Sustainable city

Sustainable cities, urban sustainability, or eco-city (also "ecocity") is a city designed with consideration for social, economic, environmental impact (commonly referred to as the triple bottom line[1]),[2] and resilient habitat for existing populations, without compromising the ability of future generations to experience the same. These cities are inhabited by people whom are dedicated towards minimization of required inputs of energy, water, food, waste, output of heat, air pollution - CO
, methane, and water pollution. Richard Register first coined the term "ecocity" in his 1987 book Ecocity Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future, where he offers innovative city planning solutions that would work anywhere.[3] Other leading figures who envisioned the sustainable city are architect Paul F Downton, who later founded the company Ecopolis Pty Ltd, as well as authors Timothy Beatley and Steffen Lehmann, who have written extensively on the subject. The field of industrial ecology is sometimes used in planning these cities.

There remains no completely agreed upon definition for what a sustainable city should be or completely agreed upon paradigm for what components should be included. Generally, developmental experts agree that a sustainable city should meet the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The ambiguity within this idea leads to a great deal of variation in terms of how cities carry out their attempts to become sustainable.

Ideally, a sustainable city creates an enduring way of life across the four domains of ecology, economics, politics and culture. Goals of a sustainable city are to be able to feed itself with a sustainable reliance on the surrounding natural environment and have the ability to power itself with renewable sources of energy. The central focus of this topic is to create the smallest conceivable ecological footprint while also producing the lowest quantity of pollution achievable. All of this is to be accomplished by efficiently using the land in ways such as composting used materials, recycling, and/or converting waste-to-energy. The idea is that these contributions will lead to a decrease of the city's impact on climate change. The Adelaide City Council[4] states that socially sustainable cities should be equitable, diverse, connected, democratic, and provide a good quality of life.

Today, 55% of the world is estimated to be living in urban areas and the United Nations estimates that by the year 2050, that number will rise to 68%.[5] These large communities provide both challenges and opportunities for environmentally-conscious developers. There are distinct advantages to further defining and working towards the goals of sustainable cities. Humans are social creatures and thrive in urban spaces that foster social connections. Richard Florida, an urban studies theorist, focuses on the social impact of sustainable cities and states that cities need to be more than a competitive business climate; they need to be a great people climate that appeals to individuals and families of all types. Because of this, a shift to more dense, urban living would provide an outlet for social interaction and conditions under which humans can prosper. These types of urban areas would also promote the use of public transit, walkability and biking which would benefit citizens health wise but also be environmentally beneficial.

Practical achievement

These ecological cities are achieved through various means, such as:

  • Different agricultural systems such as agricultural plots within the city (suburbs or centre). This reduces the distance food has to travel from field to fork. Practical work out of this may be done by either small scale/private farming plots or through larger scale agriculture (e.g. farmscrapers).
  • Renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, solar panels, or bio-gas created from sewage. Cities provide economies of scale that make such energy sources viable.
  • Various methods to reduce the need for air conditioning (a massive energy demand), such as planting trees and lightening surface colors, natural ventilation systems, an increase in water features, and green spaces equaling at least 20% of the city's surface. These measures counter the "heat island effect" caused by an abundance of tarmac and asphalt, which can make urban areas several degrees warmer than surrounding rural areasas much as six degrees Celsius during the evening.
  • Improved public transport and an increase in pedestrianization to reduce car emissions. This requires a radically different approach to city planning, with integrated business, industrial, and residential zones. Roads may be designed to make driving difficult.
  • Optimal building density to make public transport viable but avoid the creation of urban heat islands.
  • Solutions to decrease urban sprawl, by seeking new ways of allowing people to live closer to the workspace. Since the workplace tends to be in the city, downtown, or urban center, they are seeking a way to increase density by changing the antiquated attitudes many suburbanites have towards inner-city areas. One of the new ways to achieve this is by solutions worked out by the Smart Growth Movement.
  • Green roofs alter the surface energy balance and can help mitigate the urban heat island effect. Incorporating eco roofs or green roofs in your design will help with air quality, climate and water runoff.
  • Zero-emission transport
  • Zero-energy building
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems or SUDS
  • energy conservation systems/devices
  • Xeriscaping - garden and landscape design for water conservation
  • Sustainable transport, incorporates five elements: fuel economy, occupancy, electrification, pedal power, and urbanization.
  • Key Performance Indicators - development and operational management tool providing guidance and M&V for city administrators
  • Sustainable Sites Initiative or SSI,Voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices. Key areas of focus are soil, vegetation, hydrology, materials, and human health and well being.
  • Increase of Cycling infrastructure would increase cycling within cities and reduce the number of cars being driven and in turn reduce car emissions. This would also benefit the health of citizens as they would be able to get more exercise through cycling.
  • Educating residents of cities about the positive impacts of living in a more sustainable city and why it is important would increase the initiative to have sustainable developments and push people to live in a more sustainable way.


