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Critical Appraisal of Eco-towns

Discuss about the World Cities and Climate Change.

Sustainable development refers to the strategy that facilitates members of the organization to meet the needs of present by making optimum utilization of the resources. Besides this, it also focuses on meeting the needs of future. Along with this, sustainable development emphasizes on protection of the resources available for the purpose of meeting the future needs. It emphasizes on the use of renewable sources for the purpose of meeting the needs of the world. Sustainable development not only takes into consideration environmental sustainability but also emphasizes on economic and social sustainability. The three pillars of sustainable development include social development, economic development and environmental protection. It focuses  on the protection of the health of people from the pollution cuased by different activities pursued by businesses and organizations (Hodson and Marvin, 2014).

In many countries proper legislations are implemented to ensure the proper health of individuals Along with this, it also facilitates in the access of the basic resources without making sufficient checks on the quality of life. Nowadays, people focus on building sustainable homes by the use of eco-friendly products in order to protect the environment from the pollution. This has a significant impact on the social life of people. Sustainable development practices takes into consideration the use of renewable and recyclable resources in order to protect the environment from hazardous products (Farole and Akinci, 2011).

Nowadays businesses focuses on the use of environment friendly processes and keep a check on the carbon emissions as it results in the occurrence of pollution that has an adverse impact on the lives of people. Companies are using and adopting new technology for the purpose of maintaining the air quality and protection of different eco-system in order to achieve sustainability in the society. This helps in protection of the environment in future from the potential damage caused by different practices. This report emphasizes on the different sustainable practices adopted by three eco-towns in order to provide protection to the lives of people namely Bedzed, North-West Bicester and Masdar City (Bulkeley, et al. 2010).

Bedzed is the first eco-town developed in the UK that focuses on the implementation of the sustainable practices for the purpose of the development of low carbon living in a residential area. The designing of the eco-town was completed in the year 2002-2003 in London. It is build on the concept of low energy emission due to which the usage of cars is discouraged in the eco-town. In this eco-town, there is an establishment of a large number of solar panels in order to make a use of renewable sources of energy in order to maintain the sustainable development. Besides this, there is also a use of tree wastes which helps in provision of electricity and district heating. The company finds difficulty in the use of gasifiers due to the presence of different technical problems. In addition to this, a living machine is installed which helps in storing and recycling of rain water which can be used by the residents. There is also a use of renewable resources procured from nearby locations for the purpose of building and construction which also results in the reduction of energy consumed in transportation (Bulkeley, et al. 2010).

Bedzed

Besides this, residents are encouraged to use car sharing or environmental friendly strategies to car ownership. It gives emphasis on the use of electric or liquefied petroleum gas cars for the transportation in place of petrol run cars. Besides this, implementation of sustainable practices in Bedzed eco-town results in the reduction in the consumption of hot water, space heating requirements, mains-water consumption, car mileage and consumption of electric power (Booth et al. 2011).

Besides this, North-West Bicester is also a first eco-town build in UK under central government’s eco-town Planning Policy Statement. It is the first eco-town that fulfills all the original requirement of the policy statement. This project encourages investment and become a source of providing jobs and homes to the people of the town. This eco-town provides safe environment and desirable homes that fulfills the needs of the people in town.  In this eco-town, there is an implementation of solar panels and an area of seating and playing in the community streets. There is also an availability of garages with green roofs and an establishment of energy center with solar panels (Zeeuw and Drechsel, 2015).

This encourages sustainable development of the eco-town as the activities and features involved in eco-town have a significant impact on the lives of people.  This eco-town provides large number of eco-homes to people residing in the town. This eco-town provides affordable homes to families and provides different jobs to people residing in the town. The existence of the play area provides good opportunity to children to play safely in the eco-town. This eco-town provides 6000 inhabitants on agricultural land with the existence of different facilities namely green infrastructure, green transport water efficient and net gain for biodiversity (Ermacora and Bullivant, 2016).

This eco-town has 274 private homes, 119 affordable homes, community centre, eco-pub and a primary school for children. It also include an energy center with housing built and district heating to zero carbon standards. This eco-town is located in Oxfordshire in England. This eco-town is near by the M40 motorway which has accommodated the development. There is an occurrence of innovation in the design and construction on the basis of traditional architectural influences which has been considered economic viable (Wong and Yuen, 2011).

