Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dongtan Eco-city for 500,000

Dongtan in Wikipedia, click here.

Dongtan is planned to open, with accommodation for 50,000, by the time the Expo 2010 opens in Shanghai. By 2040, the city is slated to be one-third the size of Manhattan with a total eventual population of 500,000.

Dongtan was presented at the United Nations World Urban Forum by China as an example of an eco-city, and is the first of up to four such cities to be designed and built in China by Arup, a global design and engineering company. The cities are planned to be ecologically friendly, with zero-greenhouse-emission transit and complete self-sufficiency in water and energy, together with the use of zero energy building principles. However, the planned ecological footprint for each citizen in Dongtan is currently 2.2 hectares[1], higher than the 1.9 hectares that is theoretically sustainable on a global scale.

Dongtan proposes to have only green transport movements along its coastline. People will arrive at the coast and leave their cars behind, traveling along the shore as pedestrians, cyclists or on sustainable public transport vehicles.

Steven Finnegan, a British Environmental architect is working on the project.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why is Urban Agriculture important?
Why is Urban Agriculture important?

The rapid urbanization that is taking place goes together with a rapid increase in urban poverty and urban food insecurity. By 2020 the developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America will be home to some 75% of all urban dwellers, and to eight of the anticipated nine mega-cities with populations in excess of 20 million. It is expected that by 2020, 85% of the poor in Latin America, and about 40-45% of the poor in Africa and Asia will be concentrated in towns and cities.
Most cities in developing countries have great difficulties to cope with this development and are unable to create sufficient formal employment opportunities for the poor. They also have increasing problems with the disposal of urban wastes and waste water and maintaining air and river water quality.

Urban agriculture provides a complementary strategy to reduce urban poverty and food insecurity and enhance urban environmental management. Urban agriculture plays an important role in enhancing urban food security since the costs of supplying and distributing food to urban areas based on rural production and imports continue to increase, and do not satisfy the demand, especially of the poorer sectors of the population. Next to food security, urban agriculture contributes to local economic development, poverty alleviation and social inclusion of the urban poor and women in particular, as well as to the greening of the city and the productive reuse of urban wastes (see below for further explanations and examples).
RUAF Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security