Buildings provide the infrastructure for a functioning city and allow for many opportunities to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. A commitment to sustainable architecture encompasses all phases of building including the planning, building, and restructuring. Sustainable Site Initiatives is used by landscape architects, designers, engineers, architects, developers, policy-makers and others to align land development and management with innovative sustainable design.

Eco-industrial park

The purpose of an eco-industrial park is to connect a number of firms and organizations to work together to decrease their environmental impact while simultaneously improving their economic performance. The community of businesses accomplishes this goal through collaboration in managing environmental and resource issues, such as energy, water, and materials. The components for building an eco-industrial park include natural systems, more efficient use of energy, and more efficient material and water flows Industrial parks should be built to fit into their natural settings in order to reduce environmental impacts, which can be accomplished through plant design, landscaping, and choice of materials. For instance, there is an industrial park in Michigan built by Phoenix Designs that is made almost entirely from recycled materials. The landscaping of the building will include native trees, grasses, and flowers, and the landscaping design will also act as climate shelter for the facility. In choosing the materials for building an eco-industrial park, designers must consider the life-cycle analysis of each medium that goes into the building to assess their true impact on the environment and to ensure that they are using it from one plant to another, steam connections from firms to provide heating for homes in the area, and using renewable energy such as wind and solar power. In terms of material flows, the companies in an eco-industrial park may have common waste treatment facilities, a means for transporting by-products from one plant to another, or anchoring the park around resource recovery companies that are recruited to the location or started from scratch. To create more efficient water flows in industrial parks, the processed water from one plant can be reused by another plant and the parks infrastructure can include a way to collect and reuse storm water runoff.


Recycled Park in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The Recycled Park in Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands, is an initiative introduced by Recycled Island Foundation, a Netherlands-based organization focused on recycling littered waste via creating their iconic island-parks, among other sustainable projects. Rotterdam’s Recycled Park is a cluster of floating, green hexagonal “islands” composed of reused litter. The group has utilized a system of passive litter traps[6] to collect this litter from the Maas River. The park’s location upon the Maas River reflects a circular process aimed at creating a more sustainable city.

On the underside of the recycled park are materials which will support the growth of plants and wildlife indigenous to the area. This interest in growing the biodiversity of Rotterdam’s natural elements is also reflected in other cities. Chicago’s Urban Rivers[7] organization is similarly trying to solve this issue by building and growing the Wild Mile of floating parks and forests along the Chicago River with the goal of revegetation. Both Urban Rivers’ and Recycled Island Foundation’s interest in improving the area’s biodiversity reflects an interest in greening the built urbanism of the surrounding city.

Rotterdam’s Recycled Park may suggest a greater trend in creating floating structures in response to greater climate-change-motivated impacts. The Floating Farm[8] in Rotterdam sustainably approaches food production and transport. Other floating structures include renewable energy-powered houseboats[9] and luxury residences some 800 meters from the coast.[10] The Dutch city of Amsterdam likewise boasts a neighborhood of artificial, floating islands in the suburb of IJburg.

The idea of expanding both commercial enterprise and residential developments onto the water is oftentimes reflective of the demand to limit land-usage in urban areas. This has various, wide-reaching environmental impacts: reducing the aggregation of the urban heat-island effect, the zoning efforts expended on engineering and regulating the floodplain (and potentially, the capacity of waste-water reservoirs), and reduce the demands of the automobility state.

The Recycled Park is a holistic approach to limiting the expense of waste. The employment of greenery has air-purifying effects, to reduce pollution. Additionally, the modular, hexagonal design allows reconstruction of each “island;” this space thus also offers environmental sustainability, as well as an open space for community-growing and other social opportunities.

