Online Custom «City Sciences» Essay Sample

City Sciences

Introduction

The sustainability of cities and the city life quality is being threatened by the rapid population growth. For the first time, the first decade of the 21st century saw the percentage of the citizens residing in cities passing the 50% mark. Moreover, the number of city dwellers is expected to increase fast through the rest of the century. By 2050, the population of the world could reach roughly 10 billion, and over a half of these people will be living in the cities (The Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2014). For these additional 3 billion to be accommodated, there will be the need for the construction of the equivalent of one new city capable of supporting one million people every five days from now and until 2050 (World Bank, 2010). This will come with many challenges but will also bring in many opportunities for planning, designing, and building better new urban infrastructure. While various cities have previously been developed, they often grow unsystematically with marginally planned design and service delivery, particularly resulting from population increase. To avoid the chaos experienced by the past cities, it is necessary to plan for the future cities and ensure that the designs for these new locations will be flexible, environmentally friendly, respectful to the aspirations of the citizens, capable of responding to cultural changes, and technologically advanced.

Mass urbanization has a potential for leading to social instability, destabilizing the ability of cities to be environmentally sustainable and economically prosperous. It thus calls for a new model of sustainability which is inclusive of more motivations for saving energy, decreasing consumption, and protecting the environment, while also improving the standards of well-being of the people residing there. Future cities should be developed in such a way that there will be a varied environment where commercial and social activities overlay and where societies are engrossed around neighborhoods. The cities have to be enhanced or adjusted to allow their citizens to be productive and creative socially and economically.

Environmental Sustainability

When dealing with the future development of the cities, sustainability considerations are some of the important strategic aspects. The impact of the city activities on the surrounding environment in all its various ecological dimensions, like the quality and quantity of water and erosion of biodiversity among others, is beyond any doubt.

Future cities are to be obliged to serve their populations, combining improved prosperity for everybody with their desired lifestyles. These goals have to be achieved without detriment to persons who live in other areas. For instance, they should not encourage the distribution of carbon emissions through the importation of products manufactured by fossil fuels. This does not imply that the city should not import energy-intensive products from outside its borders. Instead, the energy and contents of imports should be balanced by the means of the exports. Future cities must, therefore, adopt a variety of uses of renewable energy, minimization, and management of waste, use of innovative construction methods, water harvesting and production of food locally among others (Joss, Cowley, & Tomozeiu, 2013).

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Modern technologies like the cohesive smart management controller systems are aimed at facilitating the development of sustainable cities. A key to the achievement of low-carbon cities is the recognition of the best technologies that are available for the purposes of optimizing the performance for various building types, economic and social conditions, and even cultures. A strategic method will be required for the achievement of an ecological city to ensure that it operates efficiently as a whole. However, the planning limits must not be so compacted and inflexible that they prevent different public designs and construction styles from finding their expression (Schaffers et al., 2011).

Japan, for instance, is developing sustainable cities and actively supports the initiatives such as the Kitakyushu Eco-Town project. The implementation of this project is a reaction to the necessity of the reduction of the impact of highly polluting industries that led to the contamination of the local land, sea, and air back in the 1960s. The goal is to reverse this environmental damage by creating a sustainable community through the collaboration of the government, private institutions, and the citizens (Joss et al., 2013).

Cities with increasing urban population will eventually turn to high resource, land, and energy demanding consumers, and therefore they have to be productive to be sustainable. Urban areas that will lack this quality will probably be poor, polluted, and experience an unequitable distribution of resources. Productivity is desired in the developing cities because it increases their competitiveness leading to the prosperity and sustainability of a community. More resourceful cities are capable of increasing production with the current quantities of resources, producing additional income that can improve living standards by use of more reasonable products and services (UN-HABITAT, 2013). The additionally generated income and the city revenue will allow it to offer more and better services such as housing, improved infrastructure, education, and health services among others to its inhabitants.

 
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Cities offer great opportunities for new ideas, interaction, and creativeness among different stakeholders. The geographical concentration of cities helps in the establishment of new knowledge and the spreading of creative concepts and approaches. Cities are some of the most important locations not just for illustration of developing technologies but also for progressive social and cultural institutions. Therefore, there is a chance of capitalizing on the potential of cities to take measures towards the more notable sustainability and efficiency of resources. Also, sustainable development strategies taken at the city level are capable of greatly affecting the natural environment and health, leading to the decline of changes in the environment and greenhouse emissions (SDSN, 2013).

Well-planned and developed cities together with cohesive planning and management methods are able to promote better utilization of socio-economic and environmental means (UN-HABITAT, 2013). The ways in which a city can ensure sustainability will affect its ability to adopt the policy primacies and objectives defined by the socio-economic development and environmental management. The concept of city sustainability also acknowledges the idea that these locations are the complicated networks of interlocked infrastructures that collect resources, accumulate wealth, and dispose of the waste created through consumption (Joss et al., 2013).

