Sustainable urbanism is:

  1. In common speech, the use of the adjective “ sustainable “ in conjunction with the noun “ urbanism „, meaning urbanism that is sustainable.
  2. A defined term advanced in the book Sustainable Urbanism by Doug Farr .

Sustainable Urbanism, as a term, is the application of sustainability and resilient principles to design , planning , and administration / operation of cities . [1] There is a range of non-governmental organizations, professional associations, and professional enterprises around the world. Related to sustainable urbanism is the Ecocity Movement (also known as Ecological Urbanism ), which is specifically based on Resilient Citiesservice de placement des ressources de distribution de sources de distribution de ressources de source de source de major disruption. Green urbanism is another common term for sustainable urbanism. Sustainable development is more general, but is not specifically a mode of urbanism .

Sustainable urbanism aims to close the loop by eliminating the environmental impact of urban development by providing all resources locally. It looks at the full life cycle of making sure everything is made sustainably, and sustainable urbanism also includes things like electricity and food production in the city. This means that it is truly self-sustaining and sustainable.

Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature , by Doug Farr (2007)

The architect and urban planner Doug Farr Discusses making cities walkable , along with-combining Elements of ecological urbanism , sustainable urban infrastructure , and new urbanism , and goes beyond em to close the loop is resource use and bring everything into the city or town. It is about increasing the quality of life by means of a shorter distance and increasing the quality of products that are offered.

Comparison of similar principles

New urbanism inspired by sustainable urbanism, the concept of sustainable urbanism. [2] [3] The criticism of New Urbanism is that it attempts to apply it to new urbanism.

Smart growth approach is conceived by planners helps achieve greater jobs-housing balance, but it is likely to leave unaddressed. While New Urbanism can fulfill that dimension, it is not viewed as an approach that will lead to communities that are self-connecting energy. The ecological city approach to their respective areas of strength and weakness. [4]

Green urbanism probably contains the most similar ideas with sustainable urbanism. They both emphasize on urban design with nature, and are better than communities and lifestyles. However, the principles of green urbanism are based on the triple-zero framework: zero fossil-fuel energy, zero waste, and zero emissions. Sustainable Urbanism, on the other hand, is more focused on designing communities that are walkable and transit-served so that they will prefer to meet their daily needs on foot.

Defining elements of Sustainable Urbanism


Compactness , or density, plays an important role in sustainable urban development because it supports reductions in per capita. The density of new development across the US averages roughly two dwelling units per acre, which is too low to support efficient transit and walk-to-destinations. Such low-density development is a characteristic of urban sprawl , which is the major cause of high dependence on private automobiles , inefficient infrastructure, increased obesity, loss of farmlands and natural habitats, pollution, and so on. [5] For these reasons, sustainable urbanism requires minimum development densities approximately four times higher than two dwelling units per acre.

Overall, compact development of pollutants to the natural world. Research has shown that low-density development can exacerbate non-point source pollutant loadings by consuming absorb open space and increasing impervious surface area relative to compact development. [6] While increasing densities, a higher level of water supply, a higher level of density, a higher level of water supply, and a higher level of water supply.

Increasing neighborhood population density also supports public transit service. Concentrating development density in and around transit stops and corridors maximizes people’s willingness to walk and Sustainable urbanism seeks to integrate infrastructure design Increase with density, Because a Concentrated mixed-use development required less use per capita infrastructure Compared To detached single-family housing. [7]


The concept of biophilia hypothesis was introduced by EO Wilson . It refers to the connection between humans and other living systems. Within this concept, humans are biologically predisposed to caring for nature. In Douglass Farr’s book, Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature , he links open spaces such as parks and recreation areas, sustainable food production and agricultural land use practices with humans‘ concern and relationship with natural systems. Therefore, biophilia is a crucial underlying component of sustainable urbanism. [8] [9]