Urban farming

Urban farming is the process of growing and distributing food, as well as raising animals, in and around a city or in urban area. According to the RUAF Foundation, urban farming is different from rural agriculture because it is integrated into the urban economic and ecological system: urban agriculture is embedded in and interacting with the urban ecosystem.[11] Such linkages include the use of urban residents as laborers; use of typical urban resources (such as utilizing organic waste as compost or urban wastewater for irrigation); direct links with urban consumers; direct impacts on urban ecology (positive and negative); being part of the urban food system; competing for land with other urban functions; being influenced by urban policies and plans. One motivation for urban agriculture in sustainable cites includes saving energy that would be used in food transportation. In order for urban farming to be a successful method of sustainable food growth, cities must allot a common area for community gardens or farms, as well as a common area for a farmers market in which the foodstuffs grown within the city can be sold to the residents of the urban system.

New Urbanism

The most clearly defined form of walkable urbanism is known as the Charter of New Urbanism. It is an approach for successfully reducing environmental impacts by altering the built environment to create and preserve smart cities which support sustainable transport. Residents in compact urban neighborhoods drive fewer miles and have significantly lower environmental impacts across a range of measures, compared with those living in sprawling suburbs. The concept of circular flow land use management has also been introduced in Europe to promote sustainable land use patterns that strive for compact cities and a reduction of greenfield land taken by urban sprawl.

Sustainable architecture, a recent movement of New Classical Architecture, promotes a sustainable approach towards construction that appreciates and develops smart growth, walkability, vernacular tradition, and classical design. This in contrast to modernist and globally uniform architecture and opposes solitary housing estates and suburban sprawl. Both trends started in the 1980s.

Individual buildings (LEED)

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System® encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system. LEED recognizes whole building sustainable design by identifying key areas of excellence including: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Locations & Linkages, Awareness and Education, Innovation in Design, Regional Priority. In order for a building to become LEED certified sustainability needs to be prioritized in design, construction, and use. One example of sustainable design would be including a certified wood like bamboo. Bamboo is fast growing and has an incredible replacement rate after being harvested. By far the most credits are rewarded for optimizing energy performance. This promotes innovative thinking about alternative forms of energy and encourages increased efficiency.

Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI)

Sustainable Sites Initiative, a combined effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden, is a voluntary national guideline and performance benchmark for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices. The building principles of SSI are to design with nature and culture, use a decision-making hierarchy of preservation, conservation, and regeneration, use a system thinking approach, provide regenerative systems, support a living process, use a collaborative and ethical approach, maintain integrity in leadership and research, and finally foster environmental stewardship. All of these help promote solutions to common environmental issues such as greenhouse gases, urban climate issues, water pollution and waste, energy consumption, and health and wellbeing of site users. The main focus is hydrology, soils, vegetation, materials, and human health and well being.

In SSI, the main goal for hydrology in sites is to protect and restore existing hydrologic functions. To design storm water features to be accessible to site users, and manage and clean water on site. For site design of soil and vegetationmany steps can be done during the construction process to help minimize the urban heat island effects, to and minimize the building heating requirements by using plants.


As major focus of the sustainable cities, sustainable transportation attempts to reduce a city's reliance and use of greenhouse emitting gases by utilizing eco friendly urban planning, low environmental impact vehicles, and residential proximity to create an urban center that has greater environmental responsibility and social equity.

Due to the significant impact that transportation services have on a city's energy consumption, the last decade has seen an increasing emphasis on sustainable transportation by developmental experts. Currently, transportation systems account for nearly a quarter of the world's energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission. In order to reduce the environmental impact caused by transportation in metropolitan areas, sustainable transportation has three widely agreed upon pillars that it utilizes to create more healthy and productive urban centers.

The Carbon Trust states that there are three main ways cities can innovate to make transport more sustainable without increasing journey times - better land use planning, modal shift to encourage people to choose more efficient forms of transport, and making existing transport modes more efficient.

Car free city

The concept of car free cities or a city with large pedestrian areas is often part of the design of a sustainable city. A large part of the carbon footprint of a city is generated by cars so the car free concept is often considered an integral part of the design of a sustainable city.

Emphasis on proximity

Created by eco friendly urban planning, the concept of urban proximity is an essential element of current and future sustainable transportation systems. This requires that cities be built and added onto with appropriate population and landmark density so that destinations are reached with reduced time in transit. This reduced time in transit allows for reduced fuel expenditure and also opens the door to alternative means of transportation such as bike riding and walking. Transportation in downtown Chicago Furthermore, close proximity of residents and major landmarks allows for the creation of efficient public transportation by eliminating long sprawled out routes and reducing commute time. This in turn decreases the social cost to residents who choose to live in these cities by allowing them more time with families and friends instead by eliminating part of their commute time.