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Technological Advancements

As it has been aforementioned, innovative visions are required in the developing cities to ascertain the reduction of the negative effect on the environment. This is possible through the establishment of places that foster the increment of social cohesion, or the acceleration of human interaction in education and employment for the improvement of the quality of life for a big percentage of the population worldwide. The technological improvements should be optimally utilized for the realization of these goals and visions. For example, temperature, traffic, and other elements can be supervised through wireless sensor networks for achieving the maximal efficiency (Hodson & Marvin, 2010). These systems can help in the detection of leaks and electrical energy distribution problem areas fast, markedly saving electricity, water, and other important resources. For the purposes of saving these, cities may consider ordinary initiatives such as the farmer’s markets and community-supported farming. City farming is a simple change as dirt beds can be placed almost anywhere and food is grown locally. The organization of community carpools and the encouragement of individuals to recycle waste and use reusable bags to shop can also make significant impacts. A shocking 75% of solid waste can be recycled, though there are still measures that need to be put in place to boost more recycling because 70% is still disposed of uselessly (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2010).

Cities are important to the future world economy. For example, 41% of the United Kingdom’s population lives in its 10 biggest urban areas (Pointer, 2005). Unfortunately, cities are challenged by climatic, demographic, and population changes, as well as limited resources. In the future, a big market for innovative technologies or strategies to ensure the creation of efficient, attractive, and strong cities will emerge (Riffat, Powell, & Aydin, 2016).

One of the recent researches has concentrated on developing a data network for energy, heat, and chilling usage in urban areas, in home, and for commercial use. There is insufficient information on the quickly changing energy market. Solutions are needed to ensure a better address of price, supply and need of energy in cities. Cities are capable of investing in innovations, providing more concentrated regional support to places where there is a lack of energy supply, and achieving enhanced decision-making proof on matters such as those aimed at infrastructure development and tackling fuel scarceness (European Technology Platform, 2011).

As a reaction to the speedy urban development and problems, future cities have become a persistent issue because of the impacts of global warming issues. This unavoidably needs the identification of priorities and the structuring of new designs and strategies for the improvement of their environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

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Emerging cities should also come up with regional and national policies to guarantee the retention of highly qualified people. Presently, in the developing world, the percentage of cities trying to retain talented and visionary people is surprisingly low. This is a different story in Asia where half of the cities are trying to retain talented workforce. China’s Chongqing has thus come up with an aspiring training program to ensure the transition of rural emigrants from manual to skilled workers. By 2009, almost a third of the emigrants had profited from the program (Phills, Deiglmeier, & Miller, 2008). Dubai is also supporting education, particularly in the areas where information technologies and engineering are widespread (Hodson & Marvin, 2010).

Transport Systems

Effective transportation will play a crucial role in future cities. To overcome increasing traffic problems, future cities will need to be compactly structured with enhanced accessibility, and have a properly-designed transport network. People are already being encouraged to walk and cycle between their homes, places of work, and other locations to improve their health and well-being (Hull, 2008). These self-propelled systems will need to be incorporated into the new future cities to avoid the contemporary challenges of the mix of pedestrians, powered vehicles, and cyclists. For instances and distances where self-propelled travel will be impractical, the cities will need to balance between public transportation, hired vehicles, and personally owned transport means. Different technologies being developed will impose upon the choice made, like self-driving vehicles, electric vehicles, and Aeromobils. Aeromobil is a flying car that incorporates the present infrastructure used for both planes and automobiles. As a car, it has the ability of fitting into any normal parking space, using normal gasoline, and may operate in motorway traffic like a regular small passenger vehicle. When operating like a plane, it has the ability of using any airport worldwide and can land and take off using short paved surfaces (Riffat et al., 2016).

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Without no doubt, safety will be enhanced over the present transport systems. However, a heated debate is needed concerning the freedom of the citizens to own their vehicles as compared to better energy efficient mass transport. Presently, road vehicles are dual purpose and both models can use it but in the future, a difference between intra-city and intercity transport may be made (Banister, 2008).

Traffic and transportation are the increasing problems in cities all over the world. In Europe, individuals waste up to 60 hours in road traffic every year. Their vehicles also play a major role in stimulating global warming through their emission of carbon dioxide in addition to polluting the air through giving off nitrogen oxides and carbon particles. Consequently, traffic management and monitoring systems are presently being used in most big cities and people are being encouraged to use public transportation rather than personal vehicles. Despite some radical measures having been taken, there will yet be the need for further innovation. Maybe future-oriented solutions should no longer be perceived as being the fantasies of engineers but as important tools in avoiding the increment of urban transport problems (Riffat et al., 2016).

