To What Extent Can Urban Areas Be Sustainable
Urban sustainability is the idea that an urban area can be organised without excessive reliance on the surrounding countryside and be able to power itself with renewable sources of energy. The aim of this is to create the smallest possible environmental footprint and to produce the lowest quantity of pollution possible, to efficiently use land, compost used materials, recycle it or convert waste-to-energy, and to make the urban area overall contribution to climate change minimal. Therefore allowing the next generations and future generations to have the required resources without compromising them.
It is estimated that over 50% of the world’s population now lives in urban areas and that this will rise to 70% by 2050. Such a change will
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Within York a recycling company called ‘yorwaste’ was established, they are a company who see waste a resource that, wherever possible, needs to be recovered, recycled and re-used and invest continually in the latest state-of-the-art technologies to facilitate this recovery. In 2014/15 they diverted 70% of all material handled from going to landfill. Furthermore from the waste they were unable to prevent from going into landfill they produced 53,355 MWh of green electricity from the capture of landfill gas, their landfill sites now have over 9.32MW of electricity generating capacity, this produces enough power to supply almost 20,000 households.
Admittedly this is a significantly smaller scale project to the Curitibia example as York only has a fraction of the population that Curitibia does but it shows that there are possible ways to help urban areas become sustainable in terms of waste management in MEDCs as well as LEDCs.
Another way that sustainability in urban areas can be achieved is through transport management, currently there are over 1.2 billion cars on the road and is expected to surpass 2 billion in 2035. With this large amount of car ownership and usage causes lots of major problems, arguably the largest problem it brings is pollution. One way to combat these issues is to create more