Sustainable corridors

Sustainable corridors are similar to a wildlife corridor in which they connect cheaply and safely. They allow people to get into the world of waste and inefficient products. It also makes the most of all people in the community so that the mode of transportation is the most convenient and easiest to use for everyone. Sustainable Corridors also include biodiversity corridors to allow animals to move around communities so that they may still live in and around cities. [10]

High performance buildings

High performance buildings are designed and constructed to maximize operational energy savings and minimize environmental impacts of the construction and operation of buildings. Building construction and operation of a major deal of ‚externalized costs‘ such as waste material, energy inefficiencies and pollution. High performance buildings aim to minimize these and make the process much more efficient and less harmful. New York City Department of Design & Construction put on a set of guidelines in April 1999 on High Performance Buildings that have broad application to sustainable urbanism as a whole world. [11]

The amount of energy used in heating and cooling is determined by a number of other types of heating and cooling. Internal loads: the lighting, people, equipment, and ventilation system used inside the building, and external loads: the construction of the walls, roofs, and windows and how that influences energy flow. [12]

By incorporating environmentally sound materials and systems, improving indoor air quality and using natural or high efficiency lighting, moreover, those who work in these buildings directly benefit from these differences. Some building owners have also reported increased productivity as a result of the improved conditions. However, because these other benefits are more difficult to quantify than direct energy savings, the real value of high performance buildings can not be underestimated by traditional accounting methods that do not recognize ‚external‘ municipal and regional costs and benefits. The cost evaluations of high performance building should be for the economic, social, and environmental benefits that accompany green buildings.[13]

High performance building features and benefits

[14] The following design, construction, and operation activities can result in value-added public buildings. Direct, indirect, and ‚external‘ benefits can also be identified.

  • Energy efficiency / clean energy resources

Reduce energy use and demand through passive solar technologies and integrated building design. This process looks at optimum orientation and maximizes the thermal efficiency of the building envelope (windows, walls, roof) while also considering the interaction of the HVAC, lighting, and control systems. Integrated design uses daylight to reduce electrical demand, and incorporates energy efficient lighting, motors, and equipment. Where possible, renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic cells, solar hot water, and geothermal exchange are used in tandem with other low emission technologies, such as fuel cells. This results in direct energy cost savings (fuel and electricity) yield a good rate of return based on the initial investment. Other benefits include reduced consumption of nitrous oxide sulfur dioxide, methane, and other gases that contribute to air pollution). Furthermore, reducing the overall aggregate electrical load

  • Improved indoor environment

Improve indoor air quality by eliminating unhealthy emissions – such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – from building materials, products, and furnishings, and through outside filtering and distribution techniques that control pollutants. Maximize the use of controlled daylighting, which can be increased by high quality artificial lighting. Provide good acoustic control. Results in high performance facilities can help address a wide range of human resources by improving the overall quality of the interior environment. In addition, attention to building wellness today helps avoid future costs of corrections. Such ‚well-building‘ design emphasis can improve occupying comfort, health, and well-being, in turn reducing employee absenteeism and turnover.

  • Source reduction, pollution prevention and recycling

They are recyclable, and they are manufactured in a manner that is less damaging to the environment. Construction and demolition (C & D) waste prevention / management strategies and selective disposal of materials for salvage, recycling, or disposal. These actions will be avoided and will reduce air, water and soil pollution. They will also strengthen the market for recycled materials and the manufacture of products with post-consumer content. Long-term, better C & D waste management, ease on landfills, and minimizing the cost of transporting waste to disposal facilities outside the City.

  • Building operations resource management

Water conservation measures, water conservation measures, and improved housekeeping practices through the use of efficient cleaning and maintenance protocols. Water conservation measures will help maintain a city’s water quality and avoid potential future costs.

