Sustainability: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives

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The concept of sustainability is inherently multi-disciplinary because it concerns a complex system having economic, technological, ecological, political, and other perspectives. Consequently, any ...
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Engineering Urban Sustainability

Pp. 173-196 (24)

Ke Li, John Crittenden, Subhrajit Guhathakurta and Harindra Joseph Fernando

Abstract

Population growth and increased concentration of economic activities in urban areas pose significant challenges for sustainable development of urban regions. Our ability to make correct choices about future development will depend upon our understanding of the impact of these choices on the future quality of life of the urban inhabitants. Land use, construction material use and construction practices are among the most critical drivers of sustainability, given that where and how we choose to build will affect a range of environmental attributes including energy use, water use, air quality, waste handling, and public health, among others. The challenge is the quantification and visualization of the interdependent future consequences in the regional/urban landscape by independent decisions at the urban area. This requires a meta-model framework that integrates the outcomes resulting from growth and spatial distribution of economic and social activities. A framework that integrates land use, construction practices, transportation and air quality were given as an example.

Keywords:

Brown revolution, urbanization, urban systems, sustainability science and engineering, complex adaptive system, complexity, metamodels, system dynamics, sustainability metrics, ecological footprint index, environmental sustainability index, urbansim, material demands, life-cycle assessment, life cycle inventory, life cycle impact assessment (LICA), ground level ozone, ozone precursors, onroad mobile sources, nonroad mobile sources, point source, area sources, biogenic sources.

Affiliation:

Faculty of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA