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The best sustainable planning methods for city development take into consideration the region and its various systems as a whole. In other words, natural waterways, adjoining neighborhoods, transportation, energy and many other systems should be integrated so that the area is livable for people. Through programs and designs that are both workable and environmentally responsible, sustainable planning can make a difference in creating healthier living environments.
For example, careful waste management leads to creating community awareness programs on the importance of reducing garbage. Sustainable planning to reduce the amount of garbage in a city's landfills is something residents are likely to support and become involved in. These objectives can easily fit in with community recycling programs that help residents create less garbage by recycling more items.
Sustainable planning to lower each resident's consumption of energy fits in with a city plan to use more renewable energy sources. Planning to use energy sources more efficiently and carefully leads to considering how a city's land can be used most effectively. City land planning for a sustainable future must be in focus since half the population of the world now lives in urban areas.
City living also relates to the distance residents must travel to get to work. Sustainable planning to create work areas closer to living spaces means less driving and congestion on city roads during rush hour. This in turn relates to reducing carbon dioxide emissions that harm the environment. Sustainable planning for bicycle and walking lanes in strategic areas of the city creates clear options for more people to walk or bike to work, meaning fewer emissions. The consideration of travel time and increased emissions also relates to transporting supplies such as food; planning for more locally based agricultural and community gardens can help solve the problem.
Sustainable planning for many cities worldwide includes downtown pedestrian malls. A pedestrian mall is a popular type of no car shopping zone. Creating tree-lined walking areas with desirable stores in pedestrian malls also help make the mall attractive to tourists; this brings more money to merchants and their cities.
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