See also: Compact city and Pocket neighborhood

Diversity in modes of transportation

Sustainable transportation emphasizes the use of a diversity of fuel-efficient transportation vehicles in order to reduce greenhouse emissions and diversity fuel demand. Due to the increasingly expensive and volatile cost of energy, this strategy has become very important because it allows a way for city residents to be less susceptible to varying highs and lows in various energy prices.

Among the different modes of transportation, the use alternative energy cars and widespread installation of refueling stations has gained increasing importance, while the creation of centralized bike and walking paths remains a staple of the sustainable transportation movement.

Access to transportation

In order to maintain the aspect of social responsibility inherent within the concept of sustainable cities, implementing sustainable transportation must include access to transportation by all levels of society. Due to the fact that car and fuel cost are often too expensive for lower income urban residents, completing this aspect often revolves around efficient and accessible public transportation.

In order to make public transportation more accessible, the cost of rides must be affordable and stations must be located no more than walking distance in each part of the city. As studies have shown, this accessibility creates a great increase in social and productive opportunity for city residents. By allowing lower income residents cheap and available transportation, it allows for individuals to seek employment opportunities all over the urban center rather than simply the area in which they live. This in turn reduces unemployment and a number of associated social problems such as crime, drug use, and violence.

Urban strategic planning

Although there is not an international policy regarding sustainable cities and there are not established international standards, there is an organization, the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) that is working to establish universal urban strategic guidelines. The UCLG a democratic and decentralized structure that operates in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Middle East, West Asian and a Metropolitan section work to promote a more sustainable society. The 60 members of the UCLG committee evaluate urban development strategies and debate these experiences to make the best recommendations. Additionally, the UCLG accounts for differences in regional and national context. All the organizations are making a great effort to promote this concept by media and internet, and in conferences and workshops. An International conference was held in Italy at Università del Salento and Università degli Studi della Basilicata, called 'Green Urbanism', from 12–14 October 2016.


Recently, local and national governments and regional bodies such as the European Union have recognized the need for a holistic understanding of urban planning. This is instrumental to establishing an international policy that focuses on cities challenges and the role of the local authorities responses. Generally, in terms of urban planning, the responsibility of local governments are limited to land use and infrastructure provision excluding inclusive urban development strategies. The advantages of urban strategic planning include an increase in governance and cooperation that aids local governments in establishing performance based-management, clearly identifying the challenges facing local community and more effectively responding on a local level rather than national level, and improves institutional responses and local decision making. Additionally, it increases dialogue between stakeholders and develops consensus-based solutions, establishing continuity between sustainability plans and change in local government; it places environmental issues as the priority for the sustainable development of cities and serves as a platform to develop concepts and new models of housing, energy and mobility.


The City Development Strategies (CDS) addresses new challenges and provides space for innovative policies that involves all stakeholders. The inequality in spatial development and socio-economic classes paired with concerns of poverty reduction and climate change are factors in achieving global sustainable cities. According to the UCLG there are differences between regional and national conditions, framework and practice that are overcome in the international commitment to communication and negotiation with other governments, communities and the private sector to continue to develop through innovative and participatory approaches in strategic decisions, building consensus and monitoring performance management and raising investment.

Social factors of sustainable cities

According to UN Habitat, around half of the world's population is concentrated in cities, which is set to rise to 60% within a couple decades. The UCLG has specifically identified 13 global challenges to establishing sustainable cities: demographic change and migration, globalisation of the job market, poverty and unmet Millennium Development Goals, segregation, spatial patterns and urban growth, metropolisation and the rise of urban regions, more political power for local authorities, new actors for developing a city and providing services, decline in public funding for development, the environment and climate change, new and accessible building technologies, preparing for uncertainty and limits of growth and global communications and partnerships.




Urban forests

In Adelaide, South Australia (a city of 1.3 million people) Premier Mike Rann (2002 to 2011) launched an urban forest initiative in 2003 to plant 3 million native trees and shrubs by 2014 on 300 project sites across the metro area. The projects range from large habitat restoration projects to local biodiversity projects. Thousands of Adelaide citizens have participated in community planting days. Sites include parks, reserves, transport corridors, schools, water courses and coastline. Only trees native to the local area are planted to ensure genetic integrity. Premier Rann said the project aimed to beautify and cool the city and make it more liveable; improve air and water quality and reduce Adelaide's greenhouse gas emissions by 600,000 tonnes of C02 a year. He said it was also about creating and conserving habitat for wildlife and preventing species loss.

