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Designing the Ecological City A Model for Sustainable Life on Earth

Introduction 1


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Designing the Ecological City


Designing the Ecological City A Model for Sustainable Life on Earth Joshua Friedman, Vivian Nguyen, Jonathan Corriveau, Al Pierre, Xun Chong, Kuan-Ting Lin, Jessica Ho, Jansen Meals, Michael Deitz, Lauren Mitchell, Paige Stathopoulos, & Avery Watterworth Northeastern University Professor Scott Bishop Spring 2019

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 2. Methods.................................................................................................................................................................................................... The Contemporary World - Problems and Metrics................................................................................................. Population.......................................................................................................................................................................................... Carbon Dioxide............................................................................................................................................................................. 3. Existing City Models..................................................................................................................................................................... The Garden City............................................................................................................................................................................ Singapore............................................................................................................................................................................................ Vauban, Frieburg, Germany..................................................................................................................................................... Walt Disney World and Lake Buena Vista, Florida..................................................................................................... Seattle, Washington..................................................................................................................................................................... Hong Kong, China......................................................................................................................................................................... New York City, New York....................................................................................................................................................... Portland, Oregon........................................................................................................................................................................... Burlington, Vermont.................................................................................................................................................................... Hammarby Sjostad, Stockholm, Sweden........................................................................................................................... Atlanta, Georgia............................................................................................................................................................................. Masdar City, United Arab Emirates...................................................................................................................................... Case Study Takeaways................................................................................................................................................................ 4. Ideal City Model............................................................................................................................................................................... Methods.............................................................................................................................................................................................. Water Management..................................................................................................................................................................... Waste Management..................................................................................................................................................................... Food & Agriculture....................................................................................................................................................................... Energy.................................................................................................................................................................................................. Building Construction.................................................................................................................................................................. Transportation................................................................................................................................................................................ Governance...................................................................................................................................................................................... 5. Findings.....................................................................................................................................................................................................

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INTRODUCTION


Introduction

1 This paper aims to modernize the ideal city model put forward by Ebenezer Howard. In order to support the projected population of 11 billion by 2050, this research proposes tactics and an overall strategy for sustained and prosperous life on earth. The study was designed to be aspirational but realistic, and all calculations are based on current data. The overarching strategy examines the relationships between resources to physical space, and re-allocates agricultural land for ecological services to sequester carbon. Examining the resource catchment to support a city allowed the study to re-qualify what urban centers are to remain and how to develop new and existing centers. The study focuses on the allocation of water, food, energy, transportation, and construction.The study concludes that there is a path forward for humanity, and it is possible under this model to sustain human life and a growing population. The model will serve two functions. The first is to support the future population. The second is reversing the environmental issues that the growing population will face. Current population estimates show that the global population will surpass 11 billion people in 2050, from the current 7.3 billion present in 2019. As the population grows, the question of how to adequately provide food, water, energy, and ecological services to such a population is called into question. This question is further exacerbated by the ever-present threat of global climate change and the environmental challenges it poses for mankind. Solutions to these problems must be adapted as part of a larger strategy in order to support the

Current population estimates show that the global population will surpass 11 billion people in 2050, from the current 7.3 billion present in 2019. population of the future. Inspired by the Garden City model developed by Ebenezer Howard in the late 19th century, an adaptable and progressive model of human organization is necessary to sustain life in a comfortable and equitable manner for both humankind and their environment.

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Introduction 9


METHODS


Methods With the city and larger metropolitan area as a basic unit for examining current resource needs and living habits, both regional and individual approaches to modern living were examined, allowing for an assessment of global resource needs and the subsequent development of practices to meet these needs. Prior sustainable urban planning schemes were explored and assessed, and from this an idealized model developed that we might aspire to, and make future policy and design decisions in accordance with. By this means, it is hoped that this research might serve as a guide for discussing the issues of population growth and global climate change, that the necessary measures be taken to ensure healthier, safer world for the present and future generations to inhabit. Intensive data modeling was used to create projections that support tactics and strategies. Many strategies were extrapolated in order to determine their viability. These calculations are included in the appendix, and were performed using Stella.

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The Contemporary World - Problems and Metrics In order to determine a means by which the planet can house a future population of 11 billion, a baseline needed to be established of contemporary resource consumption patterns per capita and the existing ways in which these are currently met. Water, food, energy, and sanitation needs are all assessed in

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the following section to establish baseline targets to be met for future population growth. Given the research goal of accomodating an increasing population whilst mitigating the effects of climate change, all categories of consumption are examined both through data reflecting the population’s consumption needs, as well as their carbon footprints. Five categories or “focus groups� have been established, each with their own performative needs as related to the population, as well as CO2 reduction and sequestration goals. The focus groups are defined as: water, food, energy, transportation, and construction. Each speaks to the needs of contemporary humans, and consists of its own systems and constraints which will be elaborated upon. Population Current population estimates project that the world in 2050 will consist of 11 billion people, about 4 billion more people than the present population of 7.63 billion in 2018. Current land use and resource consumption patterns and methods will be insufficient to meet the needs of such a population. Today, many nations experience resource and land pressures from burgeoning populations, primarily in the third world. Conversely, many first world nations face stagnant or decreasing populations, creating


the potential for solutions based on population redistribution. For the purposes of this study, 11 billion people has been established as a target number to account for and accommodate, becoming the primary driver for actions taken. All actions taken aim to provide sufficient resources and land for an this expanded population. The parallel goal of carbon sequestration, the limiting of global climate change, and the restoration of vital ecological resources and environments are intrinsically tied to the population goal, as they are inextricably related to sustaining said population numbers. Tactics to provide for 11 billion people inherently operate in a dynamic and duplicitous manner, both providing sufficient resources to the populace and enabling sustainable stewardship such that the resources might continue to sustain the population long after the population number is passed. Carbon Dioxide In addition to meeting resource needs for a population of 11 billion, the second component of this research is to achieve a decrease in carbon emissions, with the ultimate goal of reaching sustainable population growth and full carbon neutrality. Global climate change, though the result of numerous other factors aside from carbon emissions,

does bear a strong correlation with man-made carbon dioxide emissions. With this in mind, the reduction of carbon dioxide thus becomes a valuable metric and shorthand for reducing global climate change, with the majority of polluting human activities resulting in this particular greenhouse gas. Numerous international pledges exist with the goal of reducing global CO2 production, of which the most notable are the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and the more recent Paris Accord of 2016. Both have served as sources of information and guiding metrics for this research, which aims to meet or exceed the goals set forth in both agreements. As per the Paris Accord, international goals have been set to reduce carbon emissions to the point of keeping global temperature increases within 1.5°C, using commitments from participatory countries to reduce overall CO2 production below their 2016 levels. CO2 emission rates as of 2019 are at 4.97 tons per capita, or about 36 billion tons annually. Figure 01 features a current breakdown of the main CO2 emitters, including the broad categories “transportation,” “energy,” “agriculture,” and “construction.” Along with water, these four categories become the focus groups for this study, with the dual goal of meeting performative demands in these categories, while also reducing CO2 emissions.

Methods

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Existing City Models An exploration of late 20th to early 21st century sustainable master plans Prior to embarking on the development of any individual design solutions to meet resource and environmental needs into the future, a multitude of case studies were studied and assessed for their effectiveness. This process, starting with a close study of Ebenezer Howard’s “Garden City,” allowed methodologies of sustainable living to be reflected on, built upon, and improved. The following section features a summary of said projects and their key takeaways, starting with the “Garden City” model and continuing into exploration of late 20th to early 21st century city master plans. The Garden City Ebenezer Howard’s seminal work, “ToMorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform” (1897) serves as the conceptual backbone for this research. Driven by the model of a high-density city that incorporates its own agricultural land, Howard envisioned a network of metropoles connected by rail. These cities would be self-sufficient and create a network that utilized both urban and rural areas to support one another and avoid the filth and bustle that pervaded in 19th century cities. Howard carefully weighed land areas, resources, funding, administration, and transportation factors to create an ideally balanced environment for the cities of the future. While the calculations and ratios set forth by Howard are woefully inadequate to solve the global problem when scaled to a population of 11 billion, his fundamental ideas still hold merit.

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Singapore Population: 5,612,000 Area: 279 miles2 With a total area of 279 square miles, Singapore is the third smallest nation in Asia. After many attempts of master planning to clear slums, improve congestion and develop the city, the latest master plan focuses on improving six different aspects of living: housing, transportation, economy, recreation, and identity & public space. This master plan, released in 2014, endeavored to house 5.5 million people in a highly livable, vibrant, and sustainable environment. Many neighborhoods and districts were planned to allow communities to connect to green and recreational spaces. A transportation network of rail, bus and cycling paths was planned to help reduce car use and industrial hubs were established in locations to to bring places of employment closer to living centers. On its surface, the master plan of Singapore portrays a good-faith effort by the city to create a sustainable and inviting place to live. However, crucially important is Singapore’s main industry, which completely ignores its ecological goals. The island nation is the largest shipping center in southeast Asia. With an economy consisting of ship repair and export goods, Singapore’s “green lifestyle” is not reinforced by its industry or resource use. The main building types for both commercial and residential uses are high rise steel and concrete construction, and other energy-intensive developments in energy production and water filtration abound. While its master plan aims to create a sustainable face, its economic core is rooted in carbon emissions. Thus, the lessons learned from Singapore are twofold. Firstly, sustainability cannot be seen as a trend or a selling point, but must reflect a fundamental shift in the way a city functions. Secondly, all systems are interrelated, and putting forth a good faith effort at sustainability requires a re-positioning of economies, resources, and habits to be truly successful.

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Vauban, Frieburg, DE Population: 5,500 Area: .15 miles2 Vauban, a district of the city of Freiburg in southwestern Germany, serves as a model of how a sustainable district can be formed under ideal circumstances. Largely consisting of like-minded individuals employed by the university of Freiburg and other progressive institutions, the district first developed in 1993 and sought to best German standards for emitted carbon and energy production. It’s goal was to take steps to reduce car reliance and produce food, energy, and building materials locally. While the district is a net energy producer and the average citizen’s carbon footprint is a fraction of the German average, its shortcomings become apparent in its highly regional approach and the degree to which it was enabled by a highly likeminded and homogenous population. The district’s physical approach to sustainability is intrinsically tied to material production, and is only possible in a forested environment such as the local Black Forest. Similarly, its administrative model is largely a byproduct of its population’s employment by the University of Freiburg and other higher educationrelated entities. Holding common economic and political backgrounds, the community becomes a microcosm of the university’s goals and values at large. Thus, while Vauban is a potential model for sustainable development, it falls short of being a universally replicable model for the aforementioned reasons.

