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Sustainable City and Urban Planning Experiences

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					Sustainable City & Urban Planning Experiences
Mee Kam Ng Centre of Urban Planning & Environmental Management The University of Hong Kong

Evolution of the Understandings of Sustainable Development

Meanings of Sustainable Development
• 1962, Rachel Carson: Silent Spring • 1972, United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Barbara Ward: Only One Earth • 1983, the World Commission on Environment and Development was established • 1987: Our Common Future
―Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs‖ (WCED, 1987, p.8).

Meanings of Sustainable Development
• 1992: United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, the First Earth Summit • Rio Declaration on Environment and Development & Agenda 21 • 1992: the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development was established • 1996: Habitat Agenda • 2000: United Nations Millennium Development Goals • 2002: Second Earth Summit in Johannesburg— Johannesburg Declaration & Action 21

Why Sustainable Development (SD) ?

Why SD ?
• The world‘s population is now at 6 billion, and estimated to grow to 8 billion in the next 20 years. • While most countries‘ economies have grown economically in the last 20 years, some have declined. • In the developing world, one in every five persons lives in extreme poverty and many associated social problems result: disease, disintegration of family, crime and use of drugs. • 800 million people in the world are still malnourished due to poor distribution in more remote areas. • Diseases such as AIDS and malaria have greatly affected populations

Why SD ?
• Since 1971, global energy use has increased by 70% and is expected to rise 2% per year in the next 15 years. This will increase greenhouse gases by 50% over current levels. • The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased enormously since 1950, with the global climate changing drastically. • Increased atmospheric nitrogen from fossil fuel combustion and farming of root crops, which release nitrogen, has intensified the occurrence in of acid rain • Natural resources (e.g. soils, forests, fish aquatic habitats) continue to decrease in quantity due to fires, pollution and human influences. • Loss of biological diversity has resulted from human activities such as deforestation and , pollution. 40% of our global economy is dependent on biologically derived products. • Water, soil and air have been strained due to high pollution levels.

Why SD? We are in a Risk Society!
• The aging of industrial modernity & the emergence of a risk society • Risk society arises through ―the ... modernization processes which are blind & deaf to consequences & dangers.‖ • ―Reflexive modernization‖: selfconfrontation with the consequences of risk society which cannot be addressed & overcome in the system of industrial society (Ulrich Beck)

Why SD? We are in a Risk Society!
• Risk society: hazards produced by society undermine and/or cancel the established safety systems of the state‘s existing risk calculations. • Nuclear, chemical, ecological & genetic engineering risks: no time/place limit, not accountable, compensated or insured (Ulrich Beck). • Risk Society: recognition of the incalculability of the hazards produced by technical-industrial development • Compels self-reflection on the foundation of the social context & review of prevailing conventions & principles of ―rationality‖ • Risk society becomes self-reflexive: it becomes an issue & a problem to itself (Ulrich Beck)

Why SD? We are in a Risk Society
• Answer: to let ―politics & morality‖ gain priority over ―shifting & inherently uncertain science‖--a radical (second) modernity & a new ecological democracy (Ulrich Beck)  a need to build a sustainable community

Meanings of Sustainable Development

Meanings of SD
Future impacts
People Resources: renewable & non-rew Energy & water Goods and services

People
Information & capital

City Region

Goods & services
Wastes & pollution Resource depletion

Carrying Capacity
Source: Ravetz, Joe (2000), City Region 2020, London: Earthscan

Meanings of SD:
Economic, Social & Environmental Capital
Human & Social Capital
Health impacts vs. Human impacts

Income & employment vs. Labour & consumption

Environmental Capital

Resources & assimilation of pollution vs. Pollution & its abatement

Economic Capital

Some Interactions Between Economic, Social and Environmental Capital

Meanings of SD:
Nested Sustainable Development
ENVIRONMENT
Environmental Capital: Air Water Noise Minerals Forests, Land, Species of Flora & Fauna Soil, etc.

SOCIETY
Human, Social & Cultural Capital Education Health Housing Social Network Community Spirit Social Equity Arts and Culture Sports & recreation Entertainment & media, etc.

ECONOMY Economic Capital Built environment Machinery Vehicles Investment, etc.

(Modified from Giddings et. al, 2002, p.192)

Meanings of Sustainable Development
• Basic Principles: – an ethical utilization of natural resources – an intra- and inter-generational equity • Derived Sustainable Development Principles

Meanings of SD: principles & policies
Urban Context
Economic Capital
Economy Urban fiscal base Economic spaces Infrastructure Built environment

Sustain. Development Principles
Basic Principles
Ethical utilization of natural resources Intra- and inter-generational equity

Policy Tools
Government
Long term strategic views & integrated policy making Law & legislation Financing mechanisms

Economic Capital

Human and Social Capital
Education Health Sports and Leisure Safety Community Political System Governance

Long-term economic prosperity Restorative economy Reforming market economy Ecological modernization

Government vis-à-vis Market

Human and Social Capital
Diversities in human resources Cultural diversities Satisfying basic needs Equity in governance Social cohesion Equal opportunities

