities, limiting the intense cultivation, restricting the number of industries that can be built along the river basin and the like(GATEWAY). In some ways, this can be applied to ensure the Bay area is not degraded by increased human activities bore by increased population. For instance, limiting human activities will reduce pollution impact on the Bay, thus aiding and sustaining the ecosystem.
How lessons from Yangtze River Delta could (or could not) be applied to the One Bay Area
As the paper illustrates, the Yangtze River Delta is also facing its sustainability challenges, some of which align with the One Bay Area difficulties and others that do not. Some lessons can be learned from analyzing their efforts. These lessons can be applied to the One Bay Area in the following ways.
- One of the lessons learned is that long-term investments are needed for sustainability efforts, this particular lesson can be applied to the One Bay Area. Research on the management of River Yangtze sustainability efforts illustrates that long-term investment coupled with a framework for management in the long-term are necessities and this can be used by the One Bay Area to improve and extend their efforts.
- Another lesson is that Biodiversity is at the forefront, despite the socioeconomics benefits being paramount through sustainability, facilitating ecological benefits by protecting the habitat should come first as the success of this initiative usually leads to socioeconomic benefits.
- Simultaneous working is another lesson that applies to the One Bay Area, from studying the Yangtze River Basin, it is evident, all the stakeholders including basin authority, regional donors, the public and the like work simultaneously to ensure the success of the sustainability efforts. Application of this to the One Bay Area can be done by providing each section or stakeholder involved in the sustainability efforts is in communication with the other to ensure things work concurrently and successfully.
- Sustainability efforts need to be a political priority; this lesson is cultivated from the inclusion of the Chinese political institution to the sustainability efforts of the Yangtze River Basin. In the same way, if the political leaders of Petaluma undertook sustainability of the river as a priority, sustainability efforts would quicken, and funds would also be available.
GATEWAY. The Yangtze River: A Case Study. 2016. Web. 4 November 2016.
Harris, Jay. Revving Petaluma: Sustainability Circles in Action. February 2016. Web. 4 November 2016.
Lyman, P., and Slyke, Van. The Yangtze, Nature, History, and the River. Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1988. Print.
Paul James, Liam Magee, Andy Scerri, Manfred B. Steger. Sustainability in Theory and Practice. London: Routledge, 2015. Print.
Petaluma groups spread the word about sustainability. 6 August 2016. Web. 4 November 2016.