Eco-City Development in Developing Countries – an Initiative Towards Low Carbon Society
ECO-CITY DEVELOPMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: AN INITIATIVE TOWARDS LOW CARBON SOCIETYMd. Saidur RahmanE-mail: [email protected] April 2017[pic 1]ECO-CITY DEVELOPMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: AN INITIATIVE TOWARDS LOW CARBON SOCIETYIntroductionOverviewThis study focuses on eco-city development initiatives in developing countries towards developing low carbon society. Rapid urbanization in developing countries may be the most significant demographic transformation in our century as it restructures national economies and reshapes the lives of billions of people. At the same time, urbanization has also contributed to environmental and socioeconomic challenges, including climate change, pollution, congestion, and the rapid growth of slums. But as a major style of residential environment, city has been endowed new contents by new ideas ever emerged in the history and eco-city development has emerged as a way to address climate change issues in the context of developing sustainable cities in developing countries. Eco-cities have the potential to address many of the problems like climate change and socio-economic aspects associated with urban development, as does the concept of sustainable development in an urban setting. Drawing on lessons learned from the planning and development process of several low-carbon eco-cities, this study explores the potential of an integrated urbanism approach for developing cities like Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. The objective is not only to mitigate factors contributing to climate change, but to manage risk, maximize resilience, and promote the successful economic and social growth of the urban eco community in developing countries. An integrated urbanism approach to planning may give us the tools to leapfrog the environmental and public health costs of economic progress and create a new model for cities across the developing world.BackgroundUrbanization in developing countries is a defining feature of the 21st century. About 90% of global urban growth now takes place in developing countries, and between 2000 and 2030, the entire built-up urban area in developing countries is projected to triple (World Bank, 2010). Urbanization has enabled economic growth and innovation across all regions, currently accounting for three-quarters of global economic production. At the same time, urbanization has also contributed to environmental and socioeconomic challenges, including climate change, pollution, congestion, and the rapid growth of slums. Global climate change and its current and potential consequence for life, property and prosperity are now accepted as the major challenge for human society in the next 100 years. Scientific findings and debate are now considered “settled” though refinement is required and predictive modeling tools that allow for better understanding of local consequences are currently crude. The political translation of settled science into policy and practice that stems the acceleration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, particularly carbon, while also ensuring social and economic development is less settled.Most metropolitan design, investment and regulatory strategies are designed to manage life-safety and property risks through resistance to natural or human caused disasters. These strategies are intended to withstand events up to predetermined breaking points. The designed breaking points are determined by probability analysis, risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis. They are for the most part focused upon abrupt events rather than the long-wave events such as climate change that can lead to abrupt activities. Government, business and society are engaged in a complicated debate about how, in policy and practice, the consequences of urbanization for climate can be reduced.The world’s population is expected to increase by 2.2 billion, reaching 9.2 billion in 2050, with more than two-thirds of the population living in cities compared to about half the population of 2010. In addition, the number of megacities is expected to increase from 22 in 2010 to between 60 and 100 megacities by 2050. Many of these megacities, emerging mostly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, will face high levels of traffic congestion, pollution, and noise. Globally, cities account for about 70% of energy related GHGs emissions, which lead to Climate Change i.e. global warming and seriously affect the global eco-system. City-level actions, therefore, will need to be a central part in GHG emissions reduction strategies. Transport is the second largest source of GHG emissions (15%) after electricity and heat generation. A disaster resilient community is in the truest sense a sustainable community towards low-carbon emissions. It seeks to optimize conditions for human development over an extended period of time. It uses the ideas embedded in sustainability theory as the most robust of all available risk management tools. In so doing it creates an analytical and decision-making matrix that addresses issues in depth, in breadth, at their intersections and through time. It is a place that finds permanence through inherent capacity for adaptation. A sustainable community, and therefore, a disaster resilient community, is a precondition to effectively addressing the likely consequences of climate change on urban environments.
Ever since Ancient Egypt, civilizations have attempted to plan cities in order to make them work better. Planners seek to organize a city so that it benefits all its inhabitants. They do things such as build housing, construct infrastructure like roads, rail-roads and plumbing, provide public services like electricity and garbage collection, coordinate commerce, provide recreational facilities such as parks, stadiums and museums, and facilitate transport. But the activities of urban settlements are key contributors to climate change factors. In parallel, global climate change and its current and potential consequences for life property and prosperity is now accepted as the major challenge for human. The translation of science into policy and practice that stems the acceleration of carbon emission, while also ensuring social and economic development is still in its infancy. Global populations are growing creating stress on existing resources; sprawl consumes natural buffers making metro areas more vulnerable; distributed governance responsibility confounds coordinated planning; a successful global economy is dependent on the resilience of public infrastructure and the metropolitan labor market. However, the nature of mankind is longing for better residential environments and city, as a major living style, has never stopped exploring more comfortable urban modes. The main stream of city development theory has finally resulted in ‘eco-city’ towards developing low carbon society. Climate change, energy security and multifaceted urban problems lead to the development of advanced low carbon eco-cities in developing countries. In this study, we present three case studies on eco-city planning and development initiatives in developing countries to address these issues of rapid urbanization and drawing on lessons learned from these case studies we suggest integrated planning approaches towards developing low carbon society in developing countries. In fact, global urban expansion poses a fundamental challenge and opportunity for cities, nations, and the international development community. It sets forth before us an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to plan, develop, build, and manage cities that are simultaneously more ecologically and economically sustainable. We have a short time horizon within which to affect the trajectory of urbanization in a lasting and powerful way. The decisions we make together today can lock in systemic benefits for current and future generations. The eco-city initiative appears at a critical historic juncture in relation to this challenge and opportunity. Cities are now on the front line of the management of change and are playing a leading role in the global development agenda. It is only through cities that the challenges of poverty reduction, economic growth, environmental sustainability, and climate change may be addressed together. Sustainable city planning, development, and management can unite these objectives and link them to activities at the local, regional, national, and global levels. Development of eco-city in developing countries like Dhaka will enable cities to make the most of their opportunities in effective, creative, and holistic ways, thereby ensuring a more meaningful and sustainable future.Justification of the StudyThe urban problem is as old as human settlement. But its difficulty has compounded with the advent of the techniques and technologies. The challenge of the modern city increasingly stimulated architects, thinkers and writers in every field of endeavor or practice by virtue of its overwhelming presence in their lives. Urbanization in developing countries may be the most significant demographic transformation in our century as it restructures national economies and reshapes the lives of billions of people. It is projected that the entire built-up urban area in developing countries will triple between 2000 and 2030 from 200,000 km2 to 600,000 km2 (Angel, et al., 2005). These 400,000 km2 of new urban built-up area that will be constructed within only 30 years equal the total built-up urban area throughout the world as of 2000 (Angel, et al., 2005). One might say that we are building a whole new urban world at about 10 times the speed in countries with serious resource constraints (natural, fiscal, administrative, and technical). We are doing so in an increasingly globalized context characterized by many new, constantly fluctuating, interlinked, and uncontrollable variables.