22 . August .2018Edward Agyeman0 Comments
Importance of Developing Sustainable Communities
Sustainability is important for environmental, social, and economic reasons. Sustainability practices can be integrated into an existing community, but are typically easier to plan and carry out during community development.
An essential part of developing sustainable communities is conservation of energy sources and the use of renewable, clean energy. Making use of solar power, geothermal heating, and cooling systems, and wind energy can significantly reduce a community's reliance on gas, coal, and other forms of energy. For the most cost-effective means of implementing energy conservation practices in a community, planning and construction should take place as early as possible during community development.
According to Keep America Beautiful, Americans generate an estimated 251 million tons of waste every year. By purchasing products packaged with recycled materials, and then electing to recycle, reuse, or compost as much waste as possible, citizens can take a proactive approach to reduce waste. Communities can encourage recycling, employ strategies designed to convert waste to energy, and compost organic materials for use around town.
Promotion of Local Food Sources
Supporting local farmers and encouraging the production and use of locally grown foods benefits the environment and is important for the economic well being of the community. Access to fresh food is essential to sustainable living and overall health. Moreover, when food is available locally, air pollution decreases due to reduced travel, and the community's economy receives a boost.
Development of Public Spaces
Community parks and gardens do more than add beauty to the environment. They provide a safe habitat for native wildlife and encourage physical activity. Community gardens stimulate social interaction, decrease crime rates, reduce heat from parking lots and streets, and encourage continued community development.
Pollution control should be a priority for all developing sustainable communities. There are numerous pollution-control strategies that communities can employ to reduce emissions and pollution, including promoting the use of public transportation or eco-friendly vehicles, constructing sidewalks to encourage foot traffic, and offering incentives to citizens who use green energy sources to power their homes.