DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21625/essd.v7i2

Vol 7, issue #2 (2022): Sustainable Urban Planning and the Divided Cities

The relationship between a city and its inhabitants is reciprocal by nature. On one hand, the city’s topography shapes its climate, resource availability, and overall livability. This in turn influences the demographics of people within the city, their traditions, culture, and heritage. On the other hand, individual characteristics that emerge independent of the city’s topography, shape the society that is present within the city, and in turn, the constructions created by said society.

Grasping these aforementioned concepts is essential for urban planners. Thorough consideration of both, what benefits the city’s environment, climate, and landscapes, in addition to the elements that uplift members of society and individuals, ensures successful urban planning implementation that enriches both the city’s elements and the inhabitants within it. While some strive for egalitarianism throughout society, however, others succumb to the influence of economic gain and wealth, tossing order and equality by the wayside, in favor of serving the affluents of society.

The influence of wealth on urban planning sadly takes place mostly in developing countries. Division is rampant and brutal in some cities, where the poor congregate in slums with barely livable conditions. Energy resource availability fluctuates based on the time of day, clean water is nigh to be seen, and the streets cough up dust, and beg to be cleaned. While the poor suffer in these slums, in fear of buildings crumbling over from the lack of structural integrity, the wealthy and prosperous influence governments, and create utopian gated communities, with lush forestry, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and a steady supply of resource and energy availability, where security, is, of course, their top priority. The unsustainable approach to urban planning in these cities continues with the concept of the commodification of public spaces. What was once a public space available to all, such as parks, riverfronts, and beachfronts, becomes an opportunity to extract wealth from the public. Businesses & private companies are set up in these landscapes, and entry tickets become mandatory to what once was a space available to all.

These approaches to urban planning are unsustainable, for division within communities sow the seeds of contempt and envy within inhabitants, and create a sense of division within communities, rather than the city functioning as a cohesive unit, working towards its prosperity. This issue deliberates on the topic of sustainable urban planning techniques that benefit all members of a city’s society, and work to move away from division within communities.

Topics:

  • Sustainability in Urban Design
    • Sustainable Energy Resource Utilization
    • Smart Waste Management
    • Inclusive Roads Designed for People
    • Heat Island Effect Mitigation
  • The Challenges, Effects, and Possible Solutions of Urban Division
    • Societal Cohesion, and a Sense of Belonging’s Importance in Cities
    • The Rise and Inevitability of Inequality, and Approaches to Fair Distribution
    • Social & Economic Dividers and Gates in Urbanism
    • Urban Planning Methods for Societal Advantages and Solidarity
    • Egalitarianism in Urban Design
  • Innovations in Architectural Design & City Planning
    • Climate Responsive Architecture
    • Utilization of ICT Technologies in Architecture & City Planning
    • Creative Spaces: Public Inclusion in Sustainable Development