Approximately half of the world’s population lives in cities where around sixty percent of the energy consumption occurs. It is anticipated that the urban population growth will continue to unprecedented levels in the next number of years, and there is a serious focus change that needs to occur in urban planning. The highest priority that is being brought to the attention of city planners is the concept of green building. This will be a requirement to accommodate the energy needs for a growing population.
Sustainable energy in a city environment encompasses many challenges that smaller communities don’t face. Most notably is the denser community area that often combines business and residential combinations. City officials need to take green building to a different level through the use of retrofitting existing buildings and a complete makeover in the manner in which they plan new construction. Intelligent smart grids will bring a higher level of energy efficiency and should be combined with integrated approaches with waste and renewable energy sources. This may seem like a tall order to accomplish, but cities around the globe are already tackling and accomplishing just these changes.
Transportation is a key element in the urban environment and is one of the highest contributors to carbon gas emissions. This includes public as well as private transportation, and requires a change in transition of the infrastructure to complete energy efficient alternatives.
Investment and transparency are two of the initiatives that will help move green building into the right direction and will assist in a more universal attraction and approach. Urban planning is already taking a reversal from the older ‘simply build it’ attitude to a new green building and nature friendly arena. It is now a requirement to not only bring a well planned concept to the table, but one that is sustainable for the city and the health and well being of those that reside there.
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