THE THREE PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY

MONDAY, MARCH 08, 2021
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Author | Eduardo Bravo

In 1987, the Brundtland report first used the term “sustainable development” as an alternative to the economic system implemented in most countries around the world and which, unlike that system, seeks to meet current needs without compromising the future of future generations.

Five years later, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 defined this idea in more detail and established a detailed plan of action, Project XXI, which set three areas on which global, national, and local authorities had to work in order to establish that sustainable development.

THE THREE PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY
The three principles of sustainability:

According to the Rio summit, those three pillars would be:

Social equity: covering aspects such as education, health, personal safety, and leisure. The aim is to maintain social cohesion and it relates to respecting the environment and the economic resources of the place.
Economic feasibility: a productive system must meet the needs of that society without jeopardizing the natural resources and wellbeing of future generations. Therefore, its application will be closely related to the needs of the population and environmental limits.
Environmental protection: in order to exploit natural resources without exhausting them and contributing to their recovery for subsequent uses, special environmental protection is required which, as occurred in previous cases, must also take into account the needs of the population and the economic resources of the society in which they are applied.
ELEMENTS OF THE SECOND ORDER OF SUSTAINABILITY
The three principles of sustainability

The main complexity in terms of implementing these concepts is that they cannot be applied independently, but rather they must be combined together.

This leads to the second level of ideas that put the main ones into context:

Supportable: the ratio between the actions aimed at respecting the environment and implementing social measures must be balanced.
Feasible: the respect for the environment and economic development must be possible, pragmatic, and away from unrealistic and unachievable objectives, in order to continue gradually achieving objectives.
Fair: the ratio between economic development and social benefits must satisfy both parties, who must receive in accordance with their requirements and provide in accordance with their possibilities.
HOW CAN YOU PLAN A SUSTAINABLE CITY?
One of the scenarios in which the three principles of sustainability and their derivatives must be applied are cities. A sustainable urban environment shall be one which, among other aspects, takes into account population density, avoiding extremely overcrowded territories and uninhabited places since only by doing this will infrastructures be able to be efficient and financially viable.

Furthermore, both in newly built cities and in historic cities, these infrastructures must be planned in a way that districts allow mixed uses in which commercial retail office and/or residential housing, schools, parks, and leisure spaces come together. This will prevent the so-called commuter towns from being created while also reducing distances, optimizing the use of public transport, reducing pollution, and favoring recycling policies and waste management.

Lastly, the economic activity must contribute to social cohesion through work-life balance policies, support for continuous development, and other aspects that contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of inhabitants, without forgetting its commitment to environmental improvements.

HOW TO MAKE A CHARACTERISTICS OF A PLACE

Pl

Place studies

Character of a place refers to the physical and human geographic characteristics that distinguish a particular place. Since these features can change over time the character of a place can change over time, too.

Place studies must apply the knowledge acquired through engagement with prescribed specification content and thereby further enhance understanding of the way students’ own lives and those of others are affected by continuity and change in the nature of places. Sources must include qualitative and quantitative data to represent places in the past and present. If possible, students can also conduct fieldwork in their local area. Depending on your location, students may observe examples of urban expansion and the environmental changes that occur in the form of newly created subdivisions, residential apartment developments and business service development. These are such things as: shopping centres; office complexes; business parks or office towers; road and rail infrastructure or additional amenities such as schools and parks.

Suitable data sources could include:

  • statistics, maps
  • geo-located data
  • geospatial data, including geographic information systems (GIS) applications
  • photographs
  • text, from varied media
  • audio-visual media
  • artistic representations
  • oral sources, such as interviews

 

Abiotic environmental factors. All components of inanimate nature are included. They are the landforms and rocks  the sunlight, temperature, relative humidity and other components of the climate and the environment, such as soil aeration, soil fertility, natural radiation, etc.

Biotic environmental factors. This is the totality of the impact of the vital activity of some organisms on the existence and development of other organisms. Some organisms serve as food for other organisms. Plants (producers) serve as food for herbivores (first-order consumers). They, in turn, serve as food for predators (second-order consumers). Or some organisms are the habitat of other organisms (host – parasite).

