Overview of Eco Cities
By 2011, there were over 170 eco city projects and initiations around the world. In China alone there are over 100 eco city projects. However, not all of them are successful, and some are barely inhabited. It is important to look at the best and worst cases to squizz the best experiences and enrich our lives regarding sustainability and eco-friendly development.
We have covered before the Swedish examples of eco-city Malmö and reimbursed eco-district of Stockholm Hammarby. They are valuable benchmarks when analyzing the eco-city structure and possibilities. Taking into account, that Scandinavia has been superior in ecological and environmental support, one has to see what opportunities are open for the whole globe.
Sun waves with
Eco City is not only about the energy but the comfort for the citizens. The smart solutions of the architects turn the ambitious eco city Masdar located in the Abu Dhabi desert into a cool oasis. The 45-meters tall wind turbine ventilates the air in the city absorbing the heat from the streets and blowing the cooling breeze instead. The developers have raised the whole site above the ground to decrease the heat impact of the land. Masdar is a carbon free city with almost no cars around. All the vehicles available in the city are solar powered. Using the advantage of the location, the solar farms have been installed next to the city providing it with 100 percent renewable energy. As a rule, the waste handling is the priority: 80% of water is recycled, and grey water is used for irrigation.
Being in the middle of the dessert does not strike you to see much greenery. Nevertheless, Masdar is full of trees and plants which are cooled and hydrated with the vaporizers here and there. The site turned out to be an expensive real estate investment, as the demand for the inhabiting the dream city is growing.
The pearl of
“The City of the Future", “The World’s Smartest City”, “Korea’s High-Tech Utopia”, Songdo has already impressed the world to come up with the nicknames. The home for more than 60 thousand people, Songdo isan ubiquitous city featuring an assemblage of smart tech features. Cooperating with the Cisco, city tests and experiments future technologies of communication, internet of things and other digital solutions.
By Park Sang-moon
You will not find a trash can here: there are waste tubes directed straight to the waste recycling centre. The parkland territory occupies amazing 40 percent of the city combined with bike ways and pedestrian roads through the city. Nevertheless, the design of the Songdo is futuristic. Tall buildings with a glancing surface are rising straight from the greenery. The city has an outdoor shopping mall, golf field, tennis courts, and other numerous ventures to engage citizens in active lifestyle.
American dream of
United States have many institutes devoted to the green ecological development, LEED and Energy Star for example. Renewable initiatives are spread widely across the country. One of the most valuable ones is the large solar plant in Monterey, California. Real estate put the eco city idea ahead rebuilding existing areas while new cities are paused with no future notice.
The commercial eco city project of the Pugliese company has been buried under the disputed of the developers before the stage of the city design. The eco city was supposed to be the America's first eco-sustainable city spread 100 square kilometers in central Florida. It was one of the 16 founding projects of the Clinton Climate Initiative's Climate Positive Development Program announced in 2009. The City of Destiny was to inhabit 250 000 people with 10 000 residential units. In the introductory video, Bill Clinton promises the city to produce more energy than it uses, turn waste into heat and power, promote bicycling and walking among the citizens, along with others principals of the ideal eco city. The plan was to create the International Technology Center in the city to provide the constant research and development of clean technologies and sustainable lifestyle. Besides, the City of Destiny had to feature energy research park; NexGen Airport, with a mixed-use terminal; and Florida’s first E-Station, a 6,000-square-foot refueling station that will include electric automobile charging stations, along with a solar and geothermal “green-mart” convenience store. However, unfortunately for America, the project has never been moved from the starting point staying the dream of the American ecotopia.
and fossil fuels dependency
While building new eco cities have been trouble, the US is moving toward eco-sustainability by reimbursement of the existing sites. In Cleveland, Ohio, the collective cooperation between the city, regional transit authority and private actors, succeeds in the green redevelopment of established city. The EcoVillage is the national project, a part of the implementation of international action plan Agenda 21, the product of the Earth Summit in 1992. Cleveland has set a goal to reduce the greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050. Step number one was to reconstruct or build new housing according to the green principles. The city offers a retrofitting program for middle-income households. Moreover, EcoVillage community engages in urban farming and holds meetings to discuss the improvements in the city itself and habits of citizens. Step number two is the provision of 100% of renewable energy by building nine fresh water turbines on the Lake Erie. And they do not undervalue the importance of active mobility like bicycling and walking. By 2017, Cleveland is to double the bikeway roads and engage inhabitants in developing the healthy activities. EcoVillage is not just the green, eco-friendly place to live. EcoVillage is the development of new mentality and sustainable living.
The downtown of Evanston, Illinois, strikes by the absence of cars. The smart city transportation plan has reduced the need for the private vehicles as the longest distance between two rail lines not further away than 10-minutes walk. Moreover, the efficient bus routes connections make the public commute pleasurable and easy. Evanston has proved that there are ways to transform the car-centric downtown in the pedestrian ruled area.
Eco cities are designed first of all to inhabit a lot of citizens with the minimal impact on nature. Providing more renewable energy than consume and repurpose the waste is one of the main goals to achieve. However, all the efforts are done for nothing if the human mentality won't change. Eco cities develop the social programs to evoke the individual environmental responsibility. Even with the most efficient public transport commute, not everyone will give up the luxury of a private vehicle, unless they are committed. The rising number of Eco Cities proves the readiness of humanity for new beginning.