Solar power

The Rann government also launched an initiative for Adelaide to lead Australia in the take-up of solar power. In addition to Australia's first 'feed-in' tariff to stimulate the purchase of solar panels for domestic roofs, the government committed millions of dollars to place arrays of solar panels on the roofs of public buildings such as the museum, art gallery, Parliament, Adelaide Airport, 200 schools and Australia's biggest rooftop array on the roof of Adelaide Showgrounds' convention hall which was registered as a power station.

Wind power

South Australia went from zero wind power in 2002 to wind power, making up 26% of its electricity generation by October 2011. In the five years preceding 2011 there was a 15% drop in emissions, despite strong economic growth.

Waste recycling

For Adelaide the South Australian government also embraced a Zero Waste recycling strategy, achieving a recycling rate of nearly 80% by 2011 with 4.3 million tonnes of materials diverted from landfill to recycling. On a per capita basis this was the best result in Australia, the equivalent of preventing more than a million tonnes of C02 entering the atmosphere. In the 1970s container deposit legislation was introduced. Consumers are paid a 10 cent rebate on each bottle, can, or container they return to recycling. In 2009 non-reusable plastic bags used in supermarket checkouts were banned by the Rann Government, preventing 400 million plastic bags per year entering the litter stream. In 2010 Zero Waste SA was commended by a UN Habitat Report entitled 'Solid Waste Management in the World Cities'.


  • City of Moreland. The City of Moreland in Melbourne's north, has programs for becoming carbon neutral, one of which is 'Zero Carbon Moreland', amongst other existing sustainable implementations and proposals.
  • City of Melbourne. Over the past 10 years, various methods of improving public transport have been implemented, car free zones and entire streets have also been implemented.

City of Greater Taree, New South Wales

The City of Greater Taree north of Sydney has developed a masterplan for Australia's first low-to-no carbon urban development.


Belo Horizonte, Brazil was created in 1897 and is the third largest metropolis in Brazil, with 2.4 million inhabitants. The Strategic Plan for Belo Horizonte (2010–2030) is being prepared by external consultants based on similar cities' infrastructure, incorporating the role of local government, state government, city leaders and encouraging citizen participation. The need for environmental sustainable development is led by the initiative of new government following planning processes from the state government. Overall, the development of the metropolis is dependent on the land regularization and infrastructure improvement that will better support the cultural technology and economic landscape. Despite being a developing or newly industrialized nation,[12] it is home to two sustainable cities.[13] The southern cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba are often cited as examples of urban sustainability.


  • Bafut, is a town and traditional kingdom which is working towards becoming an eco-city by 2020, through the Bafut Council Eco-city Project.


The GreenScore City Index studies the ecological footprints of Canadian cities and splits them into three population categories: large, medium, and small. The index studies 50 cities in Canada.

  • Vancouver had 2016's highest green score for large cities.
  • Burlington had 2016's highest green score for medium cities.
  • Victoria had 2016's highest green score for small cities.

Most cities in Canada have sustainability action plans which are easily searched and downloaded from city websites.

In 2010, Calgary ranked as the top eco-city in the planet for it's, "excellent level of service on waste removal, sewage systems, and water drinkability and availability, coupled with relatively low air pollution.” The survey was performed in conjunction with the reputable Mercer Quality of Living Survey.[14]


  • Tianjin: The Chinese are working with investment and technology supplied by the Singapore government to build an ecocity in Binhai, named the "Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city".
  • Dongtan Eco-city, Shanghai: The project, located in the east of Chongming Island developed by Arup and Parthers, was scheduled to accommodate 50,000 residents by 2010, but its developer has currently put construction on hold. An additional project was made in 2007 in this area: an Eco-Village based on the concept made by an Italian professor from the School of Architecture of Tianjin University.
  • Huangbaiyu, Benxi, Liaoning is a small village of 42 homes that has come under great criticism: most of the homes are unoccupied by villagers.
  • Nanjing: As of April 2008, an ecocity collaboration project is being proposed here.
  • Rizhao, Shandong mandates solar water heaters for households, and has been designated the Environmental Model City by China's SEPA.
  • Chengdu Tianfu District Great City is a planned city located just outside Chengdu that is planned to be sustainable and has the goal of being a self-sustaining city that discourages the use of cars.


