Building sustainable cities

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by ajtr, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Building sustainable cities


    India’s success in the 21st century is going to be defined by manner in which we address the revival of existing cities and the way we plan our new cities.According to the ‘United Nations World Urbanization Prospects’, the next few decades alone will see 600 million Indians moving into urban areas.

    India's cities will have to deal with a massive influx of tens of millions of people at a speed unparalleled in history. This is clearly a challenge; but it can also be a huge opportunity to leapfrog into a society that is environmentally and socially sustainable; especially by learning from the successes and failures of the more urbanized / developed parts of the world.

    Here we showcase some communities that have crossed over to the sustainable side of things.

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    A policeman walks past solar panels covering the roof of the Paul VI hall near the cupola of Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

    The Vatican

    The world's smallest country and the home of the Pope is hoping to become the first solar powered nation in the world! The Vatican intends to spend 660 million dollars to create what will effectively be Europe's largest solar power plant.

    This massive 100 megawatt photovoltaic installation will provide enough energy to power all of its 40,000 households.
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    People walk in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican
    These aren't the only moves that the Vatican is taking to reduce its greenhouse emissions. It is contemplating using an electric popemobile, the Vatican cafeteria will soon be decked with a solar heating system to provide heating and cooling, and even the Pope's summer residence is being fitted out to get power from the methane generated by the horse stables.
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Solar panels cover the roof of the Paul VI hall, as seen from the terrace of Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

    The solar energy installation has been sited on the roof of one its few large modern buildings -- the roof of the Paul VI hall, the vast building where popes traditionally hold weekly public audiences in winter or whenever bad weather rules out St Peter's Square.

    The roof of the hall which was designed by architect Pier Luigi Nervi and opend in 1971, is now covered in photo electric cells as a replacement for its original concrete plates. The system was inaugurated in November 2008.
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    Pope Benedict XVI's private apartment is seen lit in the evening at the Vatican


    The solar rooftop garden is not the first environmental project the Vatican has undertaken. In 1999, as part of preparations for the jubilee year, the entire lighting system of St. Peter's Basilica was upgraded to be low-impact. Strategically placed energy-saving light bulbs were installed inside and out, cutting the basilica's energy consumption by an estimated 40 percent.
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Ota, Japan

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    A vehicle drives past solar powered houses in Ota, 80km northwest of Tokyo

    Caption: A vehicle drives past solar powered houses in Ota, 80km northwest of Tokyo

    Solar panels shine across Ota City's tiny Pal Town neighborhood, nestled in one of Japan's sunniest spots, a witness to the charm of renewable energy in this resource-poor country.

    The town has received free solar panels in 2002 through a 9.7 billion yen state-backed study.

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    Ota is testimony to the allure of renewable energy to the energy conscious in resource-poor Japan, but also its high cost to the debt-saddled nation. It is considered to be one of Japan's first Solar City. Three-quarters of the town's homes are covered by solar panels distributed for free.
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    Japanese housewife, Mika Hiroshima, turns on the lights at her solar powered house in Ota, 80km northwest of Tokyo.

    Hiroshima says her electrical appliances are mostly powered by solar energy: when they have some unused electricity left, they can sell it back to a local power company.
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    Mika Hiroshima, dries a towel outside her solar powered house in Ota.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Bisbee, Arizona
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    An alternative lifestyle powered by solar panels and wind turbines has become more appealing to some. For architect Todd Bogatay, it has been reality for years. When Bogatay bought this breezy patch of scrub-covered mountaintop with views to Mexico more than two decades ago, he was one of only a few Americans with an interest in wind- and solar-powered homes.
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    A view of a greenhouse with a solar panel attached for heating water, which architect Todd Bogatay constructed from discarded windows found at the Phelps Dodge copper mine and rebuilt with dual pane glass.

    Bogatay makes few sacrifices for his chosen lifestyle. He has a small, energy saving refrigerator, but otherwise his house is like any other, with satellite television and a computer with Internet service.
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    A television running on power generated from wind turbines and solar panels is seen in a home in the Binaziz community

    The cost of building such a home is little different from that of building any other home, and with a range of energy sipping appliances such as refrigerators, hi-fis and even hairdryers now available, the forced austerity associated with off-grid living is also changing.
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    Bogatay and his neighbors at the 120-acre development are among a very small but fast-growing group of Americans opting to meet their own energy needs as power prices surge and home repossessions grow.

    Once the domain of a few hardy pioneers, the dispersed movement is now attracting not just a few individuals and families, but institutions and developers building subdivisions that meet their own energy needs.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    BedZed, London

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    The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) is seen in Wallington.
    Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) is an environmentally-friendly Peabody housing development in Hackbridge, London, designed by the architect Bill Dunster to support a more sustainable lifestyle. Because of BedZED's low-energy-emission concept, cars are discouraged; the project encourages public transport, cycling, and walking, and has limited parking space.

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    The project is designed to use only energy from renewable sources generated on site. There are 777 m² of solar panels. Tree waste fuels the development's cogeneration plant (downdraft gasifier) to provide district heating and electricity. However, the gasifier is not being used, because of technical implementation problems, though the technology has been and is being used successfully at other sites.

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    The community is built on certian basic design principles namely: high quality - apartments are finished to a high standard to attract the urban professional; energy efficiency - the houses face south to take advantage of solar gain, are triple glazed, and have high thermal insulation; low-impact materials - building materials were selected from renewable or recycled sources within 35 miles of the site, to minimize the energy required for transportation; waste recycling; encourage eco-friendly transport.

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    Monitoring conducted in 2003 found that BedZED had achieved these reductions in comparison to UK averages:

    * Space-heating requirements were 88% less
    * Hot-water consumption was 57% less
    * The electrical power used, at 3 kilowatt hours per person per day, was 25% less than the UK average
    * Mains-water consumption has been reduced by at least 50%
    * The residents' car mileage is 65% less

    With places like this in the world encouraging a sustainable lifestyle, why should Indian cities be any different?
     

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