In today's world of heated environmental debates and global concerns over rising temperatures and decreasing resources, sustainable cities appear to be our only plausible future.
Sustainable cities, also known as eco-cities, are cities designed with the environment in mind. The cities are designed to minimize waste of any resource, and to meet the present generation's needs without sacrificing the future generation's. Sustainable cities must be able to feed their populations with resources brought in from the surrounding areas and use sources of renewable energy.
The goal of sustainable cities is to reduce global impacts. As temperatures worldwide steadily increase, we need to find ways to release less greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere, and decreasing pollution while relying more heavily on renewable energy is the way to do this. Sustainable cities have the potential to stop these temporal increases among other environmental benefits.
We engage in a number of unsustainable activities today, some of these being fossil fuel usage and deforestation. Fossil fuels are a nonrenewable resource, it takes millions of years of decomposition before the fossil fuels can be created. The rate at which these fossil fuels are being used, we only have 50 years before all our oil supplies are used up, and all our fossil fuel supplies may only last us to 2088. Deforestation is another unsustainable activity, It is estimated that in one hundred years, there will be no rainforests left. Tens of thousands of species will go extinct. Deforestation continues today at an alarming rate, with most of the cleared land being used for agriculture.
These unsustainable practices are why we need sustainable cities. These eco-cities are a solution to our problems, as they would rely heavily on renewable resources and use more agriculturally sound practices, like producing more fruits and vegetables, which require less land and create a smaller ecological footprint than raising animals.
So, yes, sustainable cities are our future. Though many people have differing viewpoints on global warming, that is not the only reason that eco-cities will be such a vital part of the future. Over 50% percent of the world's population lives in urban areas, and nobody would argue the undeniable fact that the planet's population is steadily increasing. With the number of people increasing, we need a way to feed and shelter them, and with over one billion people today living in slums and poverty, sustainable cities would allow us to provide for them and the future generations. The world needs to move toward sustainable cities if we are to protect our planet.