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Walt Disney World, FL Employees: 74,000 Area: 39 miles2 The Walt Disney World Resort located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida is historically famous for being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Twice the size of the island of Manhattan, the property hosts over 55 million guests annually, requiring it to function in a manner not unlike an urban center. In fact, much of the design of the Walt Disney World theme parks is directly based on models of utopian urban planning, including that of the Garden City Model by Ebenezer Howard. EPCOT, or the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” was originally intended to operate as a fully functional city based on the Howard model, complete with a radial layout and stratified separation of typological programs. While never realized, the interest in the Garden City Model has subsequently manifested itself in many areas of the resort’s operations, making it a fascinating and unique case study for urban sustainable initiatives. A significant and often unknown characteristic of the Walt Disney World Resort is that it exists as its own governmental jurisdiction generally independent of the state of Florida. Known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), the jurisdiction maintains most permitting control over operations within property limits, relying on state government only for property taxes and elevator inspections. This allows for a greater amount of efficiency, as well as developmental controls for the property that bypass numerous area statutes. In total, a board of five elected directors maintain political autonomy over the cities of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake, which together host a permanent population of only 39 residents. Of course, these numbers do not take into account the thousands of temporary residents that call Walt Disney World home for any short period of time. In order to run like a well-oiled machine, Walt Disney World is embedded with a multitude of unique design features uncommon to a typical city. Its “best kept secret” is the series of tunnels located beneath the Magic Kingdom and areas of Epcot, lovingly referred by employees to as “the utilidors.” These corridors permit the easy flow of employees, goods, and traffic underneath the parks, separating such systems from the flow of guests, goods, and traffic above in the “on-stage” areas. The

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utilidors also permit the containment of a pneumatic AVAC system for waste removal which feeds into an extensive water remediation system. Biogas collection through remediation can service up to 25% of the property’s energy needs at any given time. Due to its scale and autonomy of sociopolitical authority, the resort has also been able to integrate the latest in digital technologies in order to better improve the efficiency of operations. Each guest is provided with a wristband containing an RFID chip and small radio device that helps permit their access to certain areas, attractions, rooms, and reservations. Conversely, it also allows for Disney to easily monitor guest activity in order to better understand usage trends and data collection. Naturally, a major critique of the technology has rested in privacy concerns, especially over the collection of information about the activities of young children. While a truly unique case study, there are numerous faults and critiques behind the most magical place on earth. Despite the resort’s attempts to limit and remediate its waste production, Walt Disney World still remains one of the largest singlesite waste producers in the United States due to the amount of consumption of single-use goods. Access to consumer goods has only increased with increased park attendance, making the ability for the resort to serve as a role model for the “garden city” it longs to be virtually impossible. It is important to question whether Disney will ever fully reach the capacity of its own operations, a fear perhaps embodied by the resort’s continued increase of ticket prices. Secondly, Walt Disney World’s design as an entertainment utopia contributes to its standing as a truly gated community, purposely distinct and separate from immediately neighboring communities in the city of Orlando, Florida. Extreme instances of poverty amongst minority communities are highly prevalent just outside the Disney gates, bringing into question notions of equity in this sustainability model. The property’s inability to fully integrate into its neighboring urban centers is an example of its need to operate in its own strict autonomy. In short, Disney only functions as its own form of flawed utopia, a conception that will only ever exist in a dream or a corrupted reality.

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Seattle, WA Population: 608,660 Area: 142 miles2 Seattle, Washington has a reputation for being a leader in sustainability in the United States. The city of Seattle comprises of a population around 725,000 people and supports a greater metropolitan population of 3.5 million (Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue statistical area). Seattle uses primarily clean energy, with 90 percent of the city being powered by hydroelectric energy. The nearby Grand Coulee Dam serves 75% of Washington alone. Seattle is also home to Seattle City Light, the first utility company in the U.S. to go carbon neutral, and is the largest investor in the Stateline Wind Farm in Washington and Oregon. While initially Seattle appears to be an ideal model for a sustainable city, it is important to understand that its success is due mainly to geography, essentially being in the right place at the right time. Seattle is fortunate enough to receive more rain than the average American city at 37” annually (the U.S. average is 30”) and they take full advantage through rainwater harvesting and stormwater management. With the high quantity of rain and the temperate climate, Seattle is considered the “Emerald City”, due to the high density of trees covering the area that are green year-round. Also benefiting from the climate are the residents, who do not require the use of central air conditioning. Only 34 percent of Seattle households have air conditioning, showing a clear example that location plays a large role in the sustainability potential of cities. Perhaps the most influential factor to Seattle’s success are the number of huge industries that call it home, including such companies as Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing. These large corporations provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for the Seattle area and bolster the city’s economy. Seattle succeeds in sustainability even though it is directly tied to predetermined factors. But the city suffers the same plight as many American cities: a lack of diversity and high living costs. White residents make up 66 percent of Seattle’s population, and the average rent is nearly $2,000 a month for around 730 square feet of living space. Seattle proves that ecological concerns can be a driving factor for the success of a city, but it is important to remain aware of the geographic and social implications that are tied to such growth and success.

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Hong Kong, China Population: 7,448,900 Area: 428 miles2 Hong Kong is one of the world’s most dense cities. It is also one of the top cities for the per capita consumption of goods and resources. Hong Kong’s ecological footprint has drastically increased over time. The consumption habits of Hong Kong residents scaled to the planet would require a second Earth to support the current world population. Hong Kong’s dependence on distant ecosystems is instantly noticeable, but the consequences of this fact are less obvious. The vast biocapacity deficit that Hong Kong faces now — that is, the difference between how much is taken from nature versus what is available within Hong Kong’s borders — leaves the territory facing an uncertain future. Pertaining to current social issues, Hong Kong has made substantial gains in human development. However, these developments may have been achieved at the expense of Hong Kong’s ecological footprint. Even as Hong Kong’s green space per capita ranks second compared to other highdensity cities in Asia, it is reminiscent of the habits of Singapore. This fact is merely a foil for sustainability, while the territory continues to push its ecological and energy demands outside its own borders. It is of great importance for Hong Kong’s government and business entities to reconsider the importance of operating within the boundaries of finite natural resources to minimize a number of ecological risks. Owing to its high density, Hong Kong is a leading offender in outsourcing energy and resource procurement. This model is highly unsustainable and shows that high density is not always an answer for the future of development. The size and carbon impact of a city’s resource catchment must be considered in order for the future of global growth.

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New York City, NY Population: 8,175,133 Area: 468 miles2 New York City is one of the largest and densest cities in the world. Native Americans initially settled between the Delaware and Hudson River because they were able to hunt, fish and farm there. Now home to about 8.6 million people, the city is projected to house 9 million people by 2040. In planning for the future, New York City wants to becomes ‘the most resilient, equitable, and sustainable city in the world.’ In One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City, New York City is ‘committed to building a stronger, susatible, resilient and equitable city.’ Thus, within the next 30 years, there are plans to update existing infrastructure such as the transportation, water and wastewater systems. Due to buildings producing 68% of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions, there are also plans to upgrade existing building stock to use significantly less energy and fossil fuels. New York City also plans to restore and create new wetlands along the coastlines where birds and fish can flourish, while simultaneously acting as a natural filtration system and stormwater retainer. Public parks will also increase their land area across the city, addressing equity and stormwater infiltration needs. New York City serves as a model for a capitalist haven of progressive thought. While the city strives to be carbon-conscious, it fails to regulate the building industry and slow the growth of its building stock. Slow, inefficient, and backwards plans to retrofit existing buildings have held the building emissions numbers high for years. The constant construction and high consumption in the city leads to high levels of pollution in nearby rivers. The city’s resource catchment is incredibly expansive and allows the city to wash its hands of several arbitrarily regional regulations.

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Portland, OR Population: 583,776 Area: 145 miles2 Portland supports a population of approximately 650,000 at a density of 4,300 people per square mile. It is the largest city in Oregon and one of the major ports in the Pacific Northwest. Portland is also heralded as one of the greenest and the most environmentally friendly cities in the world. With such a rapid growth rate in population, Portland has projected that there will be more than 120,000 residents and 140,000 new job opportunities by 2035. The city has released a master plan for 2035 in order to keep up with the trend of population growth as well as long term environmental changes. To be recognized as one of the greenest cities in the world, Portland has built miles of bike lanes and encouraged the bike-friendly environment to connect urban areas and the downtown. Small and unique cityblock planning from the early 18th century also creates a city with high walkability. However, the pedestrian and bike friendly environment has slowed down the pace of driving through the city and creates high levels of traffic. Public transportation, on the other hand, is promoted in lieu of personal vehicles and the city plans to build more bus and tram stops and lines. Portland serves as a model for alternative transit and local production. However, it faces many similar problems with wealth inequality and high cost of living as Seattle. Portland is located in an area that has unique opportunities for development due to rainfall and alternative energy sources, but also dangerous natural disasters and flood events.

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Burlington, VT Population: 42,417 Area: 15.5 miles2 Burlington, Vermont is located in the Lake Champlain Basin Biosphere Reserve, a vital natural habitat and ecological system for North America. All the major rivers of the northeast United States and Canada, such as the Hudson, Mohawk, and Merrimack have headwaters located in Lake Champlain Basin area. The Burlington Metropolitan area accounts for one-third of Vermont’s residents with a population of 217,300 people living in Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties. Burlington, as well as Vermont, has often led the United States in implementing sustainable initiatives to combat climate change. Burlington, Chittenden County, and the State of Vermont have all established master planning efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Burlington is often hailed as the first American city to run on 100% renewable energy, with a reputation for being eco-conscious. However, this achievement is not without caveat. Most of the energy offsetting that Burlington achieves is due to the fact that is out-sources energy production to Canada. By moving the production outside its jurisdiction, the Vermont city is able to claim success. The lesson here is that ecology respects no boundaries, and there is always an effect. Many northeastern cities in the United States buy their energy from carbon-intensive hydroelectric dams in Canada, and the concrete used to build those dams offsets the renewable energy they may produce. This dichotomy exposes the system of cap-and-trade tactics that allow municipalities to somewhat falsely claim achievements that are idealistic but not fully accurate.

