Towards a liveable and sustainable city

Environmental problems are among the key issues in the urban areas.  The essential of maintaining the quality of the environment in the city for better living quality was recognised at international level in recent World Cities Summit 2010 held between 28 June and 1 July, when participants from various part of the world simultaneously voted urban greenery as the most important element for a liveable city.  Nonetheless, it is also one of the steps to ensure city environmental sustainability.

As one of the busiest centre in the world, as well as hosting more than 7 million residents with a population density of 2,724/km2, London still maintaining its nature very well.  Apart from the environmental friendly policies, its organised town planning with sufficient areas for neighbourhood nature such as parks and woodlands, serve not just as recreational spots for the locals but also a habitat for the wildlife in the metropolitan.  In addition, local culture such as gardening and bird feedings are indirectly help in conserving the nature of the city as well.  These small gardens are able to attract and conserve some birds and insect species.  Public education and awareness are also the keys in ensuring long term sustainability of the city greenery.  Therefore, the public were usually engaged through media documentations and community activities.  For the young children, school outreach programmes are among the activities launched to achieve the goals.

Back in 1997, W. H. Adams explored the development of nature conservation in the country and the roles of rationalization of nature and ecology in affecting the development.  The discussion focused on the argument by Raymond Murphy’s Rationality and nature about the importance of rationalization derived from social elements in changing the links between social actions and the nature dynamics.  By sharing his detail yet interesting findings on the topic, W.H. Adams definitely provided useful information on the rationalization of nature by human over time in determining the directions of conservation to the policy makers and other conservation organisations in their future green and sustainable community planning, especially in places where human population peaks.

PRNewswire, 1 July 2010, “Water Supply, Air Pollution Most Pressing Issues for Cities, Say Participants at Singapore’s World Cities Summit 2010

W.M. Adams, 1997,Rationalization and conservation: ecology and the management of nature in the United Kingdom”, Transaction of the Institute of British Geographers, 22: 277-291

By Lee-Sim Lim

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