Barriers to high performance building

General lack of knowledge in the industry on high performance building and rapid payment mandated for investments in sustainable technologies. Slower returns need to be made acceptable so that more investments can be made. It is often difficult to obtain funding for such projects that are not obvious to the onlooker as well as not offering many financial incentives. Also, there are many regulatory disincentives. [15]

High performance infrastructure

High-performance infrastructure refers to core best management practices (BMPs) applicable to the typical section of the public right-of-way, encompassing street sidewalk, underground utilities, stormwater infrastructure, landscapes, and streetscape elements. In addition to many public health and environmental benefits, decreased costs and increased real estate values. [16] [17]

  • Component optimization

At the single-component level, it is possible to improve the performance, minimize environmental impact, use materials more efficiently or extended lifecycle. Examples include using reclaimed supplementary cement materials to increase the effectiveness of water-efficient landscaping.

  • Multifunctional optimization

Improving single components does not matter the whole system in place, so multifunctional optimization guidelines seek to minimize conflicts between parts and promote synergies. This could lead to long-term savings, improved performance and lifecycle, and increased returns on municipal investments. One example is using permeable pavement to reduce stormwater runoff and peak demand on stormwater management infrastructure by providing an adequate driving surface for vehicles.

  • Integrated design

Systems-oriented design focuses on improving the performance of the entire roadway system. It requires cross-disciplinary teamwork at the planning, scoping, design and construction phases. It promotes comprehensive performance improvements. An example of integrated design would be a roadway with a diversely planted center to improve the flow of air and water, and reduce stormwater runoff, dampen street noise and improve air quality.

Examples of sustainable urbanism

Newington, Sydney, Australia

A suburb in western Sydney, Australia , Newington , was the home to the athletes of the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2000 Summer Paralympics. It was built on a brownfield site, and it was developed by Mirvac Lend Lease Village Consortium from 1997. Redevelopment of the village was completed in 1999, but further development is still in progress. After the Games, Newington stimulated the Australian market for green products, and it became a solar village. Unfortunately, the development of services, which perpetuates automobile dependence. Furthermore, Newington does not provide any affordable housing.

Key Sustainable Urbanism Thresholds:

  • High performance buildings: Solar panels are installed in every home in Newington. „The collective energy generated by these photovoltaic panels will prevent 1,309 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere per year, the equivalent of 262 cars being taken off the road. [18] „By using window awnings , wool insulation , slab construction, and efficient water fixtures, over 90 percent of the homes are designed to consume 50 percent less energy and water than conventional homes.
  • Sustainable corridors and biophilia: At Newington, 90 percent of the plantings are native species . 21 acres of development is incorporated into the Millennium Parklands. 40 percent of stormwater runoff infiltrates the groundwater supply and the rest of the parklands, providing important habitats. In addition, The Haslams Creek was rehabilitated from a natural channel to a natural watercourse.

Dongtan, Shanghai, China

Dongtan is a development in Eastern Chongming Island, which is roughly one-hour trip from downtown Shanghai. It has been planned as „the world’s first eco-city ,“ attempting to become self-sufficient energy, carbon-neutral, and mostly eco-city housing 500,000 residents. The first phase of the development is presupposed by 2010, and the entire development by 2050, but the project has been delayed indefinitely due to financial issues, among other things. [19]

Key sustainable urbanism thresholds:

  • Compactness: Dongtan is planning to achieve densities of 84-112 people per acre, which will support efficient mass transit , social infrastructure, and a range of businesses. Most homes will be clustered to the city center. Parks, lakes and other public open spaces will be scattered around the densely designed neighborhoods.
  • High performance Infrastructure: Dongtan is designed to utilize various types of renewable energy , coming as close as possible to carbon neutrality . Wind turbines with different scales and solar panels will produce most of the energy Dongtan will need. The most ambitious portion of the energy infrastructure is the combined heat and power system (CHP) , converting waste from different sources into energy, including sewage , compost , and organic waste such as rice husks .