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Hammarby Sjostad, SE Population: 28,000 Area: .61 miles2 Hammarby Sjostad, a district of Stockholm, Sweden is a model of sustainable development at a small scale. Touted as a leading eco-district throughout the world, many practices exhibited in Hammarby are effective in reducing carbon emissions and waste. These practices and their related infrastructure contribute to an extremely livable community. The district boasts a pneumatic trash system that enables waste-to-energy plants, a district energy system, outstanding public transit, and high population density. The district is home to about 28,000 people, but this model fails to function at scale. The cost of development for the district was astronomical, and largely funded by Stockholm’s city government. Real estate prices in the district are considerably higher than the rest of the city, leading to a lack of diversity in Hammarby Sjostad. Furthermore, no system was set up during construction or occupancy to record or track carbon emissions. Notably, the district was a formerly a brownfield site that required carbon-intensive soil remediation before any new structures were built. The relative success of Hammarby is not to be overlooked, but for this project, greater lessons were found in the issues of scaling systems and governance.

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Atlanda, GA Population: 5,800,000 Area: 133 miles2 The Atlanta metropolitan area houses about 5.8 million people, making it the ninth largest metro area in America. With Atlanta’s more than 350 parks, 2,000 acres of tree-covered land, and about 117 days of annual rainfall, there’s ample surface area and opportunity to grow fruits and vegetables while also still having plenty of room for leisure. According to the Atlanta Canopy Alliance, Atlanta is perhaps the only major city in America that retains a viable portion of high-quality, native forest land. Their tree canopy offers benefits to citizens including better air and water quality, shading, and dust and noise absorption. Home to America’s largest airport, Atlanta poses interesting transportation challenges. The newest master plan for the city promises all of this for municipal operations and community-wide by 2035. These goals are lofty, and success seems far out of reach for the sprawling city that relies on its network of highways and personal vehicles. The city is currently using about 7 percent clean energy, but the current administration is on board with changing and improving all outdated sustainability policies.

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Masdar City, UAE Population: 2,000 Area: .12 miles2 Masdar City, a 2.3 square mile planned district of Abu Dhabi, is perhaps the greatest example of an ecological sustainable city whose poorly planned financial and administrative policies has resulted in a multi-billion dollar international failure. Located just twenty minutes east of downtown Abu Dhabi, and forty minutes south of Dubai, and five minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, Masdar City was designed to house almost 50,000 permanent residents, 60,000 daily commuters, and over 1,500 businesses by 2014. Poised as “the world’s first zero-carbon city,” the $22 billion project banned automobiles from the city limits, promoting a pedestrian friendly landscape that drew inspiration from traditional arabic building techniques. Low-rise, high-density buildings created shaded streets to protect from the harsh sunlight. Permeable facades allow for natural ventilation throughout buildings, reducing the amount of energy required to cool the interiors. Wind towers would be installed to capture and cool wind, resulting in a streetscape that is an average 10 degrees cooler than nearby Abu Dhabi. Below this pedestrian friendly streetscape, over 3,000 personal rapid transit vehicles were designed to take passengers to over 85 stations throughout the city, completing over 130,000 trips per day to quickly move residents and visitors to different city districts and reduce carbon emissions. Powered by 100% renewable energy, Masdar City claimed to be leaders in sustainable energy production. A 210,000 square meter solar photovoltaic plant reduces carbon emissions by 15,000 annual tons and produces 17,500 megawatt-hours per year, enough energy to power Masdar with extra energy to send back to the Abu Dhabi grid. Furthermore, a desalination plant produces 2,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day using tactics that are 75% more energy efficient than traditional desalination plants. However ambitious these proposals, Masdar City has not lived up to its international expectations. Funded by Mubadala Investment Company, a government-owned holding company, the success of Masdar relied entirely on oil industry money. Construction began in 2008, and the first six buildings of the city were completed and occupied in October 2010. However, due to the impact of the global financial crisis, many of Masdar’s most

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influential design decisions have been abandoned. As of today, only .12 square miles of the total 2.3 have been completed and the population has yet to exceed 2,000 — a far cry from the initial 50,000 expected residents. Furthermore, after attempts to reach net zero emissions status, Masdar has been downgraded to a “net 50%” city, producing 50% of the total energy it consumes. Furthermore, the city has abandoned its plans for the personal rapid transit system. Today, only 13 PRT vehicles take passengers on a quick demonstrational trips between the city’s two constructed stations. Plans for the expansion of the PRT system have been scrapped. While the ambitions of Masdar were admirable, the execution has been less than exemplary. Chris Wan, the design manager of Masdar City, argues “we are not going to try to shoehorn renewable energy into the city just to justify a definition created within a boundary. As of today, it’s not a net zero future. It’s about 50%”


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Case Study Takeaways The successes and failures of contemporary built examples These case studies each present unique and important insights into city planning and scaling issues. There are hundreds of methods to organize, govern, and distribute a city’s resources, and many more issues that can arise based on these methods. The lessons learned can be siloed into three categories: resources and catchments, socioeconomics and governance, and scalability and systems. Resources and Catchments Many cities studied claimed to be lowemission, hitting carbon targets, or even completely carbon neutral. In all cases, these are claims that can seldom be based in fact in an environmental sense. Municipal areas function based on resource catchments which extend far beyond the political boundaries set up by cities and states. This is a fundamental problem with the way that sustainable practices are viewed. It falls then to governance to provide the malleability to understand the relative unimportance of political boundaries when it comes to resources and ecological services. Socioeconomics and Governance Multiple cities struggled with social inequality and funding problems. While some municipalities were able to fund successful highdensity sustainable districts or even full-scale cities with the help of geography, the cost of living created privileged societies. In the future, the growth of population will not allow for these distinctions to continue, and sustainable life will also mean equitable life. Governance and modes of government will need to shift and change to accommodate this, and respect the growing communities that reflect the shifting demographics of a larger global population. Scalability and Systems It also became clear through the case studies that some systems are not scalable. All systems have a limit, and no system is without a connection to a larger system. Therefore, solutions that work in one locality cannot always be scaled without adverse effects on the surrounding areas. Ecology does not respect political boundaries, and so each decision that a city makes radiates outward for many miles. Transportation especially has an effect on how a city functions and how it affects its surroundings and the areas directly adjacent.

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IDEAL CITY MODEL


Ideal City Model Methods Equipped with a strategy for the most important focus areas of water, food, energy, transportation, and construction and the lessons of a range of established cities, this research will attempt to establish a model for an ideal city. In order to meet the twofold goal of sustaining life for 11 billion people and sequestering carbon, the main focus of this city will rely on converting former cropland to ecological services, while concentrating metropolitan growth in climate regions that have ample access to water, energy, and resources. Methods

For purposes of this analysis, research and tactics were broken into three magnitudes of scaleglobal, regional, and local, each with its own array of tactics and body of research to accompany it. From this model, a “table of tactics” was developed, so as to meet a population of 11 billions consumption needs, all the while managing environmental concerns by dealing with global CO2 production. On the largest scale, global categorizes the world into climate zones, based off of Koppen climate projections, outlining rainfall and temperature per region. Additionally, global consumption metrics were established, averaging out human needs to account for total population needs at a population of 11 billion. The regional scale is a refinement of the climate zones, establishing optimal crops and carbon sequestering biomes to be planted in specific regions based on temperature and rainfall, determining water

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resources, determining renewable power potential, and establishing the best locations for future growth of cities. Formulas were developed based on water, the main limiting factor, to determine optimal population density based on regional carrying capacity for metropolitan areas. To aid in this, a table of “representative cities” was developed (Figure 02), with a cross section of cities representing the global climate zones. Based on population within these cities, breakdowns could be established of existing infrastructure and areas of consumption. On the smallest scale, research was broken into local focus groups, aimed at developing spatial tactics to realize regional energy, water, food, and other needs. The aggregation of spatial tactics provides a large enough impact to help offset global carbon emissions, as well as creating new food, electrical, water, construction, and transit systems. For the implementation of these tactics, an ultimate “table of tactics” was developed, by which a flow chart, running from the largest global scale to the smallest local scale could determine what local measures are most appropriate based on regional and global conditions. Production metrics were created, dependent on each local tactics group, which are able to be paired with each regions respective needs through the aggregation of these tactics. Finally, governance methods were examined, by which tactics can be implemented across these three scales. A general framework of government and economics was explored, which,


when applied to a specific scale, ideally leads to positive climate action as suggested by the outlined methods. Global Scale The main goals of the global scale analysis were the an assessment of basic human consumption needs, food, and production systems, development of “climate zones� to aid in the categorization of current practices and reveal patterns about these systems, and a mapping exercise to real ideal zones for population growth. Basic Human Consumption Needs The following are basic human consumption needs, which, when multiplied by expected growth rates and factoring in a future population of 11 billion, provide production targets to meet by 2050. All numbers are global averages, and will be elaborated on in later sections. Food Food systems focus on achieving a typical 2000 calorie diet for all individuals, as specified in USDA guidelines. The ratios and nutritional needs are unlikely to change for the span of time covered in this

study. Water Water consumption in the table accounts for personal residential consumption, industrial consumption for the products they use, and agricultural use. Agricultural use accounts for 70% of current water consumption, and as such improvements in agricultural efficiency and tying crop types to climate zones can aid in decreasing this footprint. Energy Energy numbers shown account for both personal electrical usage, as well as embodied energy for products consumed in daily life. Annual per capita energy use is currently 3127 kWh annually, and expected to increase to 6600 kWh at a rate of 2.5% annually per capita. The main driver behind this increase is an increase in the available consumer goods in developing nations, as well as the expansion of their power grids. Waste Disposal Waste comes in the form of either solid material/construction waste, or gray and black water

Ideal City Model 37

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waste. The two have been divided for analysis into “construction” and “water” research categories, respectively. Current consumption statistics reflect an average of .00156 tons per individual globally, a number that is projected to stay the same, as industrialized nations decrease their material waste and industrializing nations increase it. Housing/Living Space The current average square feet per person for living space is about 460 square feet. While average home sizes vary across regions, the number was used as a baseline for developing housing modules and assessing needs. At an annual population growth rate of 1.07%, it is estimated that an additional 1.52 trillion square feet of housing stock will be needed by 2050

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Climate Zones

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Climate Zones Based on Koppen climate map projections, climate zones have been established to determine availability and distribution of water resources and arable land. The zones aid in the establishment of land use patterns, as well as aid in determining future population growth goals.


