Eco-City is designed specifically to minimize its energy, water and food needs, reduce its emitting pollution.
An eco-city is a city built off the principles of living within the means of the environment. Eco-cities is to eliminate all carbon waste (zero-carbon city), to produce energy entirely through renewable resources, and to incorporate the environment into the city; however, eco-cities also have the intentions of stimulating economic growth, reducing poverty, organizing cities to have higher population densities, and therefore higher efficiency, and improving health. An ecocity is an ecologically healthy city and each city is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all ecocity model or just one way to get there from where we are now. An eco-city is “An ecologically healthy human settlement modeled on the self-sustaining resilient structure and function of natural ecosystems. and living organisms.
An entity that includes its inhabitants and their ecological impacts. A subsystem of the ecosystems of which it is part — of its watershed, bioregion, and ultimately, of the planet. A subsystem of the regional, national and world economic system.
The key resources are:
Environmentalist,Ecologist,Engineer,Builder,Architecture,Hydrologist,Sociologist,Urban desinger etc.
What actions do you propose?
Ways to achieve Zero-Carbon Cities:
There are many challenges that cities may actually face to set-up zero-carbon cities or to make the cities more environmentally friendly. There are new innovative renewable energy solutions which can be applied to the construction and operation of these cities to become an epicenter for the development and commercialization of clean energy technologies.
- Urban Design Elements:
Urban planning is adapted to the local culture and climate of the surrounding region. The city reduces the carbon footprint by orienting its buildings north east to south west. This helps to minimize the amount of direct sunlight on buildings while still providing natural daylight. Building narrow, shaded passage ways, instead of wide roads, funnels breezes and helps to keep the city cool. That is a cheap way to reduce the need for not only air-conditioning systems but also for electric lighting.
- Water Conservation Technologies:
Water conservation is becoming increasingly important as a demand for water increase especially in hot arid regions. Reduction and reuse of water are considered as main elements to achieve zero-carbon cities. A number of conservation measures can be used in cities such as rain water collection (water capture technology) and grey water reuse. Rainwater is collected and channelled into a catchment basin. These catchment areas can be landscaped to look like ponds increasing the aesthetics and value of landscaping effort. Collected rainwater can be then purified and reused for washing purposes. Grey water can be recycled and treated to be suitable for irrigation and other non-drinking uses in the city, (Nady, R. 2008).
- Waste-to-Energy Technology:
A small fraction of the energy needed to run the city comes from waste-based fuel. It provides a small portion of the city’s electricity through the use of waste reduction measures, reuse, recycling and composting solid wastes. Such approaches to waste require new technologies and management systems that integrate public health and environmental engineering with ecologically sound planning.
- Energy Conservation:
Energy conservation is taken into account when planning zero-carbon cities using active technologies such as photovoltaic plants, solar thermal collectors and wind turbines. Renewable energy enables a city to reduce its ecological footprint and it compromises a significant and important element of the urban economy. - Photovoltaic plants can provide clean electricity for cities while producing no CO2 emissions. The electricity supply of PV plants can be isolated from the grid supply and so provide a reliable back-up at periods of grid failure. - Solar thermal collectors are used to minimize the energy used to heat water needed to supply the buildings of the city - Also, wind turbines represent a main source of renewable energy and can enhance the city’s efficiency in generating energy to produce electricity, (Nady, R. 2008).
- Building Materials and Construction Techniques:
Local manufactured building materials are used in the construction of buildings in zero-carbon cities. Most local building materials are renewable and energy efficient. They are characterized by their durability, adaptability and low construction impact. Also, traditional building techniques are considered as a main part of the integrated design approach for achieving energy efficiency and effectively reducing internal temperature.
- Carbon Capture Technology:
The principle task of the carbon unit is the development of carbon capture and storage technology (CCS). The unit’s goal is to cut emissions of CO2 annually and decrease the city’s carbon footprint and consequently contribute to global mitigation.
- Intelligent Transport Systems:
Cities are increasingly being designed to use energy sparingly by offering walkable transitoriented options, often supplemented by vehicles powered by renewable energy. Accordingly, there are other sustainability features that relate to the city’s transport system. Sustainable transport can be presented in replacing cars and fuel vehicles by electric public transport. Cities with more sustainable transport systems are able to reduce their ecological footprints from their reduced use of fossil fuels as well as through reduced urban sprawl and reduced dependence upon car-based infrastructure.
- Hydrogen Power Plant:
The hydrogen power plant represents a huge industrial scale installation. It takes natural gas from the grid and converts it to CO2 and hydrogen using an amine process.
Who will take these actions?
The key actors are:
Governments, Local Government, Municipalities, Urban designer,Industries, Architects, Builders, Communities and Individual.
Where will these actions be taken?
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
Depending upon the type of project.
What are other key benefits?
The key benefits are:
- Operates on a self-contained economy, resources needed are found locally
- Has completely carbon-neutral and renewable energy production
- Has a well-planned city layout and public transportation system that makes the priority methods of transportation as follows possible: walking first, then cycling, and then public transportation.
- Resource conservation—maximizing efficiency of water and energy resources, constructing a waste management system that can recycle waste and reuse it, creating a zero-waste system
- Restores environmentally damaged urban areas
- Ensures decent and affordable housing for all socio-economic and ethnic groups and improve jobs opportunities for disadvantaged groups, such as women, minorities, and the disabled
- Supports local agriculture and produce
- Promotes voluntary simplicity in lifestyle choices, decreasing material consumption, and increasing awareness of environmental and sustainability issues
What are the proposal’s costs?
Proposal’s costs a million to billion dollars depending on the nature and type project.
Depending on nature of project.However, 5-15 baseline survey and design, 15-50 years construction and above 50 years cost benefit analysis.
Nady, R.(2008).The Integration between Sustainability and Ecoresorts. Dissertation of the degree of Master in Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design. Unpublished thesis to the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.
How can smart technologies drive a rapid transition to zero-carbon cities?