Topics: Sustainability, Natural environment, Biodiversity Pages: 5 (1410 words) Published: April 11, 2013
Eco city1
Benefits of eco-cities2
Ecological Sustainability2
Economic Sustainability2
Social Sustainability2
Examples of eco cities2
Masdar City3
Treasure Island4
Challenges in transforming African cities into eco cities4

Eco-Cities are places where people can live healthier and economically productive lives while reducing their impact on the environment. They work to harmonize existing policies, regional realities, and economic and business markets with their natural resources and environmental assets. Eco-Cities strive to engage all citizens in collaborative and transparent decision making, while being mindful of social equity concerns (Khodgson, 2008). This paper seeks to understand the definition of an eco-city and how they work. It shall look at examples of existing eco-cities and the challenges that African cities might face in transforming their cities into eco cities. Eco city

The concept of an eco-city came about as a challenge in creating a new and superior form of settlements. It is one of the models created towards the City of the Future. These different models have occupied philosophers, architects, planners, and urban theorist throughout the past centuries. The vision of an eco-city involves a mixed-used urban form, with higher density, human-inhabited centres that are the core points for the population and employment growth linked by public transport. Attention has been given to the development of a superior public transport system, and a need for non-motorised modes of travel with a minimal road capacity; it decreases the dependence to automobile and protects the city’s natural areas and its food-producing capacity. Its aim is to establish innovative environmental technologies for water, energy and waste management, an economic growth based on the creativity, innovation and sensitivity to the local environment and cultural contexts, with a sustainable urban design seeking a high quality in the public environment, for both public space and socially in accordance with social capital and establishing a good governance. This vision should be community-orientated; in other words the community has to be involved in the decision making process and thus it should be established on a democratic frame work (Pacione, 2009). Benefits of eco-cities

Ecological cities enhance the well-being of citizens and society through integrated urban planning and management that uses fully the benefits of ecological systems, and protects and maintains these assets for future generations. Eco-cities create value and opportunities for citizens, businesses, and society by efficiently using all tangible and intangible assets, and enabling productive, inclusive, and sustainable economic activity (Anon., 2010). An eco-city seeks to establish sustainable development. Sustainability is progress that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. A sustainable community is an environmentally, economically, and socially healthy place where people can live, work and play for decades to come (Khodgson, 2008). Ecological Sustainability

Ecological sustainability ensures that all parts of the natural and built environments work together as a single ecological system. This benefits the inhabitants and the natural environment (Anon., 2010). Economic Sustainability

Economic sustainability ensures a healthy economy that supports and sustains people and the environment in which they live over the long-term (Anon., 2010). Social Sustainability
Social sustainability ensures that a community meets it residents’ basic needs and has the capability to prevent and/or address problems in the future (Anon., 2010). Examples of eco cities
The following are examples of eco-cities around the world. For this paper attention will be given to already existing eco-cities, nonetheless one...
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