Climate Zones

Temp (F)

Rainfall

Additional Factor

Regional Crop Selection

Tactics

Tropical Wet

75-85

60”

+ Coasts

1. Grains

Water & Waste

Tropical Dry

70-80

15”

- Mountains

2. Protein

Food & Agriculture

Semi-Arid

30-80

5”

+ Rivers

3. Dairy

Energy

Arid

60-90

2”

+ Lakes

4. Fruits & Vegetables

Construction

Marine West Coast

40-75

40”

- Low Lying Area

5. Biome for Reestablishment

Transportation

Mediterranean

45-85

15”

- Tropical Rainforest

Humid Subtropical

45-80

60”

- Wetland

Continental Warm

20-80

50”

Continental Cool

15-70

15”

Subarctic

-20-50

5”

Tundra

-20-40

2”

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Ideal City Model 39


Regional Scale The regional level of analysis focuses on land use patterns, situating ideal crop types and biome re-establishment as per the temperature and rainfall extant in each zone. Crop and biome tables were created, which reflect examination of the ideal growing conditions and land use patterns of specific species, as well as the dietary needs of the global population. By pairing crop types with water available in specific regions, rainfall can be used for production, reducing the water footprint of agriculture. Additionally, ideal biome reestablishment can be guided by climate zones. To further aid in tying crop types and land use patterns to regions, a cross section of 19 cities has been taken, determining current population distribution across climate zones. The subsequent population percentages were used to determine what percentage of specific global metrics for land use (for instance, global roads) exist within each region. Furthermore, several formulas were developed for density and distribution of cities. Distribution is based on rainfall, with limits established by available water resources and recharge rates. The formulas for determining regional population distribution are as follows: Climate Zone Share of Population Growth = % of Global Rainfall * (Annual Population Growth + Relocated Population) Area Population Density Calculator = Water Availability / Water Required per Person / Current Metro Area

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Rainfall Collection Possible + Desalination Possible + Percent Share Global Freshwater Reserves * Global Water Recharge Rate + Grey Water Reuse Possible Rainwater Collection = Urban Acres * Inches Rain Annually * .75 people/Acre Desalination Possible = available coastline for conversion to wetlands * (306 tons CO2/wetland acre) / CO2 produced per kWh dominant fossil fuel / 1470 (kWh for enough water for one person via desalination)

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Designing the Ecological City

Global Water Recharge Rate = 12,666 km^3 (3.28 * 10^15 gallons) Buenos Aires, Argentina Current Pop. (metro): 15,600,000 Metro Area: 1837 sq mi Climate Zone: Humid Subtropical River: Yes Coastline Available: 57.2 miles; 693 acres for wetlands Desalination Possible + Rainfall Collection Possible + Water Reserve Recharge Limit + Grey Water Possible 5,080,000 + .75*60�*49920 + 27265 + 1,016,833 = 8,370,498 people Desired Population Density = Population Limit in Metro Area / Metro Area = 8,370,498 / 1837 = 4557 people/mi^2 Based on calculations for the representative cities, population distributions for future development were oriented in the more rainfall heavy regions of the Earth. Local Focus Groups Local focus groups were determined to aid in the formation of spatial tactics aimed at realizing regional production and population distribution goals. When placed in a flow chart with climate zones, appropriate design tactics can be selected that, when in aggregation have a substantial impact on global systems. Each tactic within the local focus groups is assigned a production and spatial value, used in determining geographic distribution and the share of global needs it meets. The local group divisions and their production metrics are as follows: -Water/Waste: gallons water produced -Energy: kWh produced -Construction/Material Waste: people housed/unit of material -Agriculture: crop yield (calories) -Transportation: CO2 emissions per mile/gallon of fuel


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Ideal City Model 41


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Designing the Ecological City


Rainfall Quantities

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Topography

Ideal City Model 43


Water Management Perhaps the greatest limiting factor to population growth, freshwater reserves are necessary for personal consumption, industry, and agriculture. Less than 3% of global water is freshwater, and only 30% of that readily accessible as surface water or in aquifers. Water is the most precious commodity and an immense challenge for a growing population. Current studies reflect that only about 30% of the global population has access to a reliable source of clean freshwater. Populations without access to freshwater are growing, further complicating the allocation of resources. With global climate change drying up surface water resources and rising sea levels contaminating freshwater aquifers with salt, the problem is further exacerbated, as the freshwater available is further limited. Current water usage for all sectors is at 11.6 trillion gallons annually, with agriculture leading consumption, accounting for 70% of all water usage. With an annual increase in consumption of 1%, figures for a population of 11 billion estimate a yearly usage of 15.7 trillion gallons of water. With water sources shrinking and usage growing, a model must include strategies to reduce water usage and increase water collection at a local and regional scale. As a result, access to freshwater will drive the development of new and existing

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cities, and limit the growth of areas in which water is scarce. Wastewater treatment will also play a larger role in preserving and cleaning freshwater sources and sequestering carbon. Perhaps most crucially, agriculture will be largely modified from current practices. Increases in high-density agriculture, greenhouses, and aquaponics will be essential tactics in a larger strategy of water use reduction. Sources of Water on Earth Water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface, but only about 3% is safe for human consumption. The ocean consists of about 97% of the Earth’s water. Surface and groundwater are important sources of water. Globally, humans use about 321 billion gallons per day of surface water, and about 77 billion gallons of groundwater each day. Surface water is important because it constitutes for about 80 percent of water used daily. Surface water includes the ocean, rivers, stream, lakes and reservoirs. Ground water is the water that is found beneath the Earth’s surface and majority of the freshwater on Earth is found in the ground. About 98 percent of freshwater is groundwater, which can be found in aquifers. Glaciers and ice caps also hold fresh water and they cover about 10 percent of the world’s land mass. Water is a limited and crucial resource for human life.


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Ideal City Model 45


Wastewater is a resource that is often overlooked and can have a tremendous impact on ecosystems, health, and water quality when it is released without proper treatment. According to the UN World Water Development Report: Wastewater Untapped Resource, released in 2017 about 80% of all wastewater globally is discharged without any treatment, with high income countries treating about 70% of the municipal and industrial wastewater generated and low income countries only treating 8% of all wastewater. With a growing global population and a growing demand for potable water, the quantity of wastewater produced and released with pollutants will only increase, creating a larger risk for the population. Wastewater often has high levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, and other nutrients from agricultural and urban runoff that can easily end up in rivers, lakes, and eventually the ocean. These nutrients alter the existing ecological functions of these bodies of water, polluting them and causing eutrophication. Eutrophication, the oversaturation of nutrients in a body of water impacts the ecological composition of these habitats, altering the food chains and oxygen levels. Eutrophic conditions allow for increased levels of algae growths to occur, including “blue-green� algae which is toxic for humans and animals that come into contact with it. These algae blooms, along with decreasing oxygen saturation levels, can lead to the development of dead zones in bodies of water that are uninhabitable for marine life. Releasing untreated wastewater threatens marine ecosystems, potable water sources, and fishing stock, all of which greatly impact the global population. Often, wastewater is overlooked as a resource to be tapped, but if properly treated and captured it can become a potential source of available water, especially in areas that face potential water scarcity. The ability to treat wastewater for reuse has long existed, but often treatment of wastewater is focused on meeting minimum levels of acceptable discharge standards and then releasing treated effluent into nearby bodies of water. Current wastewater treatment methods, of which there are many, can be energy intensive and release carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and methane during treatment. These treatment methods also often rely on infrastructure that is expensive to build and maintain, while also not being

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able to respond to changing quantities of water to be processed. The wastewater treatment process is broken up into three or more typical steps. Wastewater first undergoes primary treatment, which is focused on separating solids through screening, skimming, sedimentation, or settling, which results in primary effluent and sludge. The primary effluent then undergoes secondary treatment, which can be biological or chemical in nature, but focuses on breaking down and removing organic matter and bacteria that exists in the effluent. Often the secondary treatment utilizes an aerobic process or anaerobic process, as chemical treatment is being phased out. Then the effluent is tested to determine if tertiary treatment is needed to meet Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) standards, which determine the amount of waste still present in the water before discharge. Tertiary treatment, or finishing treatment, is often similar to secondary treatment but can be implemented if the wastewater needs to meet reuse standards. The solids separated out of the effluent during the primary treatment phase must then undergo treatment as well, to an acceptable level for further processing into biosolids, fertilizer, or to be placed in a landfill. When examining current standards for Wastewater Treatment (WWT) in developed countries, there are a couple common approaches to treating large amounts of wastewater. Primary treatment of wastewater, as explained above, has a standard method for treatment across most WWT plants. The secondary and tertiary treatment of wastewater is where more variety is added to the treatment methods. Wastewater can either be treated using a chemical process, a biological process, or a natural process. Current wastewater treatment plants are using mostly biological and chemical processes to deal with the suspended solids still remaining in the wastewater. Biological treatment takes primarily two forms, aerobic treatment and anaerobic treatment. Aerobic treatment encompasses oxidation ponds, aerobic lagoons, aerobic bioreactors, active sludge, biological filters, and biological removal of nutrients. Anaerobic treatment uses anaerobic lagoons and anaerobic bioreactors. Chemical


Grey Water Treatment and Reuse

Rainwater Harvesting

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Ideal City Model 47


Low Flow Fixtures

Infrastructure Reclamation

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Desalination

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Designing the Ecological City


treatment of wastewater currently utilizes disinfection with chlorination and dechlorination, ozone, and ultraviolet light. These different methods can be linked together in a WWTP to form the secondary and tertiary treatments of the effluent to the goal BOD/TSS standard for discharge or reuse of the effluent back into the environment. These current WWT methods are utilized around the world in developed and developing countries to deal with human and industrial waste. They provide quick treatment times, take up little land, and can handle large quantities of waste water, making the contained biological and chemical treatment of wastewater highly economical and efficient. The downside to these treatment methods is the greenhouse gas emissions given off during wastewater treatment and the energy intensity required to power the equipment and infrastructure needed. Wastewater treatment emissions are made up of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4), and the levels of emission differ by what treatment method is used. Solids and effluent treatment require different equipment and methods of treatment, differing in levels of intensity. By capturing ghg emissions like methane for power generation and utilizing natural processes like phytoremediation to treat wastewater in constructed wetlands, the carbon footprints of these necessary facilities can be greatly reduced and minimized. The proposed wastewater treatment methods focus primarily on settling tanks and sedimentation tanks for primary treatment of effluent, bioreactor treatment of sludge with methane capture to provide 100% of the power for the process and biosolids, and constructed wetlands, both subsurface flow wetlands and free surface flow wetlands, for the secondary and tertiary treatment of effluent. These methods generate small amounts of ghg emissions, provide renewable energy sources, generate water for reuse, and create functioning ecologies that both humans and wildlife can benefit from. Constructed wetlands use the natural process of phytoremediation, which utilizes the root systems of wetland plants to concentrate compounds, solids, and toxins from the water and metabolize them into their tissues, to clean water through microbial processes. This system runs on no generated energy, as the plants only require

sunlight and the effluent is transported using gravity. In order to meet safety standards, subsurface flow wetlands are required for secondary treatment of effluent so that the effluent cannot come into contact with humans or animals at this stage. Subsurface flow wetlands utilize gravel beds and reeds to treat highly contaminated water, the gravel and roots providing ample surfaces for microbial treatment of the wastewater as it is slowly fed through the beds. After secondary treatment, the effluent can be further treated through free surface flow wetlands, which resemble native or natural wetlands. These free surface flow wetlands serve multiple functions beyond wastewater treatment, they restore ecological functions of wetlands to an area, serve as a wildlife refuge for creatures, and can act as recreation space for towns and cities. During tertiary treatment of the effluent, the majority of the harmful compounds and toxins have been removed and the water is safe for human contact. Following the tertiary treatment, the effluent has met BODS/TSS standards and can be discharge for groundwater infiltration, can be reused for irrigation or agriculture use, or can be released into an existing body of water. Treating effluent through constructed wetlands requires more time and land, as the effluent has to be carefully timed in each stage of treatment to make sure it meets treatment standards, which often requires smaller amounts of water to enter the system increasing its size. The wastewater treatment mentioned above is applicable in many different climates and locations, only requiring land investment and a small capital investment. This allows areas that have no existing wastewater infrastructure to implement and maintain the treatment process at a relatively low cost, while increasing water reuse and decreasing water pollution in fresh water resources. By treating wastewater, areas with high water scarcity can maintain their populations. As a widespread tactic, wastewater treatment can be performed in constructed wetlands and other areas that will sequester carbon at a high rate. By increasing the area of treatment wetlands, water can be reclaimed and ecologies will be restored, advancing the carbon reduction goals of the city.

