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The Importance Of Eco-Cities In An Urbanizing World

<p>As urbanization increases, the importance of ecologically-considerate city building techniques has become more pronounced. Several examples of planned "eco-cities" are laying the foundation for embracing this model of growth and development.</p>
July 28, 2007, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"It is evident that urbanization is not just a challenge for cities, but a challenge for humanity and the environment as a whole."

"The good news is that many currently available technologies can greatly reduce the environmental footprint of urban dwellers by cutting energy use, improving water quality, reducing air pollution, and diverting solid wastes from landfills. But replacing aging infrastructure in cities is not only expensive, but also technically challenging. The tantalizing vision of building green cities from scratch has been around for decades - concepts embraced by politicians, urban designers and philosophers alike. The world may see its first ‘eco-city' in the next few years, but time will tell how well these Waldenesque visions will play out."

"The most publicized and ambitious eco-city is planned for an area near Shanghai, China. The city of Dongtan will be built on a 630-hectare island site near sensitive wetlands at the mouth of the Yangtze, Asia's longest river. Slated to open with accommodation for 50,000 by 2010, it will support 80,000 people by 2020, with the agricultural and rural support needed to make it a self-sustaining region."

"Another environmentally friendly city will be created in the oil rich region of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (ADFEC) has announced plans to develop a zero-waste, zero-carbon ‘city' and clean technology cluster on a 6 million square meter plot of land."

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Published on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 in GLOBE-Net
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