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Sustainable City Essay

1549 words - 6 pages

Energy use is one of the most important issues in the world today. People are starting to run out of energy already now, and in the future more and more energy is likely to be increasingly needed since the world population is growing. Fossil fuels are the main resources for energy at present. According to many predictions, we are going to run out of oil in 40 years and coal in 75-150 years. People were using these effective but non-renewable energy sources as much as they wanted for many centuries without thinking that these resources will not last forever, and that will cause big problems for future generations. Fortunately, there are also renewable energy resources, such as water, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass power - and they will not run out as long as the Earth exists. For instance, the amount of sun energy hitting the Earth in one minute is greater than energy consumption of the entire planet during one year! These sources of energy are not bad for the environment too, unlike fossil fuels which pollute it. We need to start using the renewable resources on a large scale, and we need to think of new effective ways to get energy. Until then we must save the energy we still have now, so there is as little wasting of energy as possible. Everybody has to be involved to make that work because if the world runs out of energy everyone will suffer.We live in an urban world since the majority of people on our planet live in cities. Therefore our future is pinned on how we develop our cities and the neighboring areas, how good are our housing and transportation facilities, what technologies are used.A sustainable city needs to use renewable energy technologies for its power supply facilities. Such technologies should be convenient to use, easy to run and maintain, as well as cost-effective. They should be long-lasting, and their operation should not have an adverse effect on human life and urban environment. They should also be able to generate considerably more energy over their service life than was invested in their construction and operation and must produce enough power to meet the city requirements. A sustainable city should get rid of ineffective and polluting industries and technologies. Energy from wind, the sun and water is readily available and causes much less environmental problems as compared to other sources of energy. Extracting geothermal energy from the earth and processing of wastes such as biomass also offer great opportunities. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, "technology exists to turn almost any form of biomass into any form of energy."Efforts to implement a concept of a sustainable city are being made worldwide. In the USA, the Green City Project intends to make Troy, NY, situated just north of Albany, a model sustainable city. The Green Cities Project is based on the principles of sustainability defined as "the method that ecosystems use to perpetuate themselves." In...

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