Ideal City Model 49

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Wetland Restoration

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Designing the Ecological City


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Ideal City Model 51


Waste Management Municipal Solid Waste As the world quickly moves toward its urban future, the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW), one of the most important by-products of an urban lifestyle, is growing even faster than the rate of urbanization. According to a 2016 World Bank report What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management, ten years ago there were 2.9 billion urban residents who generated about 0.64 kg of MSW per person per day. Today, these amounts have increased to about 3 billion residents generating 1.2 kg per day. By 2025, this will likely increase to 4.3 billion urban residents generating 1.42 kg per day. In total, world cities currently generate about 1.3 billion tons of solid waste per year, a volume that is expected to increase to 2.2 billion tons by 2025. Waste generation rates will more than double over the next twenty years in lower income countries. Globally, solid waste management costs will increase from today’s annual $205.4 billion to about $375.5 billion in 2025. Cost increases will be most severe in low income countries (more than 5-fold increase) and lower-middle income countries (more than 4-fold increase). Municipal solid waste managers are charged with a nearly impossible task: collect our waste in the most economically, socially, and environmentally optimal manner possible. Solid waste management is almost always the responsibility of local governments

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Designing the Ecological City

and is often their single largest budget item, creating what is often the city’s largest single source of employment. Furthermore, solid waste is one of the most harmful local pollutants — uncollected solid waste is usually the leading contributor to local flooding and air and water pollution. Waste collection vehicles are large sources of emissions and both incineration and landfilling contribute greenhouse gas emissions. Uncollected waste can provide breeding areas and food to potentially disease carrying organisms, such as insects and rodents. Currently, the United States is the second largest producer of MSW in the world, generating over 250 million tons of trash every year, only second to China — who is expected to produce twice as much trash as the United States by 2030. So where exactly does that trash go? The answer differs between regions, states, and even cities. According to the EPA report Advancing Sustainable Materials Management, the United States produced 258 million tons of MSW. Of that, 136 million tons (52.6%) of MSW was sent to landfills. About 89 million tons (34.6%) was recycled and composted, and 33 million tons (12.8%) were combusted with energy recovery. See figures xx for a detailed breakdown of these materials.In order to best reduce global waste production, the ideal city model proposes the following tactics.


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Ideal City Model 53


Waste Reduction

Waste reduction initiatives seek to reduce the quantity of waste at generation points by redesigning products and changing patterns of production and consumption. Most of these reduction tactics fall under the responsibility of commercial manufacturers. The ideal city model will provide tax incentives to manufacturers who produce exclusively recyclable, compostable, or reusable (RCR) packaging for all products. Manufacturers must meet a 50% RCR goal by 2020 and a 90% RCR goal by 2030 to receive tax benefits. Furthermore, existing incentives will be provided to consumers who bring their own bags or containers when purchasing products.

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Designing the Ecological City


Personal Composting

By educating citizens on the importance of composting, individuals can reduce their daily contribution to MSW by .2 kg, or 73 kg annually. Compost is created by combining organic wastes, such as food, yard trimmings, and manures, in the right ratios, with bulking agents such as wood chips, to create a natural material that added to soil to improve plant growth. Compost promotes higher yields of agricultural crops, helps aid reforestation, wetlands restoration, and habitat revitalization, enhances water retention in soils, and provides carbon sequestration.

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Ideal City Model 55


Anaerobic Digestion

When using an anaerobic digestion process, organic waste is treated in an enclosed vessel. These plants are most commonly used on farms where organic waste is readily available, but the ideal city model would require anaerobic digesters to accept food waste from restaurants, grocery stores, and local governments — all of whom would receive incentives based on the amount of materials they contribute. Anaerobic digesters will generate methane that can either be flared or used to generate heat and electricity, thus drastically reducing the amount of methane released into the environment. As of 2010, there were 151 operating anaerobic digesters on commercial livestock farms, 130 of which capture the biogas to generate electrical or thermal energy. In total, those 130 plants generated 340,000,000 MWh of electricity and reduced methane production by 45,000 tons/year.

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Designing the Ecological City


Waste to Energy

Similarly, the incineration of waste with energy recovery can reduce the volume of disposed waste by up to 90% and can generate approximately 500 kWh of energy per ton of waste. This process produces fly ash and bottom ash. Fly ash is processed by pollution control devices before being released into the air, and bottom as is sent to landfills.

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Ideal City Model 57


Waste Management Construction & Demolition In addition to MSW, global construction and demolition debris (C&D) is expected to nearly double to 2.2 billion tons/year globally, 548 million of which is produced in the United States — more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste. Demolition represents more than 90% of total C&D debris generation, while construction represents less than 10%. These materials include steel, wood products, drywall and plaster, brick, clay tile, asphalt shingles, concrete, and asphalt concrete. The traditional disposal way for C&D waste is to send it to landfill sites, causing a list of environmental problems: waste of natural resources, increases construction and transportation costs, occupies large areas of land, reduces soil quality, and causes water and air pollution. According to the EPA report Advancing Sustainable Materials Management, 70% of all C&D waste is made up of concrete. The following are proposals to drastically reduce the production of C&D waste. Source Reduction While reuse and recycling are important methods to sustainably manage waste and once it has already been generated, source reduction prevents waste from being produced in the first place. Examples of source reduction include preserving existing buildings rather than building new ones, optimizing the size and volume of new buildings, designing for adaptability and flexibility over time, using construction methods that maximize material efficiency, reducing unnecessary finishes, and more. In addition, contractors and owners can incorporate purchasing agreements that prevent excess materials and packaging from arriving to the construction site.

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Salvaging Material Deconstructing for reuse is the process of carefully dismantling buildings to salvage components for reuse. Easy to remove items like doors, hardware, appliances, fixtures, and furniture can be salvaged and donated or reused on other jobs. Wood details and blocking can be recycled to eliminate the need to cut full length lumber. Scrap wood can be shredded on site and used as wood chips. Packaging materials can be returned to suppliers for reuse. Paint can be remixed and use in garages, basements, or facility

58

Designing the Ecological City

rooms. Recycling Material Many building materials can be recycled, including concrete, asphalt, rubble, steel, wood, and glass. Concrete, through the process of rubblization, can be crushed on site and used as aggregate or subbase material, on top of which new concrete or asphalt can be poured. This aggregate can be used for permeable paving for walkways, driveways, and other outdoor hard surfaces, or as a mixture for new concrete. Larger pieces of concrete can be placed along vulnerable stream banks to help control erosion, or used as fill for wire gabions for privacy screens or retaining walls. Larger pieces can also be carefully positioned offshore to form the foundation for coral to build new reefs. Wood can be recycled and used in laminated beams or particle board. Glass and metal scraps can both be recycled and melted into building materials (closed loop recycling). Rebuying Recycled C&D Materials Buying used C&D materials and recycled building products for use in new construction has a variety of environmental and economic impacts. Doing so can boost the local economy, lower construction and renovation costs, and reduce the amount of embodied energy and embodied carbon present in new construction.


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Ideal City Model 59


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Designing the Ecological City


Food & Agriculture Tied to the aforementioned issue of water scarcity, food scarcity on a global scale largely reflects water availability, and is thus prey to similar problems of geography inherent in water resources. The additional issue of asymmetric distribution of agricultural technologies has resulted in a world where dying of obesity related illness is more common than dying of starvation. Carbon and landintensive industrial farming practices in much of the developed world create the problems of food waste and environmental degradation. At the same time developing nations lacking the resources for industrial farming techniques face issues of land scarcity and are the primary contributors to deforestation, relying on a large agricultural footprint to make up for their limited agricultural productivity. For the purposes of this study, food systems will be examined with the goal of achieving a 2000 calorie diet for the entire population. The diet consists of half one’s calories from grains, 10 percent from meat, 7 percent from dairy, 30 percent from fruits and vegetables, and 3 percent from fats. While dietary needs may vary reflective of age, lifestyle, gender and other factors, a 2000 calorie diet is considered the standard in much of the world and will thus be applied as a baseline.

