Sustainability

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Physical sustainability

IF new and renovated residential buildings and the local urban systems that surround them, are built to accommodate a high efficiency, low energy, low resource use, limited waste and an ecologically balanced lifestyle, then evidence shows that their inhabitants are far more likely to live in that lifestyle. Affordable passive cooling techniques such as the simple use of verandas and cross ventilation, reduces dependency on mechanical air conditioning. The use of nontoxic and ecologically beneficial materials will easily further improve indoor air quality and respiratory health for families.

• IF the inhabitants can easily walk or take transit...

• IF they need not travel far for their daily needs, which are well-distributed...

• IF they have inviting outdoor space nearby where they can spend time with others without expending large amounts of energy and resources...

• IF more people can share efficient facilities like local power generation, smart energy network and infrastructure...

• THEN the evidence shows that even those with modest household incomes, can lead a resource balanced, energy effective and healthy lifestyle.

Social sustainability

The ability to maintain social organization, cooperation and well-being, is a critical dimension of sustainability as well. If parts of the population are increasingly excluded and alienated, causing disruptive social problems, this increasingly distracts from the capacity of the community to cope with other challenges. If the population as a whole is under educated, then it will be less able to respond to the real long-term challenges facing the local conditions.

Economic sustainability

The financial well-being in any community is a critical component in order to meet it’s normal evolving challenges. If unsustainable economic elements, i.e. lack of access to jobs, health, and education, depleted economic resources, there is less ability to apply those resources to other needs. Clearly, a society impoverished by unsustainable economic practices is not able to deal with other base line services. Prolonged neglect as such, can lead to a breakdown of an otherwise viable society. Equitable access to resources are important building blocks of a resilient and healthy society.