Ecological modernization Green consumerism Targeted inward investment Promotion of environmental business Encourage competition Information dissemination

Environmental (Physical & Built) Capital
Food Air Water Noise Architecture Cultural Heritage

Government vis-à-vis Community

Environmental (Physical & Built) Capital
Geographical equity Living within nature’s carrying capacity Enhancing biodiversity Replace/ Recycle/ Reuse

A learning culture Three-way (government, private sector, community) partnership Community based initiatives Social/cultural/attitudinal changes

Meanings of SD

Meanings of SD

Characteristics of SD

Characteristics of SD
ECOLOGICALLY ETHICAL UTILIZATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Use of resources and pollution within carrying capacity of nature Biodiversity enhanced

Three “R”s to minimize wastes and energy consumption INTRA- AND INTER-GENERATIONAL EQUITY Demographic stabilization
Reforming market economy: “restorative”, community based economies vibrant Ecological modernization Diversities in human resources development

Diversity in the built environment Diversity in economic activities Diversity in culture
Meeting basic needs Strong social cohesion Equity in governance

Equal opportunities available Geographical equity: self-reliance

Characteristics of SD
RESPONSES Strategic long term view with strategic information
Horizontal cross-sectoral approach within the government Vertical integration (local-regional initiatives) Politics: new governance (three-way [public-private-community] partnership)

Sustainable planning process: participation & dialogue Law & legislation on environmental management Market: green consumerism, ecological modernization
Socio-cultural changes (public awareness) Green financing

Characteristics of SD

Characteristics of SD
Participation:  participatory  making good use of local knowledge  perspectives of different stakeholders  accessible participation channels and information  participation should be engagement in making choices and determining future development Community character:  respect community history  strengthen community identity  facilitate community building and fulfill the needs and expectations of the community Equity:  ensure equitable distribution of benefits and costs  consider the impacts on different social groups  ensure adequate resources and services are available to mitigate the impacts on disadvantaged groups Environment:  improve the overall living and working environment in order to promote health, safety and enjoyment  safeguard resources and prevent environmental degradation

Economy:  should improve the overall economic conditions

Why Citizen Participation?
• Plans have a greater chance of being implemented when citizens play a meaningful role in shaping them. • They know better what they want! • Stakeholders must feel ownership of the plan. • Identifying common values in divergent interests • Building consensus

Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation
DEGREE OF CITIIZEN PARTICIPATION

8. Citizen control 7. Delegated power 6. Partnership DEGREES OF TOKENISM 5. Placation 4. Consultation 3. Informing NON-PARTICIPATION 2. Therapy 1. Manipulation

The ‘Wheel’ of Empowerment
EMPOWERMENT Entrusted control Independent control
Delegated control Limited decentralized decision making PARTICIPATION

Limited decentralized decision making Partnership Effective advisory body
CONSULTATION Genuine information

Customer care Limited consultation
INFORMATION

Good quality information Limited information Minimal communication

Techniques
• Citizen attitude surveys • Use of mediator or facilitator • Citizen training • Telephone hotlines • Interactive cable TV • Open door policy • Visioning sessions • Task forces • Public hearings
• Guided tours • Workshops/ charettes • Visual preference testing • Game simulation • Citizen advisory board • Media & public information campaigns • Community planning centres • Involving youths & kids

Characteristics of SD
Vitality & Variety •activity nodes •street activities •land uses •texture (relationship of buildings and space) •grain of street pattern •visual quality •relation of buildings to street ―Greening the city‖ •colour •shade •softening •air pollution absorption •micro-climate •aesthetics •ambience Traffic and transport public access to non-polluting transport connectivity of public transport modes and routes pedestrian accessibility pedestrian permeability pedestrian experience Form of new development Sympathetic to topography Compatible with the desired character of the area Public space appropriateness of location opportunities for ‗conferred life‘ quality connectivity appropriateness of purpose

Characteristics of SD
Existing buildings Physical condition safety appearance special individual quality (historic, architectural, or cultural merit) special group quality (contribution to streetscape, townscape) Use Compatibility with area Compatibility with immediate adjacent uses Contribution to needs of area Contribution to character of area Re-use potential rehabilitation conservation recycling to other uses

New Building scale layout form appearance use materials

How to Develop Hong Kong into a Sustainable City ?

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPNMENT PRINCIPLES

HOW TO DEVELOP HONG KONG INTO A SUSTAINABLE CITY?

Ecologically Ethical Utilization of Natural Resources
Carrying capacity of nature

Biodiversity
Three “R”s to minimize wastes and energy consumption

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPNMENT PRINCIPLES

HOW TO DEVELOP HONG KONG INTO A SUSTAINABLE CITY?

Intra- and Inter-Generational Equity

Demographic stabilization Reforming market economy: “restorative” & ecological modernization
Diversity in human resources development Diversity in built environment

Diversity in economic activities Diversity in culture Satisfying basic needs Social cohesion
Equity in governance Equal opportunities

Geographical equity: self-reliance

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPNMENT PRINCIPLES
Long term view with strategic information

HOW TO DEVELOP HONG KONG INTO A SUSTAINABLE CITY?