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Ideal City Model 61


Espalier Methods

Rooftop Farms

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Designing the Ecological City


Aquaponics

Vertical Farming

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Ideal City Model 63


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Designing the Ecological City


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Ideal City Model 65


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Designing the Ecological City


Energy Currently, the largest contributor to global carbon dioxide emissions is the production of electricity. The majority of electricity consumed is for living and commerce in the developed world, though electrical grids in developing nations are expanding as wealth and quality of life increases. As of 2018, the per capita average for electricity consumption sits at 3127 kWh annually, with a projected increase of 2.5% per year to a consumption rate of 6600 kWh in 2050. Current power production sits at xxx tWh annually, which will prove insufficient as the population grows, requiring expansion of the power grid. Currently, the majority of power production comes from non-renewable resources, namely coal, oil, and natural gas. The status quo is unsustainable for two reasons. Firstly, these resources have finite existing reserves, which will be depleted in several generations’ time, should current electrical consumption trends continue. Secondly, these sources of power are antithetical to carbon reduction aims, consisting of the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector. As such, the target of energy tactics in this study is to meet future demand with a majority of renewables, gradually phasing out fossil fuels to the point where they are only a backup measure in the case of unreliable wind, solar, or other energy sources. A primary focus of this model will be to push the development of alternate energy resources. The first of which will be geothermal, followed by wind, solar, and tidal or other emerging forms of energy production. Because of problems with the transmittance and storage of energy, the proximity

to reliable sources will drive the development of new and existing cities, while energy-intensive cities that are far from a reliable source will be capped and pushed to develop elsewhere. This restructuring will be paired with a reduction in overall energy usage through the development of district energy systems and microgrids which will allow for more efficient and more advantageous distribution of energy. Energy is perhaps the most contentious of all issues relating to climate change. As the use of energy will only continue to grow, an ideal scenario will base development around renewable sources of energy itself. Therefore, any new or developing city will need to be located in a place where a source of energy is clean and abundant. Currently, petroleum and coal lead the world in energy production. Natural gas had made a recent push in some countries, but still emits devastating amounts of carbon dioxide. In order to serve the future population, there is no option but to convert to geothermal, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and other sources. The overall power goal for a successful Ecological City would be represented by a 75% reduction in current fossil fuel production and use. Weaning the globe off of fossil fuels will take an intensive regimen of both incentives and penalties. In order to maximize renewable use, cities will be centered around sources of energy. A carbon tax will be initiated by governments in order to subsidize the growth of the renewable industry and make fossil fuel production and use economically unpalatable. This will drive the economy to re-tool itself in favor of sustainable energy. Prioritizing geothermal systems will be the root driver for all of future development. (See map of geothermal potentials.) These areas will be prioritized in order to better serve more people and reduce transmission infrastructure expenditure and distances. Next will be wind power, which will be used to serve the coasts. Offshore wind farms will also provide artificial reefs for marine life and restore the natural ecology of coastlines. Third, solar energy will be prioritized in areas of high solar exposure. The production of solar panels is energy intensive, but the extraction of the resources has mostly been completed. In order to supplement this, carbon offsets can be established in the form of wetlands or forestry.

Ideal City Model 67

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Geothermal

Geothermal energy has advantages and drawbacks. First, it is among the cleanest and most abundant form of energy, drawing on the temperature change between the ground and the air, which is impossible to deplete. It requires infrastructure investment for each building, but the return is extremely worth the startup costs. It has the lowest impact on the environment of any of the major renewable energy sources, so it is prioritized in the Ecological City model.

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Designing the Ecological City


Wind

Wind is an abundant source that is uniquely positioned to serve the existing population centersthe coasts. By implementing wind farms offshore, coastal communities and populations can be supplied with power that does not further pollute the planet. There is an opportunity here for increased ecological services as the wind farms could act as starter environments for reefs, which further clean the ocean and lead to more productive fishing and marine life. Their consistency is variable but fairly reliable in most locations (See map for distribution of best wind energy zones).

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Ideal City Model 69


Solar

Solar power harnesses the sun’s photovoltaic energy. The panels used to capture this energy heavily rely on silicon, an element that is mined in large quantities at an expensive cost to both miners and the environment. If the mining for this material and the responsible use and recycling of it is underwritten by renewably-powered machinery, then solar panels could add a much needed boost to the energy mix. A carbon tax would again support the creation of the panels and offset the emissions from in their creation.

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Biomass

Waste-to-energy systems that produce biomass fuels are an important but finite source of energy. By processing and incinerating solid waste, methane and other gases can be garnished and burned as cleaner fuel. By collecting refuse and repurposing it in this way, gas can be created that is less damaging to the environment. However, this source will eventually “dry up” as recycling comes to a point where solid waste is lessened. This source could help bridge the gap between today’s power mix and the energy mix of the Ecological City model, and it will also function as an increased return on investment. As a tax incentive for recycling will drive this energy, solid waste totals will begin to diminish in turn.

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Ideal City Model 71


Fossil Fuels

Of course, the globe cannot switch cold turkey to renewable resources. Some resources are necessary evils that must remain due to their high energy intensity, but they can be used more responsibly. The Ecological City model will capitalize on previously built infrastructure like hydroelectric dams, desalination plants, and other industrial uses in order to offset the carbon intensity of building completely new power production infrastructure.

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Designing the Ecological City

Reduction Goals

Of course, the globe cannot switch cold turkey to renewable resources. Some resources are necessary evils that must remain due to their high energy intensity, but they can be used more responsibly. The Ecological City model will capitalize on previously built infrastructure like hydroelectric dams, desalination plants, and other industrial uses in order to offset the carbon intensity of building completely new power production infrastructure.


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Ideal City Model 73


Building Construction Construction accounts for 3.38 billion tons of CO2 annually, and approximately 35% of global CO2 emissions. In addition, building waste is one of the largest sources of solid material waste globally. For that reason, this focus area will examine not only the production of building waste, but also solid waste production from other human activities and potential methods of resource recovery. CO2 emissions aside, the primary aim of the construction tactics herein is to develop building typologies and city planning techniques that can physically house an additional 4 billion people by 2050. With this in mind, the need becomes apparent for a typological approach for building in expanding cities primarily, with secondary focuses on sustainable forms of exurban and rural living. Tied intrinsically to the development of housing then becomes the embodied carbon inherent in construction materials, as well as the life cycle footprints of the occupation of said buildings. Retrofitting of existing built fabric to energy efficient fixtures can aid in reduction of power consumption, whilst new construction holds more of a focus on developing regional supply chains to reduce transit waste, and the use of renewable building materials such as wood, bamboo, or hay. As current construction trends stand, however, steel

and concrete continue to produce the most carbon dioxide per unit of production. For those applications which still require said resources, recycling and energy conscious production methods can aid in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, as well as the environmental degradation resulting from resource extraction. As such, recycling, in addition to renewable resource harvesting, becomes a major component of this research area. Finally, tied in with building material recycling comes the utilization of other man-made and organic solid wastes and their life cycles. This is not to be confused with fecal waste, which has been accounted for in the water section of this research. In total, the typical global citizen produces 438 kg of solid waste a year, a number representing all the post consumer goods discarded, that is expected to increase to 518 kg by 2025. The majority of this solid waste is ultimately discarded in landfills, which contribute to global greenhouse gas production, as well as environmental degradation due to the land clearing required for them and seepage into water supplies as the matter degrades. Post-consumer life cycle analysis can aid in reducing the amount of material discarded in landfills, while helping to understand and project future material demands. In conjunction with forestry tactics,


building typologies for mid-rise, high-density wood structures are being prioritized for development. With the development of a building model that prioritizes localized material production and recycling of existing materials, the carbon output of construction can be largely reduced. By utilizing former agricultural land for forestry and carbon-sequestering forests, buildings can act as carbon sinks while housing the growing population. In addition, existing materials can be recycled to reduce the emissions from the production of carbon-intensive materials such as steel and concrete. Through a careful analysis and application of these materials, stronger and longer-lasting buildings can reduce overall construction rates. Built Form The strategy for achieving the built form of cities is embedded in the most efficient use of material sourcing and construction. As the industry currently stands, construction waste is growing, predicted to nearly double by the year 2025 to 2.2 billion tons. Curbing this statistic requires a dual understanding of basic housing needs and the construction processes of urban housing itself. Selecting the most adequate materials for the built form of cities is also a result of the global distribution of sustainable material growth. As increasing numbers of individuals move to urban

centers, the built form of the Garden City must be capable of adapting to ever-changing demands. The Demands of Housing The need for housing in cities implies a major straining factor on the Garden City model. On average, each individual on Earth requires at least 460 square feet of living space. The calculations for material statistics is based on implementing on a middensity housing typology as a standard. This standard permits a consistent estimation for the burden of the building industry on the overall city model. The typology is set as a 100 foot by 100 foot building lot with twelve stories. This design provides 120,000 square feet of usable space; using the 460 square foot standard, this would imply that a single building could provide housing for 260 residents (120,000 divided by 460). Taking into consideration the annual increase of 82 million people, a demand exists for 37,720,000,000 square feet of new housing stock every single year. Applying this demand to the established built form model implies that around 314,000 buildings would need to be constructed each year, providing an understanding of the material yields in the following sections.


Productive Lawns The standard materials for construction in the Ecological City Model is based entirely on sustainable materials that also grow a rapid pace, or rather, a pace that can adequately meet the rate of the construction industry. The included materials can also be easily supported by the plan for lawn and cropland conversion, ensuring that each square acre of land can contribute to active productivity. The proposal for a “productive lawns” concept for material sourcing is derived from statistics of vast underutilized open space across the globe. This does not imply the need for the expansion of construction, but rather a need for developing such open space for agricultural uses. According to a NASA study, 31,624,488 acres across the United States constitute an underutilized “lawn.” Dividing this number by an average lawn size of 10,000 square feet (or .23 acres), there are roughly 7.3 million lawns that could be used in the production of crops and sustainable construction materials. Comparing this number to existing cropland underscores the inefficiency of the existing status of production; NASA estimates that there is 3 times more lawn space than irrigated corn. The following material applications are thus considered through the productive conversion of lawns in order to support the building industry standard as established by the aforementioned built form model. Timber Timber materials are already a popular answer for improving the sustainability of the construction industry. This is due to timber’s significant role in carbon sequestration and reduction in embodied energy, defined as “the energy consumed in providing materials for building construction,” including sourcing and transportation. On average, the embodied energy of timber rests around 40 GJ, far less than that of steel and concrete. Timber is also readily produced, reused, and easy to construct, as well as dismantle. The most sustainable method for timber construction is difficult to determine due to the dual need for efficiency and longevity of construction, creating structures which can withstand decades

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of use. Recent research by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) sought to determine the most efficient typology of timber construction, entitled “Timber Tower Research Project.” Their model will be directly applied to the Ecological City built form model developed in this research. The SOM model would reduce carbon emissions by an average 60-75% per structure. In order to meet longevity needs, the model is a concrete-jointed timber frame that improves the structural capacity and permits a taller construction; height is a common restraining factor for timber construction, however, the inclusion of some concrete support would permit the twelve story standard proposed in this model. The structure consists of solid mass cross-laminated timber (CLT) spanning between timber shear walls. The perimeter would be constructed of concrete spandrel beams and timber columns. The standard amount of timber required for this structure .8 cubic feet per square foot of building. Using the building footprint typology described previously, this would require about 96,000 cubic feet of timber per new construction. SOM suggests the use of Douglas Firs as the main tree type for CLT construction due to its yield of board feet. One Douglass Fir provides 280 board feet of timber. 96,000 cubic feet demands 1,152,000 board feet of material per building. Therefore, it can be determined that each new construction would require material from about 4,000 Douglas Fir trees. Implementing these numbers into the lawn conversion proposal, about 60 Douglas Fir trees can be planted per acre of open lawn space, using a spacing of twelve feet. On average, a typical lawn can provide enough lumber for three homes; this methodology would provide the necessary amount of lumber needed for the Ecological City typology. With harvesting every thirty years when the trees reach their most mature height of 70 feet, around 15.3 acres of land would be needed per new construction. This model is compatible with existing statistics of open space and would provide the most efficient and resilient strategy for CLT construction.


