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SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES

Code 3675

Lecture One

PROF. DR. NOMANA ANJUM


ALLAMA IQBAL OPEN UNIVERSITY
ISLAMABAD
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE
Introduction to course

In an urbanized world with the advancement of


technologies, the neighborhood and community concepts
are diminishing with the time. This result in increasing
mobility privatized and commoditized society. The course
‘Sustainable Communities’ redevelops/reinvents the
concept of eco neighborhood. It bridges the gap between
the environment and social perspectives on localities in
the context of national commitment to sustainable
development.
Introduction to course

The course gives the directions to design urban


eco-neighborhood and communities by
community participation, capacity buildings
through communities and managing recourses
locally.
In the end the present course directs towards
sustainable communities by reorientation of
planning system and changing Government
Policies.
Introduction to course

Difference
between
Sustainable
Communities
and
Sustainable
Design
Course Objectives

 This course aims at:

 To redevelop the concept of neighborhood and


community.
 To emphasize the importance of neighborhood and
community among the modernized world.
 To direct the neighborhood and communities to manage
their resources locally.
Course Structure
This is four credit hours course and comprises nine units
(The course outline and chapter wise distribution is
explained below for your reference).
Units 1-3 focus on significance of Eco- neighbourhood in
relation to Sustainable Development.
Unit 3 in particular examines the un-sustainability of
current development trends and provides
the review of some of the important policy issues.
Units 4 and 5 are related to theories and principles of
neighbourhood planning and integrates
the concepts of health, equity, freedom and environmental
concerns. A few global innovative projects are also
introduced for motivation and inspiration.
Course Structure

Units 6 to 8 highlight the obstacles and problems for


planning the sustainable neighbourhoods.

Unit 8 specifically directs the communities to manage their


resources locally.

Unit 9 directs with some steps and strategies to increase


community decision making and addressing to national
policies for facilitation and implementation.
COURSE CONTENTS
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood

1.1 Neighborhood and Community


1.2 Sustainable Development
1.3 The Death of Neighborhood
Accidental Turns
Unit 2 Environmental Sustainability in
Villages and Localities

2.1 Historical Back ground


2.2 Locality Based forms in Modern Living
Think Globally, Act Locally
Unit 3 Unsustainable Settlements

3.1Unsustainable Land use Trends


3.2Environmental Impacts of Recent
Planning Trends
3.3 Reversing Current Land use and
Environmental Trends
Unit 4 The Neighborhood as Ecosystem

4.1 The Ecosystem Approach


4.2 Social Capital and Housing Mix
4.3 Access to Work and Services
4.4 Movement and the Public Reteam
4.5 Local Resource Management Functional
Intergeneration
Unit 5 Urban Form and Locality

5.1 Disposal versus Concentration


5.2 Location of Neighborhoods
5.3 Mix use development
Local Densities
Unit 6 Design of Neighborhoods

6.1 Traditional Concepts


6.2 Size and Identify of Neighborhoods
6.3 Social Identify and Home Zones
6.4 Open and closed Neighborhoods
6.5 The Urban Continuum
6.6 Shaping Neighborhoods
6.7 The Open Spaces Network
Unit 7 Community and Sustainability

7.1Design for Living, introduction


7.2 Complexity and Sustainability
7.3 Development of Community
7.4 Community Governance and Democratic
Renewal
7.5 Capacity Building through Community
7.6 Community Leadership
Unit 8: Managing Resources Locally

8.1 Sustainable Energy Resources in


Sustainable Communities
8.2 Environmental and Social Responsibilities
8.3 Sustainable Food Strategies from
Neighborhood
8.4 Planning for Non-Motorized and Motorized
Transport options
8.5 Managing Against crime in Realities
Unit 9 Towards Sustainable Communities

9.1 Community Decision Making


9.2 Shifting Hearts and Minds
9.3 Reorientation of Planning System
9.4 Changing Government Policy
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood

‘Unless we are guided by a conscious vision of the kind of


future we want, we will be guided by an unconscious
vision of the kind of present we already have’ The Edge
(1995)

Urban designers are promoting the concept of mixed use


‘urban villages’, providing convenient, convivial and
enlivening pedestrian-scale environments.
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood

The town planners and the house builders


therefore collude in avoiding any hint of
community planning even while the politicians
appeal to the ‘local community’ to lend credibility
to their pet projects, and the media employ
‘community’ loosely to draw people into
engagement with local stories.
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood
NEIGHBOURHOOD AND COMMUNITY
The term ‘neighbourhood’ has the conventional meanings of
‘neighbours’ or ‘people of a district’, or ‘the district itself’
(Concise Oxford).
In its third meaning it implies a locality which is familiar or
has a particular unifying character, and this is the
meaning adopted here.
Neighbourhoods have something in common with rainbows.
Each person carries around her or his personal image,
depending on her own position and experience. Such
‘mental maps’ are relativistic, individual perceptions
which may or may not relate to a functional locality – i.e
the catchment zone of a local Centre.
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood

NEIGHBOURHOOD AND COMMUNITY


In this course ‘neighbourhood’ is defined as a residential or
mixed use area around which people can conveniently
walk. Its scale is geared to pedestrian access and it is
essentially a spatial construct, a place.
It may or may not have clear edges. It is not necessarily
centered on local facilities, but it does have an identity
which local people recognize and value. ‘Community’ is
quite different. It is a social term which does not
necessarily imply ‘local’. It means a network of people
with common interests and the expectation of mutual
recognition, support and friendship.
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The most internationally accepted definition of sustainable


development is people-centred:

‘development that meets the needs of the present


without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs’ (WCED,
1987)
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The phrase, ‘sustainable development’ is itself a paradox. It
appears to put together two irreconcilable principles, that
of environmental sustainability and economic
development. Indeed this tension has led to two
interpretations of sustainable development, one eco-
centric, which puts global ecology first; one
anthropocentric, which puts human well-being first. An
eco-centric view leads to the identification of limits to
population and economic growth, in the interest of
sustaining and enhancing natural ecosystems (e.g.
IUCN, 1991)
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood
PRICIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The public trust doctrine, which places a duty on the state to
hold environmental resources in trust for the benefit of
the public.
The precautionary principle (erring on the side of caution)
which holds that where there are threats of serious or
irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall
not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective
measures to prevent environment degradation.
The principle of inter-generational equity, which requires
that the needs of the present are met without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own needs.
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood
PRICIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The principle of intra-generations/ equity, stating that all
people currently alive have an equal right to benefit from
the use of resources, both within and between countries.
The subsidiarity principle, which deems that decisions
should be made at the lowest appropriate level, either by
those directly affected or, on their behalf, by the
authorities closest to them (though for some transnational
issues this implies more effective international laws and
agreements).
The polluter pays principle, which requires that the costs of
environmental damage should be borne by those who
cause them; this may include consideration of damage
occurring at each stage of the life-cycle of a project or
product.
ECO VILLAGE FINDHORN, SCOTLAND
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood

PRICIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

‘The village would be a balanced community for people of


all ages and incomes, where people can live, work and
enjoy a vibrant community lye, the majority without the
need to commute and where everyone could feel a sense
of personal belonging. It would provide affordable
housing, work opportunities, food production, energy and
water conservation as well as self-reliance for its
residents in an ecologically aware and sensitive way’.
(Littlewoods, 1998)
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood
PRICIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

This image is reinforced by contemporary urban designers.


in the US and the ‘Urban Village Forum’ in the UK have
called for the revival of convivial, convenient, close-knit
localities:
‘The alternative to sprawl is simple and timely:
neighbourhoods of housing, parks and schools placed
within walking distance of shops, civic services, jobs and
transit - a modern version of the traditional town. The
convenience of the car and the opportunity to walk or use
transit can be blended in an environment with local
access for all the daily needs of a diverse community.’
(Calthorpe 1993)
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood
THE DEATH OF NEIGHBOURHOOD
Sometimes local authorities in promoting LA21 have implied
that localities possess a power of self-determination
which ignores the structural realities. The images of a
sustainable neighbourhood are seductive, but run
counter to dominant market trends.
The question has to be asked as to how far rhetoric with
such a strong element of, perhaps, nostalgic idealism can
be converted into reality. In delivering low/medium
density suburban residential monoculture the market is
(presumably) reacting to consumer preferences.
People are choosing a particular style of living, heavily car
dependent and largely segregated from locality, and may
be unwilling to return to a less mobile condition.
Unit 1 Conflicting Perceptions of
Neighborhood

THE AGENDA FOR FUTURE DEBATE

Are Neighbourhoods Important?


Is There a Role for Local Place Communities?
How Far does Current Practice Achieve Sustainable
Neighbourhoods?
What Principles Should Guide the Planning of
Neighbourhoods?
What is the Potential for Local Resource Autonomy?
What is the Potential for Local Health and Safety?
What are the Implications for the Decision-Making Process?