In addition to this, Masdar city is the first zero carbon eco-town build in UAE. The economy of UAE is heavily dependent on fossil fuels. For the purpose of diversify the economy from fossil fuels, the country plans to build a sustainable city with its first green ghost town. The Masdar city is not close to zero greenhouse gas emissions The company does not include the implementation of a renewable energy only for the purpose of shoe horn and complete the boundary of sustainable development but has a plan to design the city in such a manner that there is an occurrence of zero limit greenhouse gas emissions in the city. The construction of Masdar city is started in the year 2006, when it is considered that it is the model for green mixed use urban landscape and considered as a global hub for clean-tech industry. It also includes designing of a car free space with electric cars with driverless style by the use of new technologies (Howlett, Jain and Lee, 2010). Besides this, an investment company of Abu-Dhabi has planned to provide $22 billion for experiment in urban design. Along with this, there is also an establishment of Teflon-coated wind tower that results in channelizing cool wind towards shaded area in the form of grocery store, bank coffee shops, canteen and post office(Syms, 2010).

North-West Bicester

Besides this, there is also an existence of 300 firms apart from the above mentioned facilities which helps in diversifying the revenue generated from different activities carried out by the companies. There is a use of only one-third of the total energy by the buildings in Abu-Dhabi due to use of high efficiency elevators and air tight insulations. A rejection has been made for the use of overhead lamps in place of which natural lighting and solar water heaters are installed on the roof (Goodchild, 2008).  There are different companies which emphasizes on making optimum utilization of the renewable energy resources for the purpose of promoting green building standards for the purpose of implementing sustainable practices which has a significant impact on the lives of people associated with it. The occupancy rate is low as approximately 2000 people work on campus and approximately 300 students get free tuition and accommodation in the eco-town (House of Commons, 2008).

There is an existence of autonomous transport system where the bikes are shared and results in the reduction in the carbon emission in the town. In the Masdar city, there is a formation of the solar farm for the purpose of building renewable energy usage in the city. There is a supply of energy in large quantity as compared to its demand in the city. This results in provision of cost effective method of providing and producing clean energy in the Masdar city. Investors are attracted towards non-oil sectors as there is an occurrence of low oil prices and depletion of the oil reserves in the country. Nowadays, approximately 70% of the GDP of the country accounts for non-oil sectors (Scholl, 2011).

The Bedzed eco-town is developed in South London in UK. It is developed the low carbon living in the year 2002 in the residential environment. There is an implementation of solar panels in the town as this is the renewable source and results in providing low cost energy to the residents of the town. Besides this, there is also a use of tree wastes for generating energy for the purpose of providing electricity and heat energy. In addition to this, there is a use high quality renewable resource for the purpose of constructing a building. The gasifier is not used in an effective manner due to occurrence of implementation problems in the town. Houses are built with their faces towards south so that residents can take advantage of solar panels in an effective manner. Besides this, the eco-town encourages the use of electric cars or liquefied petroleum gas cars in order to reduce the carbon emission in the eco-town (Smith, 2009).

Masdar City

In addition to this, there is also an installation of recycling stations that encourage recycling of the wastes collected from different residential places and used to generate energy that can be used by residents. Along with this, rain water is collected and recycled for the purpose of usage by the residents in different activities. This helps in creation of the sustainable development of the society in terms of economy and society. This has a positive impact on the lives of the individuals residing in the eco-town. The eco-town is viable from all the three perspectives i.e. social, economical and environmental. The use of renewable resources in place of other non-renewable and fossil fuels results in the reduction of the carbon emission and overall cost to be incurred by the residents (Hodson, 2010).

This also helps in providing healthy living to different individuals. In the eco-town, there is a provision of the agreement with different car sharing operators and city car club in order to provide alternative which is environment friendly in comparison to petrol fuelled cars. Along with this, the eco-town in order to provide sustainable practices encourage the use of cycles, public transport, car sharing and walking as it has a limited space for parking. On the other hand, the North-West Bicester has developed the eco-town that protects the green spaces wildlife and habitats and results in moving from one place to another without a car. This eco-town has a primary school, play area for children and install solar panels and farms to reduce the carbon emissions in the region as it has a significant impact on the lives of people residing in the town (Rydin, 2012).

The town has a bike sharing station for the purpose of reducing the level of carbon emission in the town.  There is a presence of zero carbon emission in the town. The eco-town has adopted to the changes taking place in the climate making it less vulnerable for the future generations. The eco-town has achieved the level 4 of the code for sustainable homes by providing affordable housing and real time energy monitoring systems for the purpose of achieving high energy efficiency in the fabric of the building (Cullingworth, et al. 2014). The means of transportation to which the eco-town gives priority includes walking, cycling and public transport. The main reason behind it is that it facilitates in reducing the level of carbon emission in the town and provide pollution free environment to residents so that they become healthy and has a healthy future generations. Approximately half of the total area of eco-town is allocated to green space in order to provide clean air and maintain its quality in the eco-town (Wilson and Piper, 2010).