Productive Lawns

Timber

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Bio Brick

Bamboo

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Bio Brick As a more innovative solution for building construction, mud bricks (sometimes referred to as “bio-bricks”) can be utilized in more hot and dry climates. A historical precedent for this construction can be found in large areas of the American Southwest, as well as regions of Africa. A brick is composed of local soil or dirt, a hay substrate, and other aggregates. A standard home uses around 10,000 bricks, often combined with a wood frame (perhaps similar to the one already mentioned but with a lesser amount of CLT). The process for producing bio-bricks begins with wetting the inside of a brick mould. This mould is then filled with mud/ hay aggregates and allowed to dry under the sun. The actual wall sits on a concrete foundation, typically on a layer of bitumen as a protective barrier against groundwater. A standard bio-brick is much larger than prototypical bricks used in construction, averaging about 14 inches by 16 inches. Applying this standard to the Ecological City model, .64 bricks would be needed per square foot of construction. Considering roughly 12,000 square feet across one facade (12 stories with ten foot floor height, including floor structure), 7,680 bricks would be used per facade. With four facades, this would require around 35,000 bricks per new construction. In terms of material harvesting, the greatest need for lawn space rests in the production of hay bales which contribute to the substrate added to the bio-brick. The percentage of straw per brick can vary, but around 1% is typical. A standard “2-stringer” hay bale with dimensions of 36” x 18” x 14” can be used to make around 160 mud bricks. On a typical lawn, around 57 hay bales could be produced and harvested twice a year, meaning around 18,240 mud bricks could be produced from one lawn annually. With the need for around 35,000 bricks per new construction, around 1.92 acres of land would be required per new building. This number does not factor additional CLT construction but nonetheless demonstrates an adequate model for material sourcing embedded within the rest of the Ecological City model. Bamboo A third and final methodology for

construction utilizes bamboo as the main material. Bamboo grows at an astounding rate and is also three times more structurally resistant than steel. The material is common in vernacular construction in East and Southeast Asia where bamboo is plentiful, however, it has yet to be applied to many largescale construction projects and thus, research on its capability is limited. Studio Penda recently developed a construction scheme using a modular bamboo system that would be able to construct a city for 200,000 people. The system takes into account material sourcing, with every bamboo stalk harvested being replaced by two more. Components from the system can also be frequently re-used, allowing the concept of adaptive re-use to be easily applied. Under a standard 14 foot by 12 module, each module uses about ten talks of bamboo. Inserting this module into the Ecological City typology, one facade of one floor would use about 8 modules; with four facades, this means about 32 modules per floor would be used. At twelve stories, this yields 384 modules per new construction and a need for 3,840 stalks of bamboo per new building. Bamboo can be grown in a variety of ways in order to produce the specific shapes required for its construction, including square cross-sections, arched shapes, curved shapes, and flat shapes. Surprisingly, bamboo can also be grown throughout a variety of climates, simply implementing different species to adapt to certain conditions. Two general typologies of the plant exist: clumping and running. Clumping bamboo grows to about 10-15 feet in height, growing at a rate of 1 to 3 feet per year. The clumping type is considered non-invasive, spreading slowly and growing in tight clusters. Conversely, running bamboo grows more rapidly and across wider areas, reaching 20 to 30 feet in height at a rate of 3 to 5 feet per year. Both clumping and running bamboo types can be planted in both hot and cold climates; in warm climates, Black Bamboo and Chinese Goddess are the most common. In colder climates, Golden Grove and Chinese Mountain can be planted. Another positive feature of bamboo is that it cannot be overplanted, however, 3 to 5 feet of spacing is typically recommended for efficient growth. The individual stalk eventually reproduces other stalks which are

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larger than its predecessors. Bamboo shoots are harvested during the spring and must be collected as soon as they emerge from the ground. During this time, bamboo can grow upwards of 6 to 12 inches in a single day, leaving an optimal harvest window of 24 hours. Implementing these statistics into the lawn conversion model, around 109 stalks of bamboo can be grown per acre. If each new building requires 3,840 stalks, about 65.5 acres of land is needed per new construction. An annual harvest can be completed after 6 years of establishing growth, always replanting a single stalk with two new stalks after it is cut. While more research is needed on the capabilities of construction, the sheer versatility of bamboo growth makes it an optimal option for the built form of the Ecological City.

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CLT Apartments

Bio Brick Apartments

Bamboo Apartments

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Transportation Globally, transportation produces 14% of all CO2 emissions. Strategies exist to help reduce the emissions produced by the transportation industry at large. The first is the utilization of alternative fuel sources such as liquefied natural gas. This alternative produces less CO2 than conventional gasoline. Next, using zero-emission energy such as wind powered cargo ships would lower the C02 output from this sector. Finally, integrating wetlands and bioswales with roads, railroad tracks and airport and other infrastructural land can also help reduce sequester carbon, functioning as a remedy to its own problems. Modes of Transit - Pros and Cons Many industries are developing alternatives to fuel-burning methods that enable a contemporary standard of living. Wind power is considered a renewable and sustainable energy resource. New technology pertaining to wind powered ships hold massive potential, but are underdeveloped. Rotor ships and Skysail are just some of the systems that are being tested and used for cargo ship logistics. The use of wind powered ships enormously contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions. In considerations of the benefits of wind powered ships, using skysails as an example, total fuel consumption reduction can range from 10 percent to 35 percent. The fact that wind is cheaper than

oil makes SkySails one of world’s most attractive technologies for simultaneously reducing operating costs and carbon emissions. Based on research, one kilowatt hour of SkySails power costs just 6 US cents, or only about half as much as one kilowatt hour from the main engine that ships usually use. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimates that up to 100 million tons of climate-damaging carbon emissions can be eliminated worldwide every year with the usage of SkySails technology alone, which is an amount equivalent to 11 percent of Germany’s CO2 emissions. Airships are another transportation type that can navigate through the air under its own power. The covering of an airship is composed of a single gasbag, which is filled with an inert gas such as hydrogen or helium. Currently, the most popular cargo airship is the Zeppelin NT or the GZ-20A airship. In general, one Zeppelin with a length of 246 feet can carry 15 passengers, and lift 2940 pounds. One of the attractive aspects of Zeppelin is its endurance, which can be almost 24 hours. Rail transportation is a cost and fuel consumption efficient transportation method. According to an independent study for the Federal Railroad Administration, railroads are four times more fuel-efficient than trucks. In addition, rail transportation over long distance is also tremendously cost effective. Rail can carry more cargo compared to other transportation methods. Furthermore, the average speed of train freight is around 75 mph with less obstructions throughout trips. Road transportation is widely used in current society because of its flexibility and capacity to transport bulky goods. Truck transportation is used by many industries. It can reduce cartage, loading and unloading expense, which is cost effective and economical compared to rail transportation for short distance transportation. Road transport is also suited for carrying goods and people to and from rural areas which are not served by rail, water or air transport. Exchange of goods between large towns and small villages is made possible only through road transport. Most notably, however, is research by the EPA, which attributes a large portion of global greenhouse gas emissions to road transportation.

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Transit System Layout As a city becomes larger and urbanizes, the expansion of roads and parking lots will also necessarily increase. When land is covered by impermeable pavement, such as concrete and asphalt, it has the potential to have an array of issues including flooding due to excess storm water, water and soil pollution from floods, and groundwater recharge deficits. These various natural disasters affect the society humans live in and also affect wildlife habitats that surround it. Integrating a wetland using a system of bioswales can increase a city’s ability to not only reduce stormwater runoff and concentration of pollutants in soils, but also improve water quality, and also help support growth of trees and therefore, overall carbon dioxide reduction. A bioswale system requires less maintenance than turf grass because it needs a small amount of water and no fertilizer to function. The conventional two-lane layout has two lanes in the middle that are flanked by two shoulders or sidewalks. The proposed road layout will have two ten-foot-wide bioswales that are placed between the roads and sidewalks to provide safety to pedestrians. The bioswales can also help to create city habitats for various wildlife species. For railroad tracks, the bioswales system would work alongside tracks. Swales can be placed on the sides of the tracks to create natural segregation to prevent trespassing. A pavement-to-parks program can also be beneficial for carbon reduction. Many parking spots in San Francisco have been converted into permeable parklets. A parklet repurposes part of the street, typically using parking spots along the roads, into a public space for residents to do daily activities. Parklets can be used for many purposes, such as

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supporting local businesses by providing outdoor seating, encouraging non-motorized transportation by placing street furniture (bike racks, seats, landscape, and art), and increasing walkability by improving the pedestrian experience. The pavement-to-parks programs can also significantly reduce the amount of motorized vehicle usage in a city by reducing the amount of parking spaces. In lieu of motorized vehicles, more cyclists and pedestrians will be empowered to better utilize the streetscape. Parklets with bioswale systems or greenery spaces can be dispersed throughout a city with the dual benefit of carbon reduction. Airports have a huge potential to reduce carbon footprints by installing wetlands in their large unused areas. For example, Logan International Airport in Boston has six major runways and 580 acres of land occupied by buildings and roads. Additionally, there is 1653 acres (approx. 70% of total land) of open land that is reserved for unoccupied spaces. These spaces can be converted to wetlands to help reduce the airport’s overall carbon footprint. Because of state and federal regulations these unoccupied spaces cannot be converted or used for commercial or residential areas. This would create a sizable opportunity to create de-facto protected wetlands. In a field experiment at the University of California - Davis, bioswales helped reduce 25% of the storm water produced. For the concentration of pollutants, most of the metal elements were not found in the soil and runoff after the 16-month study. Only zinc and iron were detected. The vegetation also grew slightly better than the surrounding vegetation not using a bioswale system, based on visual observation of leaves


and new branches. There are many benefits to have bioswales integrated with a transit layout. However, they must be carefully designed and maintained to function properly. Bioswales won’t be able to function and survive in dry climate due to lack of rainfall. The bioswales system has a minimum rainfall required to maintain life cycles, and so the vegetation in bioswales has to be carefully selected. Ideally, native trees and plants will be the first choice because they can resist local pests and diseases. Proposed Ideal Transit System To reiterate, ideal transit system is categorized by different transportation methods. Firstly, as for sail ship method, skysail or rotor ship, which is mainly powered by wind, will be recommended for sea transit, which can save up to 30 percent to 40 percent of regular cargo fuel consumption. Secondly, as to road system, reduction in auto production will be a good choice to prevent

excessive carbon emission. In the meantime, together with reduction in auto production, removal of parking on roads will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emission as well, which is also an approach to encourage people using public transportation rather than driving private cars. Bioswales placed with roads and railroads can prevent flooding and reduce the concentration of pollutants in soils and water. Bioswale can also reduce carbon footprint. Thirdly, pertaining to fuels, it is environmental to use biofuels like liquefied natural gas, biodiesel, or hydrogen etc. for heavy duty trucks and general vehicles. For instance, emissions from gasoline and diesel vehicles, such as nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter, are a major source of carbon pollution. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles emit none of these harmful substances, only water and warm air. Lastly, regarding to rail transit, it is cost effective to use rail system for long distance transportation, especially for bulky

