How New Community Designs Can Propel Us to a Green Future
By Anica Oaks
World organizations are scrambling to conserve natural resources, wedging homes into narrow subdivisions in order to lodge expanding populations. Livable space is being filled with roads that lead into newly erected communities. Over time, wooded areas continue to be replaced by businesses and schools. Still, even with rumors of dwindling resources, researchers are hopeful.
Making Cities Walkable
Developers are looking to 30 of the largest US cities, where nearly half our population resides, for ways of reducing carbon emissions. For now, the most effective solution is the oldest one. Boston is just one city that will become more pedestrian-friendly by receiving additional sidewalks. City planners are already designing infrastructures that will not only make walking areas safer, but also more attractive.
Benefits of Green Spaces
The need to consume and occupy space is as much social as it is material. Trees and fields fall to wider roads and shopping malls in order to function within our social environment. Changing the architectural structure of cities to accommodate the growing population would be impossible to accomplish within the next 30 years. However, environmental workers are looking for ways to transform readily available space into green areas. This much-needed makeover would provide more than just breathable air. In fact, it may help to reduce adverse warming effects caused by heated pavement.
A New Source of Water
Scientist are looking to place specialized plumbing throughout cities that will capture rainwater for treatment and irrigation. Experts at major research universities believe that by draining rain away from them, standing bodies of water will become less polluted. This system also allows for conservation of valuable energy that would typically be required to transport water from large treatment facilities, according to the NRDC.
Rethinking how we view architecture and its uses could vastly reduce energy consumption, improve water efficiency, and enhance waste management. In the past, large buildings were created for their visual appeal, but designers are drafting new concepts intended to limit their use of resources. Students seeking in-person and online engineering courses will play an important role in helping us understand how buildings can become more environmentally efficient.
As a leading producer of carbon dioxide, the US has its work cut out. However, we are making significant strides toward a cleaner, more livable society. Environmental studies is a growing field and leads to a number fields vital to improving the earth.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.