Anthropogenic environmental factors. The set of human activities that cause a change in the environment. One of the consequences of the impact of anthropogenic factors is the change in the habitats of organisms, which threatens their existence. The history of mankind is the history of his labor. Its beginning is hunting followed by the emergence of agriculture, industry, transport, etc., which leads to a strong change in the nature of the Earth. These modifications have an impact on human health and economic activity. This raises the problem of environmental protection through the rationalization of human activity and, above all, the rational use of natural resources. The identification of anthropogenic factors as a kind of ecological factors makes sense of the connection of ecology with environmental protection and gives this science an applied character in various terms – geoecology, engineering geoecology, agroecology, medical ecology and others.

 

ace studies

OUR JANUARY ONLINE CONFRERNCE

On the 23rd of January, we conducted an online conference with partners from Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. There were 53 persons – teachers and students that attended the conference. We had a plan that has been published in advance. Firstly, we had to show the work that has been done during the last two months. Students have prepared their presentations about their countries, towns, and schools. The approaches were different. The facts and pictures were interesting and picturesque. We became aware of the fact that every country is unique and has something to tell us. This is why we wished harder to go there and see all these beauties because everywhere one can see a piece of paradise. Everybody had done their best to present the school, their city, and their countries. Our next task was to vote for the project logo and motto. The winner was the Bulgarian team. Here you can see the chosen logo. And the motto is: “Bring nature into cities with IT!” The other suggestions are on the Facebook profile-

https://www.facebook.com/futuregreen.cities

We were shown two educational presentations about how to make electronic maps of our cities and how to work with the Cisco academy. And at the end, we discussed our future tasks on the project. I think this conference was very useful and successful.

PROJECT SUMMARY

Summary

By 2030, 60 percent of the world population will live in mega-cities. Using data and electronic sensors is often referred to as building “smart cities,” which are the subject of a major global push to improve how cities function. Technology has the power to help people get integrated, be more responsive, and improve their lives. What we need is to contribute to the attractively green and friendly environment in the cities. We acknowledge that students of today are the adults of tomorrow most likely to
experience the effects of climate change.
Our project “Future Cities’ – Smart and Sustainable Solutions.” wants to be a part of the solution by combining and enhancing our students’ knowledge about nature and technologies to produce intelligent ecological solutions and support the local authorities and businesses with environmental methodology.
Project Year 1 theme is exploring the Internet opportunities, researching, analysing and summarising ecological issues, and finding out information for cities that have found the best environmental solutions and have turned them into smart cities.
This stage includes exploring the local city environment and the abiotic, biotic, and anthropogenic factors of the urban area, exploring the environment, analysing, and determining the ecological problems of primary importance.
Project Year 2 theme is sustainability in practice – implementing measures and methods and finally give a set of smart and sustainable solutions to enhance and perfect the urban environment.
Our students will use the Cisco networking academy-“The Internet of things”(IoT). Our project aspires to research the urban environment and find out what are the ecological problems to solve. Students will collect and summarise information from the Internet about what kind of solutions exist in the
urban areas so far. Students will learn how to collect data, research, analyse it, and summarise the most critical issues. Students will perform teamwork. Through this project, our students will work in groups from different schools and countries and discuss various problems, look for solutions and design a set of sustainable smart future cities’ solutions using the proper web tools. The aim is to make it attractively green and friendly to the people. Each group will work for smart and sustainable transportation, environment, construction, waste, green infrastructure, renewable energy, clean water, air quality, etc. while designing the set sustainable, intelligent future cities. The final product is to create a set of research-based smart solutions and a website that will follow all the work throughout the project in every school. Students and teachers will elaborate on a WordPress blog where they will publish for the dissemination of all the results of the project. There will be links to anyone’s website on the blog. The smart and sustainable solutions created will remain for the years to come and will be made easily accessed, reviewed, and enhanced. The board games may be used by biology, geography, and science teachers as teaching material and techniques to increase the students’ awareness about the importance of attracting and sustaining the environment in the urban areas. New skills will inevitably be acquired and trained during the four project stages. The students’ decision-making skills and choice-making abilities are also on the list. It is vital to allow students to realise their role and experience their power in addressing social and environmental issues. Our collective aim should be the environment where modern technologies and rapid urban rhythm meet and coexist and make cities become greener and better places to live and prosper.