HOMEWORK 2: Envisioning Sustainable Cities
Due: See the Canvas Menu
This assignment builds on personal views of what makes places sustainable, especially going beyond just the traditional Brundtland definition, and seeing real-world connections and thinking within a trans-disciplinary context. The environment that you grew up in and the experiences in your life up to this point have shaped and molded your view of sustainability as it relates to cities and the built environment. As you ponder and answer the questions below, ask yourself what role do your values play in perceiving sustainability, and what factors, if any, motivate you to develop or continue a green lifestyle. Think about the various dimensions of sustainability and the geographical scales in which it operates – from households to neighborhoods, places, cities, and regions.
If you are asked to answer ‘What is a sustainable city like?’, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT? Do you think the city/neighborhood you have grown up or lived was sustainable? Why and why not? If your city/town was not sustainable, think about your own vision of a sustainable city or neighborhood that you would like to see in the future.
Now, try to imagine the city’s ideal in terms of sustainability. If you have imagined the ideal sustainable city, can you explain why the city would be sustainable? For example, how many people live there? (50,000? 100,000, or 1 million?) What kind of characteristics do make the city sustainable? How would you describe the city in terms of the questions below?
How is this place laid out in terms of streets, buildings, public spaces, parks, homes, workplaces, and shopping areas?
How do people get around?
How does the built environment relate to the natural landscape?
What kind of people live there? How do they interact?
What makes this place sustainable, and do you think it is possible to achieve? How?
In addition to these questions, try to jot down your own ideas related to the questions in the ‘IDEAL SUSTAINABLE CITY?” box below. Your memo will help you write your own reflection on “a desirable sustainable city’.
Remember, it is still the early time of the semester and we have not covered much about sustainability yet. Therefore your discussion does not have to be sophisticated. At this point, we want to share how each of us perceives a ‘sustainable city’ based on your experience. As our course approaches close to the finish line in the semester, you will come back to this discussion and compare your memo from now and later. Finally, here is your writing reflection task.
IDEAL SUSTAINABLE CITY?
In order to help your ideas be developed, here are some examples of the components and categories. You are welcome to add your own components, of course to answer the hw questions.
a. What is the optimum size of city population do you think and why?
2. Housing Type:
a. Single-family housing / multi-family housing,
b. Size of house (square footage, story, lawn size, # of rooms, # of bathrooms)
a. Transportation mode: Auto (vehicles), Public transit (bus, subways, trains, Hi-speed rails, street car,), Bike, flight
b. Accessibility to services, neighborhoods and communities: Grocery stores (shopping), schools, work-job commuting, parks, trails, recreational activities, public services, and so forth
c. Walkability: walkable neighborhood/community
d. How far do you travel a day? What is your typical/acceptable commuting time per day?
4. Public Services
a. How many people per school, per hospital, per fire stations, per police stations?
5. Affluence level:
a. Average family income, tax rate, national GDP, Engel coefficient (the proportion of family income spent on food) … …
a. Water supply and sewer systems (amount of water that a single city or one person per day needs?)
b. Energy (amount of energy that a single city or per capita per day needs?) – Energy sources? Coal, natural gas, hydro, nuclear, solar, wind energy
7. Land: Size of land
a. Size of land for residential/commercial/industrial/ TCU/retail-offices/ public/administration services/ mixed use.
8. Security/Health / Safety
a. Public safety /Health/ Crime rates /
9. Solid wastes management: How much of solid waste that sustainable city would generate?
10. Air quality:
a. Non-attainment areas of air quality standards (CO2, Ozone (O3), Particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5)
11. Disaster prevention and mitigation: Flood, earthquake, hurricane, etc
12. Social welfare, poverty and food security
13. And so on … … … …
What else you would add or include to discuss about Sustainable Cities? How does a sustainable city would be expressed in terms of these categories? Feel free to discuss your own idea about a sustainable city in your own thought.
Task1. Write an essay with 1,000 ~ 1,200 words answering the following questions (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4). (MS-Word Document).
Imagine the ideal community – a place you would especially like to live in, and that is sustainable (in whatever way you want to define that term). If you have no specific ideal community in mind, you may think of one of the U.S. cities alternatively and answer the questions below.
Q1. What are the three most important categories of your sustainable city and Why? You may use the list of components (population, housing types, transportation, income, infrastructure… …) given above OR you can add any yourself. ( 300 ~ 400 words)
Q2. Find ONE sustainable city in the U.S or in the world that you think as an exemplar. Discuss why the city you think is sustainable. Explain or describe details based on the three categories you have discussed questions. (in other words, what makes the place sustainable based on the three categories you choose? Google or do some research to make a proposition to achieve sustainable places in cities. (300 ~ 500 words)
Q3. Discuss how the human-built environment (buildings, roads, infrastructures, parking, open spaces.. etc) is related to the natural landscape/environment in your city. What do you think this built environment would impact on the environment? Why does it matter? Elaborate on your points in terms of balancing 3Es (Environment, Economy, and Equity) of Sustainability. (300~400 words)
GRADING RUBRIC: See the Canvas Rubric. The assignment will be graded in terms of narrative logic and the flow of the report.
General Writing Quality:
No submission, failure or quality is extremely poor : 0%
Partial submission or quality is poor: 50%
Competitive or above-average 75%
Proficient or Excellent quality 90%-100%
Put your name and your email address in the header of your document.
Review your write-ups and double-check all questions are answered logically and convincingly.
Note: When you cite other online sources (not your original thoughts/ideas/findings), you MUST include citations and references in your writing work properly. No proper citation and references in your writing will be substantially hurt your grade.
Save your word document file as “PLAN1900_HW2_ FIRSTNAME_LASTNAME.docx.
Submit your final Word document Canvas using the Assignment 2 menu.
NOTE: Acceptable submission file format is ONLY either an MS-word document or a PDF file. It is also the student’s full responsibility that submission is successfully completed before the deadline. Make sure you have received a confirmation email. Any errors/incomplete/late submission will result in zero credit. No late submission is accepted. No exception.
HOMEWORK 2: Envisioning Sustainable Cities