Upton, Northampton, England

Upton is part of the southwest district of Northampton, England, lying between the existing town and the motorway. Originally farming land, Upton was developed by English Partnerships , the national regeneration agency for England, with high standards of building and design codes. The planning outline started in 1997, and the sites were planned to be completed by 2011. [20]

Key sustainable urbanism thresholds:

  • High performance buildings and infrastructure: The Upton development is planned to employ sustainable urban drainage systems (SUSD), controlling the flow and quality of water entering the sewage system. Other green technologies being implemented include green roofs , microcombined heat and power (micro-CHP), rainwater harvesting systems, and PV systems.
  • Sustainable Neighborhoods: Upton is currently developing its transit system. As soon as the first residents move in, a twice-hourly bus service will begin. A car sharing program is also proposed. The development is achieving its social sustainability by requiring that 22 percent of scattered units be permanently affordable housing .

Sustainable urbanism organizations

Transition Town movement works to promote citizen based resilience to transition to a low carbon future.

Eco-City Builders holds a bi-annual conference on sustainable urbanism and promotes high performance planning and urban design practices.

The IGLUS Project at EPFL is a global Action research network qui est avocation at Improving performance of cities in the areas of efficiency, resilience and sustainability by Promoting more innovative governance approaches in urban infrastructure systems.

The Eco Cities Project at the University of Manchester (UK) is a research organization developing and validating sustainable urbanism practices.

Sustainable Cities is a Vancouver , British Columbia based organization.

The Institute for Sustainable Cities ( New York City ) works with the City of New York and promotes sustainable urbanism practices and policies.

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) supports policy, good governance , and local government practices to improve sustainability and resilience. They are working on specific sustainable urbanism initiatives: (a) Resilient Communities and Cities, (b) Just and Peaceful Communities, (c) Viable Local Economies, and (d) Eco-efficient Cities.

The United Nations Habitat promotes sustainable urbanism practices around the globe to localize Agenda 21 with the UNEP . The Sustainable Cities Program was established in 1990 as a joint UN-HABITAT / UNEP agency.

The Stockholm Resilience Center to improve climate change and resource efficiency

Resilient City is an association of designers working to implement sustainable urbanism practices.


  • The LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) is the United States‘ first rating system for green neighborhoods. The LEED has been created for a partnership with the Congress for New Urbanization, the US Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). It provides a coordinated environmental strategy to achieve sustainability at the level of entire neighborhoods and communities. LEED-ND is a rating system that certifies green neighborhoods, building off USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ( LEED), which is a third-party verification system that a development meets high standards of environmental responsibility. LEED-ND combines the principles of a new urbanism, green building, and smart growth to the first national standard for neighborhood design that extends LEED’s scope beyond the individual to a more holistic (neighborhood / community) perception of the context of the buildings. [21] [22] [23]

Criticisms of Sustainable Urbanism

Sustainable urbanism, but there are criticisms of New Urbanism. Critics say New Urbanism is too nostalgic and the designs seem artificial. Critics also charge that New Urbanism has largely failed to reach its goals of diversity, as the idea attracts mostly white, tributary residents. [24]

There are professionals who are concerned with the use of sustainable urbanism, which, while substantially better than much modern development, are not very sustainable. according to the Brundtland definition of sustainability.

Also, critics believe that, while the New Urbanism contains many attractive ideas, it can have difficulty dealing with a wide range of contemporary issues including scale, transportation, planning and codes, regionalism, and marketing. [25]

See also

  • Circles of Sustainability
  • SmartCode
  • Sustainable city
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainability


