Making eco-cities a reality: Some key dimensions for eco-city development with best practice examples
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Making existing cities and new urban development more ecologically based and more livable is becoming an increasingly mainstream planning objective as cities try to fulfil their local, national and global responsibilities for greater sustainability. The pressures of global climate change and the sceptre of peaking world oil production are two powerful forces at work in cities today. But also at work are a host of other local imperatives to ensure greater ecological orientation in urban development and environmental improvements, better social development of the city and the need to maintain a good economic base for the city. This paper discusses ten critical responses to the issue of eco-city development by way of some useful examples of each response from some cities around the world. A previously developed simple conceptual model involving ten key planning and transport factors for more ecologically based urban development is used as the basis of the chapter. The ten factors cover (1) compact, mixed use urban form, (2) protection of the city's natural areas and food producing capacity, (3) priority to the development of superior public transport systems and conditions for non-motorised modes, with minimal road capacity increases, (4) environmental technologies aiming for closed loop physical systems, (5) well defined higher density, human-oriented centres, (6) a greatly enhanced public realm throughout the city, (7) sustainable urban design principles, (8) economic growth based on creativity and innovation, (9) vision-oriented rather than 'predict and provide planning' and (10) decision making within a sustainability framework involving genuine public engagement. Each one of these pursuits is briefly summarised and illustrated with some examples of best practice from around the world. © 2010 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
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