Two comprehensive studies were carried out for the whole of Denmark in 2010 (The IDA Climate Plan 2050) and 2011 (The Danish Commission on Climate Change Policy). The studies analysed the benefits and obstacles of running Denmark on 100% renewable energy from the year 2050. There is also a larger, ambitious plan in action: the Copenhagen 2025 Climate Plan.

On a more local level, the industrial park in Kalundborg is often cited as a model for industrial ecology. However, projects have been carried out in several Danish cities promoting 100% renewable energy. Examples include Aalborg, Ballerup and Frederikshavn. Aalborg University has launched a master education program on sustainable cities (Sustainable Cities @ Aalborg University Copenhagen). See also the Danish Wikipedia.

  • Copenhagen: Cycling in Copenhagen: One of the most bicycle-friendly city's in the world where over 50% of the population get around on bikes. The city has infrastructure that caters to cycling with hundreds of kilometres of curb segregated bike lanes to separate cyclists and car traffic. A notable feature is The Cycle Super Highways that feature elevated bike lanes which ensures fast, unhindered travel between destinations.


Loja, Ecuador won three international prizes for the sustainability efforts begun by its mayor Dr. Jose Bolivar Castillo.[15]:25


Oxford Residences for four seasons in Estonia, winning a prize for Sustainable Company of the Year, is arguably one of the most advanced sustainable developments, not only trying to be carbon neutral, but already carbon negative.


The Finnish city of Turku has adopted a "Carbon Neutral Turku by 2040" strategy to achieve carbon neutrality via combining the goal with circular economy.


No other country has built more eco-city projects than Germany.[citation needed] Freiburg im Breisgau often refers to itself as a green city. It is one of the few cities with a Green mayor and is known for its strong solar energy industry. Vauban, Freiburg is a sustainable model district. All houses are built to a low energy consumption standard and the whole district is designed to be carfree. Another green district in Freiburg is Rieselfeld, where houses generate more energy than they consume. There are several other green sustainable city projects such as Kronsberg in Hannover and current developments around Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt.

  • Berlin: The Tiergarten (park) is a large park that takes up 520 acres and is an example of social sustainability where it is a green space but also used for transportation. The Tiergarten has inter paths where people can safely bike and walk without the disturbance of cars. Paths connect to notable areas within the city, such as government buildings, shopping areas and monuments.
  • Freiburg im Breisgau is often referred to as green city. It is known for its strong solar economy. Vauban, Freiburg is a sustainable model district. All houses are built to a low energy consumption standard and the whole district is designed to be car-free.

Hong Kong

The government portrays the proposed Hung Shui Kiu new town as an eco-city. The same happened with the urban development plan on the site of the former Kai Tak Airport.


South Dublin County Council announced plans in late 2007 to develop Clonburris, a new suburb of Dublin to include up to 15,000 new homes, to be designed to achieve the highest of international standards. The plans for Clonburris include countless green innovations such as high levels of energy efficiency, mandatory renewable energy for heating and electricity, the use of recycled and sustainable building materials, a district heating system for distributing heat, the provision of allotments for growing food, and even the banning of tumble driers, with natural drying areas being provided instead.

In 2012 an energy plan was carried out by the Danish Aalborg University for the municipalities of Limerick and Clare. The project was a short-term 2020 renewable energy strategy giving a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions, while ensuring that short-term actions are beneficial to the long-term goal of 100% renewable energy.


India is working on Gujarat International Finance Tec-City or GIFT which is an under-construction world-class city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It will come up on 500 acres (2.0 km2) land.[16] It will also be first of its kind fully Sustainable City. Auroville was founded in 1968 with the intention of realizing human unity, and is now home to approximately 2,000 individuals from over 45 nations around the world. Its focus is its vibrant community culture and its expertise in renewable energy systems, habitat restoration, ecology skills, mindfulness practices, and holistic education. Andhra Pradesh state New capital also coming up with a future sustainable city.


Hacienda - Mombasa, Kenya. It is the largest development of eco-friendly residential properties in East Africa; construction is currently ongoing, and it will eventually be one of Africa's first self-sustaining estates.


