To What Extent Can Urban Areas Be Sustainable

1681 Words Mar 14th, 2016 7 Pages
Urban sustainability is the idea that an urban area can be organised without excessive reliance on the surrounding countryside and be able to power itself with renewable sources of energy. The aim of this is to create the smallest possible environmental footprint and to produce the lowest quantity of pollution possible, to efficiently use land, compost used materials, recycle it or convert waste-to-energy, and to make the urban area overall contribution to climate change minimal. Therefore allowing the next generations and future generations to have the required resources without compromising them.

It is estimated that over 50% of the world’s population now lives in urban areas and that this will rise to 70% by 2050. Such a change will
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Curitiba recycles 2/3 of its household waste this figure is one of the highest in the world. The recycling plants are made up of recycled material and employ people who find it hard to get jobs for example immigrants and disabled people, this makes the employees feel valued and it helps to improve the lives.

Colour co-ordinating teams collect the waste that has been separated in inorganic and organic waste. It is then sorted and sent out to other recycling plants to process. Cans are recycled at the fraction of the cost of producing new ones. There are also special teams, which go out and collect very large items, which would be too difficult and possibly expensive for someone to try and recycle themselves so would be fly tipped as a result.

The green exchange was introduced in Curitiba in 1990, this scheme was to encourage the poor to recycle their waste in return for food produce or bus transport tickets. This has proved to be a valuable service for the poor as they live in areas, which are hard for the recycling team to access. They deliver their waste to a waste station and in return for their rubbish they can be exchanged for bus tickets, food, and school-books, this system was a great success and saw Participation among Curitiba households reached 70% in the 1990s. Curitiba’s strategy turned waste into a resource, thereby unleashing a range of positives. The widespread problem of…