How Urban Environments Has Made More Sustainable And What More Needs Be Done For The Future?

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How Have Urban Environments Been Made More Sustainable And What More Needs To Be Done for the Future?

The National Geographic Education define an urban environment as, ‘the region surrounding a city. Urban areas are very developed, meaning there is a density of human structures such as houses, commercial buildings, roads, bridges, and railways.(1)’ The International Institute for Sustainable Development define sustainable development as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (2)’ In 2014, approximately 54%(3) of the total global population live in urban environments. The global urban population has grown significantly from 34% in 1960(3)
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The provision of affordable mass transit provides residents of urban areas greater accessibility, which can provide them with more opportunities and services. Furthermore, with the provision of a successful transport system, it is highly likely for the number of people using personal vehicles to fall. This fall in the use of cars would mean that less harmful gases such as Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxide and Sulphur Dioxide released and so the natural environment would benefit. With a successful transport system, accessibility is greatly improved, which can be beneficial economically for a city. People are able to travel to and from work and the transport can also be used for trading goods and services. However, current mass transit is unsustainable in urban cities due to its reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels and the pollution it creates has a significant impact on the environment. Currently, transport is accountable for 20%-25% of world’s energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions(1) and the current systems mostly run on fossil fuels, which are expected to run out by 2088 according to ecotricity(2). In order to improve the sustainability of an urban area, the transport systems, which need to be in place for economic and social reasons, need to become greener, cleaner and run on renewable energy. Current technology is not currently in place to allow for this significant change and so gradual changes have been introduced in some of the world cities.

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