Case study: Whitehill Bordon (Ecotown), UK
In 2009 the UK Government named four towns as 'ecotowns'. The towns receive some government funding and are granted ecotown status on the basis of the potential for achieving a high level of sustainability. The government funding aims to provide:
- affordable housing
- sustainable living
- carbon neutral developments
- creative use of waste and high rates of recycling
- employment that is local
- locals have a say in the development
- local services and schools, so less demand for use of cars
Whitehill Bordon is one example of an ecotown and was given the status in 2009.
The development of the ecotown
- Around £10 million was given by the government. This money funded many local projects.
- MOD land (a brownfield site [brownfield: A brownfield site is an unused or derelict area of urban land that has been built on previously. ]) will be converted into an exhibition house informing residents about how low carbon living can work. The grounds will be designed to encourage local wildlife and grow food.
- Energy-saving measures have been started in public buildings. The redeveloped fire station is to have a biomass [biomass energy: Energy made from biological materials such as wood, waste or alcohol. ] boiler.
- Free wi-fi in the town centre will enable communities to join together.
- Free loft insulation is given to householders to help save energy.
- Over 50 green spaces around and within the town are identified to protect and enhance wildlife. A boardwalk, made from recycled materials is being built.
- Eco-grants are available to local businesses to help reduce their carbon footprint [carbon footprint: The amount of carbon generated from activities people do. ].
- The initiative hopes to create 5,500 jobs by 2028.
- There is a strong link with the community - with local consultations and representatives.
Case study: Masdar City (a sustainably planned city), Abu Dhabi
Ariel view of proposed Masdar City masterplan Credit: Masdar City
View of the buildings at Masdar City Institute Credit: Masdar City
Masdar City aims to be one of the world’s most sustainable [sustainable: Doing something in a way that minimises damage to the environment and avoids using up natural resources, eg by using renewable resources. ] urban developments powered by renewable [renewable: A resource which is generated from sources which are not finite or exhaustible. For example, wave power, wind power, solar power or geothermal energy are renewable energy sources. ] energy. It aims to do this by:
- Ensuring a low carbon footprint during and after its construction.
- Being completely powered by renewable energy.
- Reducing waste to as near to zero as possible, through encouraging changes in behaviour and regulating materials which can be present in the city.
- Leading research and education into sustainable technology.
- Designing the city streets and buildings to help create comfortable environments reducing the need for air conditioning, heating, and artificial light.
- Educating three quarters of the 40,000 residents with 5 hours of sustainability education each year.
- Leading research at its university to ensure the city retains its sustainable identification and leading knowledge in sustainable living.
- Full pedestrianisation within the city, without vehicles in the space. The transport network would be below ground.
An article on the Whitehall Bordon ecotown in East Hampshire
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