Songdo IBD is a planned city in Incheon which has incorporated a number of eco-friendly features. These include a central park irrigated with seawater, a subway line, bicycle lanes, rainwater catchment systems, and pneumatic waste collection system. 75% of the waste generated by the construction of the city will be recycled.

Gwanggyo City Centre is another planned sustainable city.


As of 2014 a Low Carbon Cities programme is being piloted in Malaysia by KeTTHA, the Malaysian Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) and the Carbon Trust.

Malacca has a stated ambition to become a carbon-free city, taking steps towards creating a smart electricity grid. This is being done as part of an initiative to create a Green Special Economic Zone, where it is intended that as many as 20 research and development centers will be built focusing on renewable energy and clean technology, creating up to 300,000 new green jobs.

The Federal Department of Town and Country Planning (FDTCP) in peninsular Malaysia is a focal point for the implementation of the Malaysian Urban Rural National Indicators Network for Sustainable Development (MURNInets)MURNInets includes 36 sets of compulsory indicators grouped under 21 themes under six dimensions. Most of the targets and standards for the selected indicators were adjusted according to hierarchy of local authorities. In MURNInets at least three main new features are introduced. These include the Happiness Index, an indicator under the quality of life theme to meet the current development trend that emphasizes on the well-being of the community. Another feature introduced is the customer or people satisfaction level towards local authorities' services. Through the introduction of these indicators the bottom-up approach in measuring sustainability is adopted.

New Zealand

The city of Waitakere, the Western part of the greater Auckland urban region, was New Zealand's first eco-city, working from the Greenprint, a guiding document that the City Council developed in the early 1990s.


Clark Freeport Zone is a former United States Air Force base in the Philippines. It is located on the northwest side of Angeles City and on the west side of Mabalacat City in the province of Pampanga, about 40 miles (60 km) northwest of Metro Manila. A multi-billion project will convert the 36,000 hectare former Clark Air Force Base into a mix of industrial, commercial and institutional areas of green environment. The heart of the project is a 9,450-hectare metropolis dubbed as the "Clark Green City". Builders will use the green building system for environmentally-friendly structures. Its facilities will tap renewable energy such as solar and hydro power.


The organization Living PlanIT is currently constructing a city from scratch near Porto, Portugal. Buildings will be electronically connected to vehicles giving the user a sense of personal eco-friendliness.


  • Bilbao: The city faced economic turmoil following the decline of the steel and port industries but through communication between stakeholders and authorities to create inner-city transformation, the local government benefited from the increase in land value in old port areas. The Strategic Plan for the Revitalisation of Metropolitan Bibao was launched in 1922 and have flourished regenerating old steel and port industries. The conversion from depleted steel and port industries to one of Europe's most flourishing markets is a prime example of a sustainable project in action.
  • Barcelona: The city is planning an urban redesign of civic super blocks, they plan to convert nine-block areas into unified mega block neighbourhoods. The aim is to decrease car related traffic, noise and pollution by over 20% and to free up to 60% of road areas for reuse as citizen spaces. This is being done because they realized that people in Barcelona die prematurely due to poor air quality and everyday noise levels are deemed harmful. By converting roads to spaces for festivals, farmer markets, bikes, and walkability it promotes a healthier lifestyle and potentially a happier one.


  • Norra Älvstranden (Swedish), in Gothenburg by the river Göta älv, is an example of a sustainable city in Sweden.[citation needed] It has low environmental impact, and contains passive houses, recycling system for waste, etc.
  • Hammarby Sjöstad[citation needed]
  • Västra Hamnen or Bo01, Malmö[citation needed]
  • Stockholm Royal Seaport

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

  • London Borough of Sutton is the first One Planet Region in the United Kingdom, with significant targets for reducing the ecological footprint of residents and creating the UK's greenest borough.
  • Middlesbrough is another One Planet Region in the United Kingdom.
  • St Davids, the smallest city in the United Kingdom, aims to be the first carbon neutral city in the world.
  • Leicester is the United Kingdom's first environment city.

United States

See also

See also the Sustainability navigational box at the bottom of the page.


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  2. Ranasinghe ,WC and Hemakumara, GPTS(2018), Spatial modelling of the householders' perception and assessment of the potentiality to improve the urban green coverage in residential areas: A case study from Issadeen Town Matara, Sri Lanka, Ruhuna Journal of Science,Vol 9(1);
  3. Register, Richard (1987). Ecocity Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 9781556430091.
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  5. "68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN". UN DESA | United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 2018-05-16. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
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Further reading

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