Two-thirds of the global population is expected to reside in cities by 2050. With cities accounting for more than 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, there is a call for a more sustainable view of city design and planning.

A partner at an award-winning planning and design consultancy states that the resolution exists in ‘circular cities’, conceptualised as living ecosystems that minimise waste, and reduce, reuse and recycle resources as much as feasible.

Stephen Moore, an urban designer and city strategist at the Sydney’s Hatch RobertsDay states that cities work in accordance with a linear model, in which raw materials are applied to make goods, which are subsequently consumed and disposed. Urban planners should think of shifting infrastructure, transport and building design to render them adaptable and resilient.

The design of our communities, he said, should maximise happiness and minimise hardship, developing ideal places that people will treasure. The lens of the people needs to dictate design, said Moore.

Moore states that urban designers and planners require a framework to develop cities that make people and the environment a priority. He suggests four tactics to design a sustainable, circular city model that encourages walkability and accessibility, making pedestrians and cyclists a priority and bringing green spaces, and amenities and jobs; green infrastructure, a network of environmental assets and green spaces in a way that reduces heat, enhances air quality and mitigates waste. Green infrastructure can involve street trees, constructed wetlands and green roofs consisting of vegetation, that also insulate buildings, regulate indoor temperatures and lessen energy consumption; use data and technology and communicate with cities and—through data collection–devise a circular city. Moore states that data mining – assessing raw data to reveal significant meaningful trends – can inspire planning decisions to increase the lifespan of a design and its inclusion in a community; and mobility, making many modes of transport to reduce automotive dependency and encourage ridesharing and public transport.

 

Source: Architecture and Design.Com.Au