Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A World of Cities

As of March 2016, world's population is estimated about 7.4 billion. More than half, about 4 billion is believed to live in urban environments. Which makes "understanding" cities a high priority when dealing with environmental issues. "Understanding" in this context is much more than being able to describe their elements and functions with statistical analyses, architectural, and civil engineering descriptions. There must be in this analysis a comprehension of the human nature that energizes and intellectualize the integration of the urban context and this is what I mean by "understanding". There must be a deep connection between the long term effects and the short term actions taken when a city is planning development. The gradual even though in some cases brutal development based on policies generated by a non-informed government or pushed by economic interests that appear to be unstoppable that are sources of corruption have been the common around the world. But luckily there are also great examples of policies generated by good governance. In this essay I will focus more on these good examples.

In a recent article  Kaufman from the Huffington Post writes about how Berlin is dis-investing in fossil fuels. This trend in the way we use investment to promote energy generation and use will have a strong impact in how we relate with the environment. Other examples refer to transportation where it is used to develop areas on top of the direct benefit brought by moving goods, and people. For example in Portland OR the MAX light rail system has been transporting a lot of people (part of a system that move more that 1.2 million people a month.) But as the light rail is connecting urban areas it is also creating new developments. A good example of this is the Orenco Station development. Planning for progress is key for a sustainable development of our society where communities live in peace.