In contrast to this, Masdar city is established to diversify the economy from fossil fuels to no –oil sectors. It is a zero carbon city due to presence of low emissions of greenhouse gases in the town due to use of solar panels, and car sharing. It is established in the year 2006 to create a model of green mixed use urban landscape. There is a usage of electric cars, walking, cycling to go from one place to another within the eco-town.  The project of this eco-town is yet to be completed. There is an implementation of the 45 meter Teflon wind tower which helps in channelizing the cool breeze in a shaded street which is equipped with several commercial settings such as canteen, bank, coffee shops, grocery store and post office. The building uses only one third of the energy due to the use of air tight insulation and high efficiency elevators. There is an implementation of the natural lighting by the use of solar water heaters on the roofs (Jones and Evans, 2013).

The development strategy for Oman Eco-towns includes promotion of sustainable development by provision of good quality of green space in the natural environment. The eco-town will be developed in the urban area of Muscat in Oman. The site will be green-field as it results in the development of residential eco-town. The business model used will be bedzed and north west bicester. Besides this, promotion of healthy and sustainable environments through different sustainable practices helps in reducing the carbon footprint in the eco-town and helps in providing healthy social environment to the residents.  There is also a use of best technologies for the purpose of generation of the energy used for the purpose of economic development. In addition to this, it also helps in taking advantage related to economies of scale and increase in the value of land in Oman (Tallon, 2013). This is due to the use of new technology and infrastructure used to provide community, transport and energy facilities. The eco-towns should respond to the existed challenges and opportunities related to locations and community aspirations in an effective manner. The location of the eco-town should be of sufficient size and make use of renewable sources of energy to fulfill the needs of the residents. These characteristics facilitates in making the project in Muscat commercial viable for the company (Yudelson, 2012).

Conclusion

It can be concluded that there should be a use of the available resources in an optimum manner for the purpose of meeting the needs of the present as well as future generations. This report focuses on the activities carried out in three eco- towns located at different locations namely Bedzed, North-West Bicester and Masdar City. It can also be concluded that all the three eco-towns are differentiated in terms of sustainable practices carried out in the eco-towns. There is an installation of solar panels and other renewable resources in order to reduce the carbon footprint in the eco-town. Besides this, there is a use of car sharing, walking and cycling as a means of transport due to availability of limited space for parking.

References

Booth, C.A., et al. 2011. Solutions for Climate Change Challenges in the Built Environment. John Wiley & Sons.

Bulkeley, H., et al. 2010. Cities and Low Carbon Transitions. Routledge.

Cullingworth, B., et al. 2014. Town and Country Planning in the UK. Routledge.

Ermacora, T. and Bullivant, L. 2016. Recoded City: Co-Creating Urban Futures. Routledge.

Farole, T. and Akinci, G. 2011. Special Economic Zones: Progress, Emerging Challenges, and Future Directions. World Bank Publications.

Goodchild, B. 2008. Homes, Cities and Neighbourhoods: Planning and the Residential Landscapes of Modern Britain. Ashgate Publishing.

Hodson, M. 2010. World Cities and Climate Change: Producing Urban Ecological Security. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Hodson, M. and Marvin, S. 2014. After Sustainable Cities? Routledge.

House of Commons. 2008. Greener Homes for the Future?: An Environmental Analysis of the Government's House-building Plans; Twelfth Report of Session 2007-08; Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence. The Stationery Office.

Howlett, R.J., Jain, L.C. and Lee, S.H. 2010. Sustainability in Energy and Buildings: Results of the Second International Conference in Sustainability in Energy and Buildings (SEB'10). Springer Science & Business Media.

Jones, P. and Evans, J. 2013. Urban Regeneration in the UK: Boom, Bust and Recovery. Sage.

Rydin, Y. 2012. Governing for Sustainable Urban Development. Routledge.

Scholl, B. 2011. SAPONI, Spaces and Projects of National Importance. vdf Hochschulverlag AG.

Smith, P.F. 2009. Building for a Changing Climate: The Challenge for Construction, Planning and Energy. Earthscan.

Syms, P. 2010. Land, Development and Design. John Wiley & Sons.

Tallon, A. 2013. Urban Regeneration in the UK. Routledge.

Wilson, E. and Piper, J. 2010. Spatial Planning and Climate Change. Routledge.

Wong, T.C. and Yuen, B. 2011. Eco-city Planning: Policies, Practice and Design. Springer Science & Business Media.

Yudelson, J. 2012. Green Building Trends: Europe. Island Press.

Zeeuw, H.D. and Drechsel, P. 2015. Cities and Agriculture: Developing Resilient Urban Food Systems. Routledge.

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