In another interesting post from Worldchanging on urban environments:
"Cities hold the key to a sustainable future. If we can build bright green urban communities -- cities with compact neighborhoods, pedestrian-friendly streets, smart places, green buildings, effective transportation and natural systems that intertwine with the built environment -- we suddenly gain a huge lever with which we can roll over a variety of other problems, from energy and water use to consumption and waste. Exploring how to do this has been a major thread on Worldchanging from the beginning.
But a giant gap has opened between what we know is theoretically possible (not only in terms of radical possibilities but of simple best practices) and the cities we're still building. As even well-established cities are constantly changing, this represents a lost opportunity in the developed world: in the emerging megacities of the Global South, many of which are expected to grow threefold (or more) over the next fifty years, our inability to apply better solutions may become disastrous.
Also - see Raquel Pinderhughes' 'Alternative Urban Futures: Planning for Development in Cities Throughout the World' which covers the basic widely-available innovations for dealing with water, energy, transportation waste and food."
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