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Sustainable Cities Notes

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G4: GEOGRAPHY REVISION Theme 3: Sustainable Cities Sustainability
 It is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs What does it encompass?

• Resource conservation

• Respect for environmental quality

• Achieving equity through social justice

• Empowerment and community participation in political decision making

• Harmonising of built developments with the natural environment THREE-LEGGED STOOL: Environmental, social, economic Sustainability Quadrant

1. Futility based on the Brundtland commission

2. Environment

3. Public participation based on small scale localised strategies

4. Equity and social justice with proper strategies What has been done toward sustainability as different levels?

• International/global
- Protocols, treaties, conventions
- International legislation e.g. emission caps
- Aid organisations
- Trade organisations

• Nationally
- Policies and plans
- Legislation
- Taxation

• NGO's
- Non-governmental organisations
- Plans for sustainability

• Locally
- Authorities- education
- Environmental policies
- International council for local environment initiatives Challenges of Sustainable Development

• Resources are essential to economic and social development

• Production and consumption produces waste

• National states with different interests

• Poverty

• World inequality


What does this mean for cities?

• The Sustainable Cities Programme is a concept established by UN-HABITAT and UNEP

• Based on three strands 1) Environmentally sustainable urbanisation 2) Economic sustainability of urban areas 3) Social justice leading to equal access to facilities and services
 Need to move from expert led technocratic planning to stake holder and community led planning What is a sustainable city?
 A city that works so well that all its citizens are able to meet their own needs without endangering the wellbeing of the natural world, or the living conditions of other people now or in the future

How can cities throughout the world be classified?

Vary in population size Areal extent

Cities - large settlements that depend on commerce, manufacturing and services Conurbations - urban areas that have gradually fused together yet maintain different centres Meta-conurbations - bands of contiguous urbanisation e.g. European Blue Banana Megacities - more than 10 million people, centres of global economy, e.g. London, New York, Tokyo It could be

• Size of population employed in tertiary employment

• Areal extent

• Extent of redevelopment/new areas to accommodate business

• Size of younger population

• Number of private vehicles Rate of Growth

• In MEDCs many major cities have maintained a fairly stable population for a long time, growing only slowly or even losing population

• Population growth occurred alongside industrialisation

• Cities in LEDCs have seen rapid growth from rural to urban migration and natural increase Urbanisation

Global variation in urbanisation rates

• Less developed urban areas have expanded a lot over last 20 years, projected to keep rising by 2030

• More developed urban areas are gradually increasing in population, projected to reachk 8000 million by 2030

• Higher urbanisation rates in LEDCs Urbanisation is described as a different process in sub-Saharan Africa

• Least urbanised region in the world

• Urban pop. As by as North America's

• Pace of urban growth tapered off

• Urbanisation in sub-Saharan Frica
- Smaller cities
- Low pop. Density
- High prevalence of circular/repeat migration
- Links to HIV/AIDS
 Primary influences: drought, famine, ethnic conflicts, civil strife and war

• Many cities have lost their traditional health and social advantages over their rural counterparts

• Impoverish cities = counter urbanisation (unusual for LEDCs) Policy makers are against continued urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa

• People living in rural poverty are less concentrated, less visible and less volatile

• Lack the potential for mass mobilization and urgent political demands typical of the urban poor Scale of urbanisation in the Asia-Pacific Region

• Largest and richest economies and smallest and poorest too

• Home to 3/5's of the world's population

• Owns half of the world total urban pop.

• 11 of the 20 largest cities in the world

• Asia-Pacific's urban population has increased by 5 times since 1950, yet levels of urbanisation are low in all but few countries The Urbanisation Process China

Size of urban pop. Controlled between 1949-978 City life was the privilege of a minority Economic policies = migration to urban centre in special economic zones Migration restrictions slacked Official bias against cities declines (became engine of China's economy) Peak urban transition = now


Urban areas hold less than 30% of total pop. Expected to rise to 40% by 2030 WHY?
- Stringent definition of 'urban' in India
- Excludes periphery urban areas Indian policy makers hope to further retard urban growth by implementing the National Rural Employment Scheme 2005
- Government provides legal guarantee for 100 days of employment in every financial year
- For every rural household Natural increase = major factor in India's urban growth Intangible advantages in cities

Level of Development

• MEDCs - some cities have developed over centuries and are very different from those in LEDCs

• New forms of cities are emerging as a result of a high level of affluence, personal transport and communication

• LEDCs often have a large proportion living in informal settlement
- 40% households in poverty in African cities
- 25-50% live in informal settlements
- Less than 35% have access to treated waste water = diseases
- 1.2 billion have no access to clean water One way of measuring distribution of income in a city is the Gini index

• 0 = perfect equality

• 1 = absolute inequality

What pressures currently confront cities and how are they changing?

What attempts have been made to find sustainable solutions to problems made by cities?
Four challenges:

1.) Transport and Communications

2.) Areal Extent

3.) Disparities of Wealth

4.) Quality of the Environment

Pressures vary depending on level of development MEDCs usually face less severe and less extensive problems Sustainable solutions created in many cities Some are transferable

(1) Transport and Communications Summary Environment

• Air pollution

• Noise

• Visual

• Loss of land for road and car parks Economic

• Congestion

• Time wasted in traffic and parking

• Cost of building and maintaining transport networks


• Dancer of accidents

• Health problems

• Destruction of property for road networks

• Damage to foundations caused by traffic vibration

• Overcrowding

• Stress

Transport Emissions

• Nitrous Oxides (smog)
- Lethal especially in cities surrounded by hills e.g. Mexico City
- Photochemical smog
- Worse in summer due to high pressure = traps air
- Choking
- Hazardous to plants and animals

• Ozone
- Toxins from vehicle exhausts
- Hay fever like symptoms
- Asthma

• Carbon Monoxide
- Incomplete combustion of fuels
- Headaches, fatigue, even death

• Sulphur Dioxide
- Car exhausts

- Asthma

• Suspended Particulates
- Irritate respiratory system
¶ City emissions may affect the countryside too- acid rain Urban Transport Problems
¶ Traffic congestion and parking difficulties
- Increased demand of transport infrastructures
- Infrastructure unable to keep up with growth of mobility
- Demands for parking spaces
- Space consumption problems
- Spatial imprint of parked vehicles
- Surface run off, flood risk
¶ Public transport inadequacy
- Crowdedness = discomfort
- Low ridership makes services financially unsustainable
- Most public transit systems don't generate enough money
¶ Loss of public space
- Traffics = adverse impacts on public activities
- Markets and public events gone
- These activities have shifted to shopping malls
- Traffic flows influence residential interactions
- High traffic = less walking and cycling
¶ Environmental impacts and energy consumption
- Pollution
- Noise
- Quality of life
- Health
- Energy consumption
- Increased dependency on petroleum
¶ Accidents and safety
- MEDCS highway codes
- 1000's deaths
- Less pedestrians
¶ Land consumption
- 30-60% of metropolitan area devoted to transportation Automobile Dependency

Advantages: comfort, speed, convenience Factors contributing to growth of driving
- Under-pricing and consumer choices
- Planning and investment practices Different levels of dependency Powerful symbol of modernity and development

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