2 Context for Cities and Sustainability Review.pdf

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Ryerson University
Environment and Urban Sustainability
EUS 202
Christopher Greene

Component 2 Part 1 - Context for Cities and Sustainability Why focus on cities? -a high proportion of people live in cities/ urbanized areas -urban residents tend to exhibit higher consumption and contribute substantially to globally environmental problems -globally cities cover 2% of Earth, linked to ~78% of carbon emissions related to human activity, consume ~76% of industrial wood use and account for ~60% of water use by people Sustainable Communities -securing means for human survival, improving environmental conditions, improving overall quality of life, promoting equality and participatory decision making -sustainability about more than maintaining communities, goal for improving them -movement towards sustainability doesn’t mean it will be achieved -optimism Beginning with the Global Picture -increasing population challenges include food production, land for human use, freshwater resources, ecological integrity -population growth of global south less of a concern; higher concern is the impact of consumption and consumption trends (IPAT equation) -wealthiest 20% countries consumed over 75% of global resources -poorest 20% consumed only 1.5% of global resources -nearly 40% of global GHG emissions originate from the wealthiest 20% -a comparison on impact: a woman in India having 10 children is equivalent to a woman in North American having 1 child Carrying Capacity - “the maximum population of a given species that can be supported indefinitely in a defined habitat without permanently impairing the productivity of that habitat” -Rees & Wackernagel (1996), pg. 224 Ecological Footprint - “total number area of productive land and water required continuously to produce all the resources consumed and to assimilate all of the wastes produced, by a defined population...” - Rees & Wackernagel (2006), pg. 228-229 - carrying capacity examines the total population a given area can support - ecological footprint examines total area (land and water) required to support a given population - beings with per capita consumption, extrapolated to the total consumption of a study population, then total consumption translated to a land area required to provide for that consumption - an alternative IPAT - impact just expressed as land area - footprints at similar scales can be comp
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