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Sustainable living


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Sustainable living encompasses a broad range of aims including the use of renewable resources, energy efficiency, use of public transport, accessible resources and services. Whitehill Bordon is an example of an Ecotown in the UK, given government funding for sustainable measures and Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is an example of a sustainably planned city.

Sustainable cities

Many people are working towards trying to make cities more sustainable [sustainable: Doing something in a way that minimises damage to the environment and avoids using up natural resources, eg by using renewable resources. ]. A sustainable city offers a good quality of life to current residents but doesn't reduce the opportunities for future residents to enjoy.

Key features of a sustainable city

  • Resources and services in the city are accessible to all.
  • Public transport is seen as a viable alternative to cars.
  • Public transport is safe and reliable.
  • Walking and cycling is safe.
  • Areas of open space are safe, accessible and enjoyable.
  • Wherever possible, renewable resources are used instead of non-renewable [non-renewable: A resource that cannot be replaced when it is used up, such as oil, natural gas or coal. ] resources.
  • Waste is seen as a resource and is recycled wherever possible.
  • New homes are energy efficient.
  • There is access to affordable housing.
  • Community links are strong and communities work together to deal with issues such as crime and security.
  • Cultural and social amenities are accessible to all.
  • Inward investment is made to the CBD.

A sustainable city will grow at a sustainable rate and use resources in a sustainable way.

Think of the town or city you live in, or nearby, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Could it be more sustainable?
  • Do people walk, cycle or use public transport rather than cars?
  • Are there enough safe open spaces, services and cultural amenities for everyone?
  • Is there enough investment in the city centre?
  • Is there a strong sense of community?
  • Is waste recycled?
  • Is there affordable housing for everyone?
  • Are homes energy-efficient?
  • Do they use renewable energy?


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