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Pavement to Parks

Bioswale Rails

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Bioswale Roads

Ship Sails

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Airport Tarmac Conversion

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Governance Two main political ideologies shape the contemporary geopolitical landscape. The first is a capitalist republic, such as the United States. The second is state capitalism, or an abstracted form of communism. Seeing as most of the developed world functions under some semblance of a free, democratic capitalist society, this research feels it is safe to assume that the most viable and likely future is a capitalist one. How then, can we persuade the free market to retool itself in order develop the necessary technology and infrastructure to sustain 11 billion human inhabitants? Ecology, as it happens, respects no borders. Frequently, scientific papers and municipalities will claim they have reached carbon neutrality. Just as frequently, those claims conveniently fail to mention the fact that they have simply moved their emissions outside their political boundaries, and not really eradicated their reliance on carbon. This is an example of the “petri dish� analogy- problems cannot be erased by pushing them outside a political zone, because ecology does not recognize arbitrary political borders. While it seems counterintuitive, the world needs to take a highly localist approach in order to remain globally conscious of its effects. Structure This research proposes that each population center be defined by its resource catchment rather than arbitrary political borders. Economic incentives and taxes will be levied in order to enforce and promote tactics that sequester carbon and lead to highly livable and dense metropolitan areas developing in climates that have the ability to support them. This governing structure will ensure that energy and ecology can be overseen with a direct relationship to the population that supports it. Retaining a capitalist mindset through a network of private companies, motivation will be created for private-land holding citizens to participate in the larger project of helping the planet become more carbon conscious. The members of councils will be elected by popular vote and receive social and welfare benefits in order to support them. They will be servants of the people without ties to capitalist or business ventures. At the international, federal,

state, and local levels, four tiers of government will be established to check and balance one another. This quadruple approach will treat resources, economies, and ecology with equal importance, reversing the capitalist instinct to monetize resources and exploit them for consumption and capital gains. The governance of the ecological city will happen on four distinct but closely interrelated levels. Internationally, this arrangement will necessitate that agreements are met. The breadth of a resource catchment will bleed across borders and require international collaboration. For the purposes of this model, a body similar to that of the United Nations will establish global rules of climate and standard of living stewardship. Any government or nation that acts against the global compact will be limited in its access to resources by the Universal Council, and sanctioned in order to correct behaviors contrary to the perpetuation of sustainable life on Earth. This Universal Council will be comprised of members from all participating countries, which will have an equal vote in the process. Greater Catchment Council At the Federal level, the Greater Catchment Council (GCC) will administer access to resources and the protection of ecology at a scale that crosses all state and municipal boundaries. The GCC will interface with the Universal Council in order to negotiate conflicts and problems arising from border disputes, but the interest of the GCC will always reflect that of the citizens in depending on the resources in a given district. This council will be administered by the Federal Government, much like the Department of the Interior in the United States. The boundary of the catchment area of any given metropolitan area is decided by vote in the Economic Council and Metro Council, and is defined as the minimum necessary distance between the center of the metropolitan area and its main source of water or energy. This governing body will be elected by the citizens of states in which the areas fall, and be comprised of a Board of Trustees of one member from each state represented. The GCC’s main objective will be the protection, and stewardship of resources and ecology, with a particular interest in their natural ecological growth. The GCC will ensure

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the sustainable use of these resources, but holds veto power over the Economic Council and the Metro Council. Economic Council At the State Level the Economic Council (EC) will administer economic and social issues at an interstitial level that links the GCC to the Metropolitan Council. The EC will function as an inter-state entity that sets taxes, incentives, and creates and allocates jobs based on agreements with the Metro Council and the GCC. The EC will be elected by the Metro Council and comprise of a member of each state in which its jurisdiction falls. The EC will be made of two boards: one upper board sized based on population, and one lower house with equal representation for each state, much like the bicameral legislature of the United States. The EC will take steps to improve economic equality amongst the citizens of the metropolitan and surrounding areas by providing job programs in sustainable industries. Through contracts with the GCC, the EC’s role is to establish working relationships between the MC and the GCC that benefit the people and maintain responsible use of resources. The EC will also contract with Metro Council in order to define energy production infrastructure goals and the funding for them. The

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EC will vote on policies for use of the resources and allocations of funds, taxes, and other monies that it collects. This inter-state collection of taxes will allow for the interface of resource-based taxes and city tax initiatives and incentives. The EC can levy taxes on both the Metro Council and the GCC. The EC approves City Council budgets, and acts as a financial liaison between the GCC and the MC. Metropolitan Council At the local level, the Metropolitan Council (MC) will oversee construction practices and built infrastructure within an area defined by the density of settlement therein. The MC will administer building permits for successfully designed projects that utilize sustainable practices. The MC will prioritize practices that respect the targets set by the EC, or it will receive less funding for these projects. Transportation infrastructure and other sustainable methods of expanding existing cities or developing new cities will be administered by the MC. The Council will be elected by the citizens of the greater metropolitan area, and be made up of one representative from each district. The MC will hold veto power over the taxes levied by the EC, but the GCC and EC can overrule this veto with a two-thirds majority in all houses.


Checks and Balances The relationships between the branches of government are meant to provide stability for environmental resources. By creating an Economic Council that is separate from the GCC, private companies will be encouraged to align with the Metropolitan Council in order to gain favor with the policies of the EC. Private industry will be encouraged in this model, as the structure allows for capital to flow in both directions, from Federal to local and local to federal. However, the system prevents resources from being exploited for economic gain. As such, the free market will support the redevelopment of these ecological resources and services. Resources will be allocated to cities based on their ability to demonstrate their responsible use of said resources, and all without compulsory tactics. Through taxes and incentives, a capitalist system will create a more compliant and sustainable cities and prevent unsustainable cities from growing. This will both encourage the growth of cities that use sustainable practices and limit the growth of those which do not. Universal Council Elected by Representatives of each Member Nation

Resolves and establishes agreements between Catchment Countries Greater Catchment Council Representatives elected Directly by Residents of Land Area Veto power over EC, MC Creates responsible use plans for resources Protects and expands ecological services Economic Council Representatives elected Directly by Representatives of GCC and MC Power to levy taxes on MC, GCC Creates taxes and incentives for proper use of resources by cities. Promotes economic equality through privately sponsored employment programs. Municipal Council Representatives directly elected by Residents of City Veto power over EC Creates responsible building practices and infrastructure plans. Incentivizes private companies to comply with practices in order to gain EC

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FINDINGS


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Findings Utilizing Stella software for complex system modeling, a scenario model was established and utilized to determine the effects of the proposed interventions. (see appendix for Stella model) As per running calculations for an idealized, global scenario where all tactics developed in this study are utilized, the following findings have been made: Land Use Through the use of intensive agriculture techniques such as vertical farming and aquaponics, a significant reduction in agricultural land use can be achieved. (see fig xx.) The reduction of agricultural land use means several things, namely that land can be reverted to its natural state as time progresses, aiding in sequestering carbon, and that there is sufficient room for expansion of cities and productive utilities, should the population continue to grow, as opposed to leveling off at 11 billion as current estimates predict. Carbon Sequestration The main goal of the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement was the establishment of carbon reduction targets for 2020 to limit global climate change to 1.5*C for this century. The model developed in this paper does manage to reach carbon neutrality within 29 years, offering an alternate pathway for carbon reduction. Where it differs from the agreement, however, is in how aggressively sources of carbon production are attacked and the number is achieved. The Paris Agreement Goal of limiting global carbon production to 40 billion tons per year by 2020 is not achieved in this scenario. Where the slower pace of carbon reduction can prove of benefit is in the fact that many countries were wary signatories to the Paris Agreement, fearing a halt to their own economic production as a result of the cut in carbon emissions. This model, however, offers a more gradual pathway, in addition to showing means by which production needs can be achieved in non-carbon intensive ways. The risk, however, is that if tactics in this model either aren’t applied sufficiently quick enough, global climate change may fall short of the 1.5*C goal, and may in fact become irreversible.

Water Consumption Use of high intensity agricultural techniques has the ability to decrease crop water consumption as much as 75% in some sectors. However, the ability to provide sufficient water for a population of 11 billion still remains an elusive goal. Instead, techniques such as desalination and rainfed crop production may be necessary to guarantee sufficient water resources for all. Governance Though a model of governance to implement such tactics as outlined in this paper is offered, the reality of geopolitics still makes any proposition incredibly difficult to achieve. As such, the goal of the tactics outlined in this paper is to offer a path to reducing global carbon emissions and sustainable development that is amenable to multiple groups, namely through the fact that the tactics don’t require significant shifts in current production or personal consumption quantities. A model implementing rations for resource use could offer different results; while carbon neutrality was achieved in this model, an approach based on cutting consumption could alter the equation so this number is achieved faster, or carbon sequestration is even achieved.

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Conclusion The ideal city remains a vestige of the imagination, but to say it is impossible would be a simple fallacy. Laid bare here by research and creativity, the achievement of a city that functions in such a way that could support 11 billion people is not impossible. The question of realization is a different one, but the possibility is not. The immense challenges faced by humankind and the planet are manyfold, and the only approach that can be taken is a systematic shift. Recognizing that all systems are inextricably intertwined is tantamount to the survival of the species. The earth is not a zero-sum game, and its ecology and resources must be understood as such. Education and awareness about the subject and the way the earth functions is also important to the dissemination of information and changing ways of life. Around the planet, developing nations are racing towards carbon-intensive futures. In order to prevent this, research and papers like these aim to provide an alternative future through possible projections and carefully considered systems for living. By creating environments which take advantage of their local geographical attributes, it is possible to support 11 billion humans on this earth, but the importance of the recognition of greater ecological systems is paramount in that success.

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Designing the Ecological City: A Model for Sustainable Life on Earth  

Designing the Ecological City: A Model for Sustainable Life on Earth  

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