MONDAY, MARCH 08, 2021
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.
This is a video, with an educational character that has been made by our teacher Viktor Stoev and our student Ioanna Simeonova about how to make an electronic map on the platform Google Earth. This is how to select and draw areas with certain content, for example, green areas, parks, residential areas, industrial parts, roads, and others. One can use different tools to put various views, pictures, aspects. You can do it, easily, don’t worry, you can cope with it.
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.
London. The German company Green City Solutions has designed and installed benches that purify the air. The last bench is on the face of Glasshouse, next to Picadilly Circus in London, where they have set out to reduce urban pollution. CityTree benches have a filter that purifies the air 275 times more than deciduous trees. Tourists can now see them not only in London, but also in many German cities, Paris, Amsterdam and many other places in Europe.
Green systems need only 1% of the space needed for plants. The device is a combination of paste and moss and removes dust, nitrogen dioxide and ozone gases from the air, the company said. From there they inform that there is a built-in system for monitoring the levels of pollution, the temperature of the air, the quality of the water, etc. The benches are made of solar panels, filling them with energy. With such innovative projects, the German company aims to reduce carbon emissions in major European cities.
“Our vision is a world where people in cities can live healthily. We want to create living conditions that allow all people around the world to have permanently clean and cool air to breathe, “said Green City Solutions.