There is a considerable amount of pressure on urban transport systems in many developing states as a companion of their swift growth process. The ownership and use of motor vehicles are on the rise with the ownership rate going up to 20% annually in some developing countries. This growth noticeably exceeds the possibility of increasing the road space, creating obstacles to the efficient work of the city economies and contributing to the road traffic congestion. There is a decrease of the travel speeds and a deterioration of the traveling environment for pedestrians and cyclists. The economic performance of the transport sector can be improved through better attention to the needs of logistics and also infrastructural improvements such as privately funded infrastructure where applicable (Kenworthy, 2006).

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Socio-Economic Development and Prosperity

Developing cities should be here for people to find satisfaction of basic needs and have important public goods available. Different products are to be found in adequate quantities, at reasonable prices, with people being able to enjoy their utility. Future cities should also be the places where ambitions, goals and other immaterial facets of human life are realized, offering contentment and happiness in addition to improving the prospects of personal and collective well-being. However, in most emerging cities, prosperity is scarce, limited to certain groups, or enjoyed in certain parts of the city only (UN-HABITAT, 2013).

Low purchase power and defiantly increasing costs are the major determinants of socioeconomic pressures on people minimizing their social subsistence. This situation will turn people from productive and creative persons to those who are merely surviving. Cities that are livable should support inexpensive living choices, provide people with choices of having social status and living standards which are less dependent on fiscal values. Furthermore, future cities should be compactly designed with enhanced accessibility and inclusive of natural habitats to allow biodiversity and socialization of people. The cities should also offer an abundance of public goods and put in place policies or strategies for their safe and sustainable use. Most importantly, the cities should allow equitable access to public services for the purpose of ensuring the comprehensive well-being of their citizens (Glaeser, Resseger, & Tobio, 2008).

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The future city configurations should focus on efficient use of resources and opportunities that are targeted at helping in the achievement of prosperity and the well-being of people. The cities of tomorrow should contribute to the economic growth through productivity, generation of income, and employment that allow good living standards for all people. The cities should also be capable of providing social services such as healthcare, education, and security that are needed for better living standards to enable people to reach a maximum opportunity to lead fulfilling lives. The cities should also be able to reduce poverty and social inequalities as certai categories of the population live in misery and deprivation. Another dimension that the future city should consider in relation to the socio-economic welfare of those inhabiting it is ensuring the protection and preservation of the natural assets to ascertain sustainable urbanization (Riffat et al., 2016).

Future cities have to know that equity has an important effect on socio-economic performances. This is because the higher the level of equity, the more there are chances for a broader, more efficient use of available resources such as skills and creativity (Oyelaran-Oyeyinka & Sampath, 2010). Urban prosperity thrives on equity, which includes the reduction of the barriers on the potential of individuals or groups, expanding opportunities, and the support of human agency (Glaeser et al., 2008). Cities bring about the generation of wealth, but the challenge is its unequal distribution. Despite significant increment in productivity such as GDP per capita together with the decline in extreme poverty, inequality generally is increasing in many parts of the world and this leads to undermining the quality of urban life (Kratke, 2011). In many cities, the population and local social experts agree that inequalities are becoming deeper and this may be a threat for the cities in relation to their sustainability and the welfare of the populace.

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Future cities will require the development of strategic city management that will be derived from the cities’ new perspectives, dreams, innovativeness, and motivation. The effective management of the capitals of the various cities such as social, environmental. Cultural, technical, and financial capital implies the taking of a holistic measure since the capitals are interdependent. To ensure that the cities get to their destinations, they have to be aware of their starting points and to do this, their authorities have to consider some essential strategic questions, recognize their strengths, and aim at eliminating their weak areas (Oyelaran-Oyeyinka & Sampath, 2010).

Conclusion

The subject of future cities employs many strategies to deal with because the urban development challenges facing developing cities. This can incorporate environmental technologies, wide-ranging city development, economic sustainability, and good governance to give developing cities the necessary tools needed for the improvement of the quality of life of their dwellers.

Each city should be capable of developing its own strategic future vision to allow the realization of basic concepts, aiming at the maximization of integrated economic, social, and environmental values. Additionally, urban areas are to deal with the challenges of climate change, population and demographic shift, healthcare provision, overpopulation, and thus pressure on their main resources. In the future, innovative technologies will allow the ration of significant market opportunities to change the present cities into the efficient, beautiful, and resilient conurbations.

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However, the simple application of innovative technologies alone will not assure the combination of sustainability and suitable living standards for emerging cities. There will be the need for good governance and effective management for this to be achieved. This can only be approached through the utilization of technological advancement maximally while also coming up with short and long- term administrative, structural, and developmental strategies for the realization of the desired objectives.

 

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