The emergent science of engineering a sustainable urban environment

Goudie, Douglas (2009) The emergent science of engineering a sustainable urban environment. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution: focus, 9 (5). pp. 469-484.

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Engineering is taking a lead role in sustainability implementation, despite problems linking institutional decision-makers with such things as water purification and cleansing wetlands. An emerging science may help speed an all-system approach to implementing sustainable urban planning. The many innovative approaches to engineering and planning will lead to cities and suburbs where water, urban travel, energy chains and food provision infrastructures are bound together by ESD values, flow-on principles and a workable process of sustainability achievement.

JCU Townsville is developing such a process of Sustainability Implementation Planning (SIP) and Engineering, aspiring to become a tropics sustainability exemplar. This article reports on a 90-strong workshop: Paths to Sustainability held in August 2008, with strong regional leadership support.

An integrated intellectual frame and ‘futures oriented’ blueprint is provided to achieve the myriad cultural, social, economic, energy, water, food, engineering and environmental needs to ‘go sustainable’ in an urban setting, where most of us live.

The workshop results show SIP water management begins with local raindrops, local capture, local ground penetration, use and reuse, entering local nutrient flows to local urban food gardens and then used as a source to grow aquatic protein and fuel oils. Energy engineering becomes a local mix of renewables and innovative storage, appropriate building design, transport systems and industry; including embodied and life-cycle energy analysis and careful considerations in all built structure and use. Urban planning, people movement, housing location and travel mode will increasingly be judged by energy costs, as will food production.

Item ID: 10335
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-2940
Keywords: sustainability theory; urban; place-based; planning; engineering; water
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2010 00:29
FoR Codes: 12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1202 Building > 120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning @ 70%
12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120501 Community Planning @ 20%
09 ENGINEERING > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering @ 10%
SEO Codes: 87 CONSTRUCTION > 8701 Construction Planning > 870104 Residential Construction Planning @ 10%
87 CONSTRUCTION > 8701 Construction Planning > 870105 Urban Planning @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering @ 40%
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