Written by: Nina Lučić and Nina Delić
Students of the Tourism and Hospitality School, 1b
Sustainable cities are cities that focus on environmental protection, social justice, and economic stability. They are important for the sustainable development of the planet because cities are home to the majority of the world’s population. Using different approaches and strategies, cities can become sustainable and thus contribute to creating a better future. Also, every person can help their city to become sustainable by being actively involved in its development and decision-making.
What is sustainable development?
Sustainable development, or balanced development, is an economic development that fully considers the impact of economic activity on the environment and is based on renewable resources.
Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present and does not jeopardize the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The focus of sustainable development is economic, social, and ecological sustainability, which are interconnected. It is important in the modern world, where the rapidly growing demand for natural resources confronts the finite resources of the planet.
What is a sustainable city?
A sustainable city is a complex system that connects the community and the environment into one. It is a city where there are enough places to live, where you can safely get to work by public transport or by bicycle, and where parks are well distributed between buildings. A city that is adaptable and resistant to climate change, and people from different professions work together for the betterment of the community.
Examples of sustainable cities in the world
• LONDON – as much as 40% of London is covered with green space.
• SAN FRANCISCO – the first in America to ban the use of plastic, and they recycle about 77% of waste. Out of 10,000 houses, as many as 13.8% use solar energy. San Francisco is a city you can get around without a car. The city has a well-developed network of buses, trams, and subway, which is known as BART, as well as numerous bike paths and walking paths.
• ZURICH – more than 80% of the electricity they use comes from renewable energy sources, and up to 40% of the city’s waste is recycled.
• COPENHAGEN – all their public transport buses use electricity. Electric bikes can be rented at very reasonable prices, and the roads are adapted to their use, and they hope to become carbon neutral by 2025.
How to help your city become sustainable?
Small actions and changes in our daily life can have a big impact on the sustainability of our city. There are many ways you can help your city become sustainable, some of which include:
• waste recycling
• not throwing waste into the environment
• paying attention to the consumption of water and electricity
• usage of the public transport
• replacing the car with a bike/walk
• support for the local food production
Sustainable cities are key to creating a better and more sustainable tomorrow for our planet. They represent an integral part of the global effort to reduce the negative impact of human activities on the environment, climate, and society. They help us preserve the world, that is, our green and blue surfaces. They provide a pleasant environment to live, work and play, with less impact on the environment and ecologically sustainable resources.
In addition, sustainable cities encourage healthier lifestyles and greater social connectivity. They increase the availability of public transport, cycle paths, and pedestrian zones, which reduces the need to use cars. Also, sustainable cities have lower levels of air and water pollution, which reduces the risk of disease and increases the quality of life of residents.
We believe that the development of sustainable cities is very important for our community and that we should increase interest in encouraging and helping our nature and preserving the environment. Therefore, if you are interested in helping nature for a better tomorrow, you can better inform yourself and influence your city and its sustainability.
Sources: City of Split, Odraz.