  1. Jump up^ Sharifi, Ayyoob (January 2016). „From Garden City to Eco-urbanism: The quest for sustainable neighborhood development“. Sustainable Cities and Society . 20 : 1-16. doi : 10.1016 / j.scs.2015.09.002 .
  2. Jump up^ „What Is New Urbanism?“ . Retrieved 29 July 2012 .
  3. Jump up^ „New Urbanism“ . Retrieved 29 July 2012 .
  4. Jump up^ Jepson Jr, Edward J .; Mary M. Edwards (August 2010). „How Possible is Sustainable Urban Development? An Analysis of Planners‘ Perceptions of New Urbanism, Smart Growth and the Ecological City“. Planning Practice and Research . 25 (4): 417-437.
  5. Jump up^ Frumkin, Howard (May-June 2002). „Urban Sprawl and Public Health“. Association of Schools of Public Health . 117 : 201-217. JSTOR  4598743 .
  6. Jump up^ Richards, Lynn; Geoffrey Anderson; Mary Kay Santore (2003). „Protecting Water Resources With Higher Density Developments“ (PDF). US Environmental Protection Agency : 340-368 . Retrieved 20 November2011 .
  7. Jump up^ Farr, Douglas (2008). Sustainable Urbanism . John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  8. Jump up^ „Edward O. Wilson’s Biophilia Hypothesis“ . Retrieved 20 November2011 .
  9. Jump up^ Farr, Douglas (2008). Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature . Wiley.
  10. Jump up^ Farr, Douglas (2008). Sustainable Urbanism . Hoboken, New Jersey: Jon Wiley & Sons.
  11. Jump up^ „High Performance Building Guidelines“ (PDF) . City of New York Department of Design and Construction . Retrieved November 2011 . Check date values ​​in:( help ) |access-date=
  12. Jump up^ Farr, Douglas (2008). Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature . Wiley.
  13. Jump up^ „High Performance Building Guidelines“ (PDF) . City of New York Department of Design and Construction . Retrieved November 2011 . Check date values ​​in:( help ) |access-date=
  14. Jump up^ „High Performance Building Guidelines“ (PDF) . City of New York Department of Design and Construction . Retrieved November 2011 . Check date values ​​in:( help ) |access-date=
  15. Jump up^ „High Performance Building Guidelines“ (PDF) . City of New York Department of Design and Construction . Retrieved November 2011 . Check date values ​​in:( help ) |access-date=
  16. Jump up^ Farr, Douglas (2008). Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature . Wiley.
  17. Jump up^ Khaidukov, Danil; Tasalov, Kirill (2016). The role of institutions in sustainable development of the United Kingdom and Russian Federation. // Public Administration of the Russian Federation: Challenges and Prospects: International Conference of Lomonosov Moscow State University – Moscow: „КDU“, „University Press“. pp. 4-10ISBN 978-5-91304-647-5
  18. Jump up^ Farr, Douglas (2008). Sustainable Urbanism . p. 233. ISBN  978-0-471-77751-9 .
  19. Jump up^ Brenhouse, Hilary (June 24, 2010). „Shrivel Plans for Chinese Eco-City“ . The New York Times . Retrieved 20 November 2011 .
  20. Jump up^ Energy Saving Trust. „Creating a sustainable urban extension – a case study of Upton, Northampton“ (PDF) . Retrieved 20 November 2011 .
  21. Jump up^ „Congress for the New Urbanism“ . LEED-ND .
  22. Jump up^ Sharifi, Ayyoob; Murayama, Akito (February 2014). „Neighborhood sustainability assessment in action: Cross evaluation of three assessment systems and their cases from the US, the UK, and Japan“. Building and Environment . 72 : 243-258. doi : 10.1016 / j.buildenv.2013.11.006 .
  23. Jump up^ Sharifi, Ayyoob; Murayama, Akito (January 2013). „A critical review of seven selected neighborhood sustainability assessment tools“. Environmental Impact Assessment Review . 38 : 73-87. doi : 10.1016 / j.eiar.2012.06.006 .
  24. Jump up^ „Online NewsHour – New Urban: Criticism“ . Retrieved 29 July 2012 .
  25. Jump up^ William Fulton,“The New Urbanism Challenges Conventional Planning“, Lincoln Institute,Land Lines, September 1996, Volume 8, Number 5. Accessed: 29 July 2012