The Urban Sustainability Multiplier

  • Reduced per capita demand for occupied land.
  • A high proportion of, condominiums, apartment buildings and other multiple-family dwelling units which reduces per capita consumption of building materials and service infrastructure.
  • Lower costs per capita of providing piped water, sewer systems, and most other types of infrastructure and amenities.
  • A greater range of options for recycling, reuse, re-manufacturing, and a concentration of the skills needed to make these things happen.
  • Greater possibilities for electricity co-generation and the use of waste process heat from industry or power plants to reduce the per capita use of fossil fuels.
  • More opportunity to implement the principles of low through-put ‘industrial ecology’ (i.e., the creation of closed-circuit industrial parks).
  • Great potential for reducing (mostly fossil) energy consumption by motor vehicles through walking, cycling, and public transit.

source: Why Cities are inherently unsustainable See also XlnkS62B

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The decreasing carbon to hydrogen ratio in fuel. From prehistoric ages, about 750,000 years ago, until the beginning of the 19th century, wood was the main source of energy. Since society has moved from wood, to coal, to oil to natural gas, to – soon- pure hydrogen. Wood has 10 atoms carbons for 1 atom of hydrogen. Coal, 1~2 Carbon for 1 hydrogen Oil, 1 carbon for 2 hydrogen Natural Gas, 1 carbon for 4 hydrogen. Burning Carbon produces CO2 a Green House Gas. Burning Hydrogen produces water. Together with energy conservation, Decarbonization of our economy is a sustainable solution to Climate Change.
in detail XlnkS630

The Sixth Extinction

Paleontologists have identified in the past history of earth five large extinction episodes. The latest that happened 75 millions years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs was provoked by the fall of a large meteor near the Yucatan peninsula. A new large scale extinction is happening right now. Scientists estimate that the extinction rate is 1000 times greater today than in pre-industrial era and that in 2050 3% of all known species will have disappeared. This is known as the sixth extinction. And for the first time it is provoked by a human cataclysm and not by a geological one.
in detail XlnkS62F

Footprint (ecological) (WWF)

he Ecological Footprint (EP) developed by the WWF indicates is a measure of the consumption of renewable natural resources by a human population. A population’s EF is the total area of productive land or sea required to produce all the crops, meat, seafood, wood and fibre it consumes, to sustain its energy consumption and to give space for its infrastructure. The EF can be compared with the biologically productive capacity of the land and sea available to that population. The Earth has about 11.4 billion hectares of productive land and sea space, after all unproductive areas of icecaps, desert and open ocean are discounted, or about a quarter of its surface area. Divided between the global population of six billion people, this total equates to just 1.9 hectares per person. This definition differs from Bill Rees’ who includes the area needed to assimilate human wastes
from: WWFin detailsee also: Footprint (ecological) XlnkS62E XlnkC18D8

Urban Growth

In 2015, according to UN data, there will be 36 megacities with than 8 million people. 2 will be in Africa, 1 in the middle-east, 22 in Asia, 6 in Latin-America and 2 in North-America.
in detail XlnkS62D

Footprint (ecological)

The ‘ecological footprint’ of a specified population is the area of land and water ecosystems required to produce the resources that the population consumes, and to assimilate the wastes that the population produces, wherever on Earth the relevant land/water may be located. Term coined by William Rees of University of British Columbia (Canada).
from: William Reesin detail XlnkS62C XlnkC18D7

Why Cities are inherently unsustainable

… and why they are a key to sustainabbility. Presentation by William Rees in March 2003. Bille Rees argues that “For all the recent advances in technology and resource productivity,’great cities’ remain ever more materially dependent on a vast (and increasingly global) hinterland. They can produce the’wealth of nations’ only by first consuming the products and services of the ecosphere.” The average ecological footprints of residents of high-income countries range between four and ten hectares. Therefore the ecological footprints of high income cities are typically hundreds of times larger than their political or geographic areas. The key is exploiting the urban sustainability multiplier.
from: William Reesdocument: Rees Robson Presentationin detail XlnkS62B XlnkC18D7

Energy Supply and Pricing for a Sustainable Future

On the reality of the world (and Canadian) oil supply and how it should be translated into a new pricing policy in Canada while it is still time to adjust to the fact that we are running out of cheap energy. Paper by William E. Rees, PhD, University of British Columbia, School of Community and Regional Planning.
from: William Reesdocument: Energy Costing Reesin detail XlnkS62A XlnkC18D7

Cities running dry

CHINA: Between 1983 and 1990, the number of cities in China that were short of water rose from 100 to 300; those with a serious water problem, from 40 to 100. In the year 2000, Beijing Municipality suffers a daily water shortfall of 500,000 cubic meters. MEXICO: Mexico City, having over-pumped the Mexico Valley aquifer, is now forced to pump its water supply a distance of 180 kilometers and up 1,000 meters from the Cutzamala River at much higher cost. The city faces the prospect of exhausting its supply in the year 2000. INDONESIA: Jakarta has so depleted its underground aquifers that seawater has seeped 15 kilometers inland making the supply saline. Investments in pipelines to bring water from other sources are eventually expected to top $1 billion. IWSA, Managing the Global Environment; National Report from Beijing Municipal Waterworks Company, 1993. McIntyre, Peter; Protecting the Well, Noordwijk Conference, The Netherlands, March 1994. .
source: Water See also XlnkS4CD

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