Frameworks and Indicators for Sustainability

Lecture 24.3.16 by Johnathon Fox

Urbanisation is the process of the number of people living in cities increasing, whether this is natural, through the birth rate, or through immigration (such as movement from regional or rural areas into cities). The process of urbanisation occurs across 3 mediums: demographic, economic and physical and requires 4 major steps: Assessment, Identification, Prioritisation and Evaluation.

This process opens up key questions for us to consider: what are the goals? Who decides what these goals are? Who pays to achieve these goals? Who benefits from the process? Is there an “ideal” to strive towards?

Therefore, the actual rate of change is a key issue in sustainability, as at this point the process of change itelf is inevitable and undeniable. With the issues of sustainability, we consider that a city is a complex system of interaction with constant flux, and therefore high energy transfer.

Key influences on green house gas (GHG) emissions are:

  1. income
  2. demographics (population dynamics)
  3. urban form
  4. location factors
  5. economic structure
  6. market failures

and high consumption activities account for 70% of energy consumption and are as follows:

  1. housing
  2. food
  3. transport

We can therefore look at an ecological footprint as an aggregate framework. This is a great site for personal use, you can add in a bit of info about your lifestyle choices and see how many Earths are required to sustain your lifestyle if everyone lived how you did. It’s super interesting to look at, and you can change your choices to see the impact they have. The ideal is that your result will be 1 Earth or less. This means you’re not living beyond your means, or the means of the Earth. I was really surprised, but I actually found it really difficult and had to change a lot of my answers, because the quiz looks at the waste management as well.

Good Luck!

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