What is Sustainable Infrastructure?

Friday, February 5, 2010

I want to start this blog by talking about Sustainable Urban Infrastructure and what that means. The WIkepedia definition is below and I like that quite a bit, however i feel it both too loose as well as not clear enough to actually define what Sustainable infrastructure actually is. First it need not be only urban, sustainable infrastructure is across the transect zones for both ecological purposes as well as urban purposes. The concept is based on places where humans live and how they can live in balance with the environment that they occupy. It is stewardship of the landscape not dominion over the landscape. Sustainable urban infrastructure is not limited to transit/ energy/ building form / green space or water practices... It also must include trash and sewage/ waste water and food production as well as local material production which can be taken out of the waste stream. It must also include soil preservation and that is intregally linked to both sewage, waste water management practices and food production. A village in Turkey or Greece or japan or anywhere in the world that has managed to weather the sands of time, and enable a place for generations to live is essentially the model for sustainable infrastructure. Sustainable infrastructure must also include collective memory of a community as well as language, voice, poetry and gathering.

This is the Wikepidia definition that I actually quite like,

Sustainable urban infrastructure is a term used to describe infrastructure that facilitates a place or regions progress towards the goal of sustainable living. Attention is paid to technological and government policy which enables urban planning for sustainable architecture and initiatives that promote sustainable agriculture.

In theory, a sustainable design can lead to the development of sustainable communities by ensuring that infrastructural knowledge makes improvements that do not deplete natural resources. Consequently the transition and mass adoption of renewable resources features heavily in a sustainable infrastructures.

The design emphasis for a sustainable urban infrastructure is on localization and sustainable living. The aim is to reduce individual's ecological footprint according to the principles of sustainable development in areas with a high population density.

The criteria for what can be included in this kind of urban environment varies from place to place, given differences in existing infrastructure and built form, climate and availability of local resources or talents.

Generally speaking the following could be considered sustainable urban infrastructure:

* public transport networks
* Distributed generation and integrated energy demand management initiatives and programs
* high efficiency buildings and other development constraints such as only permitting the construction of green buildings and sustainable habitats with energy-efficient landscaping.
* connected green spaces and wildlife corridors
* Low impact development practices to protect water resources.

Next I will list my categories for what sustainable infrstructure means and use this blog to define how Colorado and Southern Colorado in particular can began to build and create a New green economy through sustainable infrastucture

Sustainable Colorado Copyright © 2009 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template for Bie Blogger Template Vector by DaPino