Responses

Horizontal cross-sectoral approach
Vertical integration (local-regional initiatives)

Politics: new governance (three-way partnership)
Sustainable planning process: participation & dialogue

Law & legislation on environmental management Market: green consumerism, ecological modernization
Socio-cultural changes (public awareness)

Green financing

How to Develop HK into a Sustainable City ?
Participation:  participatory  making good use of local knowledge  perspectives of different stakeholders  accessible participation channels and information  participation should be engagement in making choices and determining future development Community character:  respect community history  strengthen community identity  facilitate community building and fulfill the needs and expectations of the community Equity:  ensure equitable distribution of benefits and costs  consider the impacts on different social groups  ensure adequate resources and services are available to mitigate the impacts on disadvantaged groups Environment:  improve the overall living and working environment in order to promote health, safety and enjoyment  safeguard resources and prevent environmental degradation

Economy:  should improve the overall economic conditions

How to Develop HK into a Sustainable City ?
Vitality & Variety •activity nodes •street activities •land uses •texture (relationship of buildings and space) •grain of street pattern •visual quality •relation of buildings to street ―Greening the city‖ •colour •shade •softening •air pollution absorption •micro-climate •aesthetics •ambience Traffic and transport public access to non-polluting transport connectivity of public transport modes and routes pedestrian accessibility pedestrian permeability pedestrian experience Form of new development Sympathetic to topography Compatible with the desired character of the area Public space appropriateness of location opportunities for ‗conferred life‘ quality connectivity appropriateness of purpose

How to develop HK into a sustainable city?
Existing buildings
Physical condition safety appearance special individual quality (historic, architectural, or cultural merit) special group quality (contribution to streetscape, townscape) Use Compatibility with area Compatibility with immediate adjacent uses Contribution to needs of area Contribution to character of area Re-use potential rehabilitation conservation recycling to other uses

New Building
scale layout form appearance use materials

What are the Costs of Developing Hong Kong into a Sustainable City?

“Costs” of SD in Hong Kong
• Whose costs? • Fiscal costs? Hidden costs? Long term costs? Short-term costs? Monetary costs? Social costs? Political costs? Economic costs? • Three major stakeholders in SD: the government, the private sector, the general public • At different geographical scales: local, city-level, regional, national, global… • Costs and benefits are relative… ―One man‘s meat is another man‘s poison‖—the cost of cleaning up may be too high for a factory but the unaccounted costs as a result of pollution could be a lot higher…

“Costs” of SD in Hong Kong: some examples
• Utilizing the environmental resources in an ecologically ethical way may mean: Economic capital:
Controlled growth Fewer development projects Fewer jobs? However, maybe engaged in other productive activities A less materialistic and consumption-oriented society… (lowered living standards? Yet what is quality living standard?) – Exit from the ‗world class‘ city league? – – – –

Social capital:
– Less convenience – Families having more time together – A lot of needs are satisfied through social networks rather than markets— ‘moral economy‘ – More spiritual rather than materialistic endeavours

Environmental capital:
– Less pollution – Sustainable resources for future generations – Fresh water, air etc.

“Costs” of SD in Hong Kong: some examples
• Recycling industries
Economic capital – Government subsidies? – Self-sustaining? Capital costs, operating costs… – Providing jobs (low paying though) – Pushing ecological modernization: from design to disposal Social capital – Nurturing social capital—labour intensive and educational process – Community drive & social capital accumulation Environmental capital – Minimizing ‗wastes‘ (resources), turning ‗wastes‘ into useful inputs to industries, etc.

“Costs” of SD in Hong Kong: some examples
• Diversity in human resources, culture, urban environment
Economic capital – Needs investment in nurturing human capital – More resources into designing and providing spaces for all sorts of activities – Cannot do things by fiscal calculations alone – However, ―cultural turn of capitalism‖—global tourism, cultural tourism etc. Social capital – More vibrant and convivial society – Happier individuals recognizing their unique potentials? Environmental capital – Better quality of the built environment – Expression of ―tastes‖ in urban landscape…

“Costs” of SD in Hong Kong: some examples
• Sustainable planning process
Economic capital – Needs money and human resources in organizing events for public participation – Time consuming and may delay implementation Social capital – Building trust among stakeholders – Gelling different groups together and allow mutual education: learning by doing and learning how to reach consensus Environmental capital – Allowing ―politics and morality‖ to take over uncertain science — the case of Harbour reclamation

Sharing of Experiences

Conclusion
• Sustainable development requires everyone’s efforts and creativity • SD is not just a concept to be learnt. SD is a way of life, a commitment to social justice among fellow human beings and a respect for mother nature. • SD perspective carries a long term view and requires us to seek comprehensive assessments of social, economic and environmental costs of our actions, be it government policies, programmes and projects; the private sector’s production activities; or the community’s individual and collective choices in their everyday life.


				
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